As a young artist, Lewis developed a keen interest in Japanese color woodcuts. The influence of Ukiyo-e prints was manifest in his work by 1916, and it is known that he owned a small collection of Japanese prints. In 1920, Lewis travelled to Japan where he remained for two years, returning to New York with a deep regard for the natural beauty of the Japanese landscape and a profound respect for the formal beauty of the culture's traditions. Drypoints such as Bay Windows and Stoops in Snow would not have been possible without Lewis' experience of Japan. Like the Ukiyo-e woodcuts that inspired it, Stoops in Snow records a fleeting moment in nature, snow pelting down on umbrellas and bent figures who brace themselves against the wind and cold. The repetition of the stairs and railings combined with the vast expanse of the empty, snow-covered sidewalk in the foreground is evocative of the Japanese aesthetic, creating one of Lewis' most poetic and accomplished New York City landscapes.
Stoops in Snow displays one of Lewis' most delicate uses of sand ground to create the incredibly subtle shadows on the surface of the snow. To create this effect, he created the numerous minute dots by placing a piece of sandpaper face down on a copperplate covered with a waxy ground, running both the paper and the plate through the press. He then plunged the plate in an acid bath so that the tiny pits in the wax would cause corresponding pits to be bitten into the plate.