Ravilious was a watercolourist, engraver, designer and illustrator. He drew this as an official war artist when he was assigned to Newhaven in Sussex. Watercolour paint is sparingly used and is predominantly used as wash. He has chosen to highlight the decks of the smaller boats and the top deck of the larger one in yellow. Ravilious was inspired by the early watercolourists Francis Towne and John Sell Cotman. This is evident in his use of wash and graphic shapes. He uses the largely monochrome colour palette to evoke the cold, grey day.