By the 1930s, he began painting larger compositions in a wider range of colours, and this led him to use lithography. In 1936, Eric Ravilious went on to design for Wedgwood - a fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories company. In 1937, the company brought out the George VI commemorative Coronation Mug, which was drawn and revised for the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II. He also designed glass for Stuart Crystal, furniture for Dunbar Hay and graphic work for advertisements for London Transport and others. In 1938, Country Life published the book High Street, by J. M. Richards, for which Ravilious supplied a series of lithographs documenting the charms of certain Victorian high street shops. In 1939, Eric Ravilious became a War Artist, and during World War II he depicted such objects as 'De-iceing Aircraft' (1942). Just as he had always enjoyed the lines and curves of farm equipment, he now found visual pleasure in machines of war, from submarines to screw propellers.
In the midst of a grim sea battle off Norway in 1940, he reported 'I enjoyed it a lot, even the bombing which is wonderful fireworks.' On the 2nd of September 1942, he went out on an air-sea rescue mission in search of an aircraft lost the previous day, and the Hudson plane in which he was flying itself disappeared.
Much of Eric Ravilious' subject matter is pastoral, and he was a virtuoso at capturing everyday scenes and little details from English provincial life. His landscapes and rural interiors often featured the down land and coast of southern England; haunting and lyrical, these works show a world in suspense and often featuring chalk hill figures and empty rooms. His paintings are often emotionally cool; the palette is restrained, the paint application light and dry, with plenty of white showing, and lots of hatching and stippling.