Lake Bala is in North Wales, in the Snowdonia National Park. It is Wales's largest natural lake. Pitchforth trained at Wakefield School of Art, Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art. His attendance at Leeds was interrupted in 1915 by his service in the First World War. He held teaching jobs at Camberwell School of Art, Clapham School of Art and St Martins School of Art. He was a member of the London Group. Established as a respected artist by 1939, from 1935 Pitchforth preferred to make watercolour studies, in situ in the landscape. He was a talented draughtsman, and these two facts combined to make him an ideal war artist, in which quick responses and documentary ability were crucial.