Anderson’s knowledge of shipping came from his familial connection with the world of shipwrights. He made full use of the picturesque elements that are an integral part of the marine ambience. A favourite device was his use of the pennants or Streamers, blue in colour, to indicate the direction and the force of the wind. His best work, following the lead of Samuel Scott, was of river and harbour views, and these have a luminous quality, particularly when observed in a calm or the lightest of breezes. His figures are well grouped, a skill he picked up from his friendship with Ibbetson. Often he placed together two sailors, one in a red, the other in a blue coat, hauling on ropes, or bending over baskets and lobster pots. These figures add a sense of realism to the shoreline view, and form an effective counterpart to the shipping beyond.
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