One of the more accomplished practitioners of the sophisticated medium of marine watercolor, Robins studied at the Royal Academy Schools under both Thomas Philips and the master J.M.W. Turner. As an associate of the new Watercolor Society he exhibited 317 works. He also had 412 London exhibits of which 300 were watercolors.
Primarily a watercolorist his oil paintings are considered quite rare. But it his marine watercolors that are considered remarkable for their draftsmanship and beauty. Throughout his career he painted yachting scenes as well as merchant and naval subjects. He is known to have traveled abroad to the Mediterranean about 1850 and visited Holland and the Rhine as well.
Between 1832 and 1863 he was a regular exhibitor at the British institution as well as the prestigious Suffolk Street Gallery. Aesthetically, Robins' paintings were described as having a delicacy and mystic gentleness that set them apart from the works of his contemporaries.