In 1872 Goodwin travelled with Ruskin on a three month tour of Italy. It was Goodwin's first experience of the places he must have read about in Ruskin's books. Goodwin was never to forget this introduction which remained with him throughout all his later travels. It was Ruskin also who encouraged Goodwin to paint in watercolour, realising that it suited his talent better and that it was the ideal medium for the evanescent and poetic effects at which he excelled.
On 7 October 1913 Goodwin wrote: 'In splendour of a gorgeous sunset one sees the scarlet, orange, crimson, vermilion, and does not -as a rule- notice the foil of grey, that frame these gorgeous tints and bring them out for our delectation. This I have done now, and the result, that though I have taken out most of the scattered colour, the points, by this, get their due and the whole thing, though with far less real colour looks as though it had far more, and is doubly brilliant' (The Diary of Albert Goodwin, R.W.S. (1833-1927), London, 1934, p. 185).