Girtin's beautiful landscape paintings in watercolour helped raise the profile of such subjects and his chosen medium during his short life. His remarkable talents were acknowledged by his friend and exact contemporary Turner. Both were students at Dr Monro's informal evening academy, where they produced copies of landscape prints and topographical studies. Together they explored the potential of watercolour which they showed could rival oil painting in its visual impact and atmospheric range. Girtin made sketching tours around Britain and visited Paris. His most ambitious work, a lost panorama of London, is known from sketches in the British Museum, London.