As he wrote in his Autobiography, Fowler believed that “every landscape painter must have his annual sketching season; it is his sine qua non, the grammar on which, and on which alone, he must build up his rhetoric, his eloquence, and his charm.” When he lived in England, he made sketching trips every year from about 1833 to 1842. His Italian journey of 1834-1835, however, was “the crown and cream of all my achievements in that direction.” Fowler’s dusky views of Venice and Rome were among numerous sketches produced during this trip. Such travels were certainly the thing to do for budding artists, but Fowler may have been especially inspired by his art teacher, James Duffield Harding, who had just exhibited a series of Italian views in 1830. Fowler’s draughtsman rigour, and use of bodycolour and grey paper, reveal Harding’s influence, a master of drawing who produced several manuals on the topic. The drawings also reveal Fowler’s mastery of selective detail, rendering a landscape into a picture of potent mood.Fowler considered the sketches that he made on his Italian trip to be “invaluable” for all his “after life.” Upon his return, he married Bessy Gale, the sister of his travelling companion, and in 1843 they immigrated to Amherst Island, the setting of many of his later watercolour landscapes. By 1890, he was a well-established, well-respected Canadian artist. In exhibiting with emergent art societies and associations of the new Dominion, Fowler championed watercolour as a viable and respected medium alongside the traditionally extolled oil landscape painting.