The Guthrie Children, painted on the eve of the outbreak of The Great War, is an impressive example of Whiting’s work. The children are depicted before Duart Castle, close to their family home of Torosay Castle on the Isle of Mull. This large scale equestrian portrait is typical of Whiting's output from this period and shows the influence of John Singer Sargent. The directness of handling and boldness of colour gives a sense of freshness to the painting, which lifts the image and does justice to its scale.
After studying at the Royal Academy Whiting began his artistic career as a picture journalist for The Graphic. He reported on the Boxer Rising from Peking and the Russo-Japanese war from Manchuria. The subjects of his later works are very different to those of his journalism, but his spontaneous style developed through the need to paint fast.