Style and influence
Skelton signed and dated most of his artwork. Some of his drawings show local scenes dating to his childhood years. Others date years, sometimes decades before his birth. The earliest drawing is dated to 1650, over 200 years before Skelton was born.
He probably based these drawings on artworks by earlier artists or from the memories of local people. He was particularly influenced by another Grimsby based artist called James Jilliot. James was born in Grimsby in 1800. He also used his artistic talent to record the town in the years before the mid-Victorian revival. Skelton was clearly impressed by Jilliot and used him as inspiration for his own work. In some cases, the style and aspect of Skelton’work is almost identical when compared to that of Jilliot. We don’t know if the artists ever met, but we know they were active at the same time and may have been aware of each other’s work.