Hardy is known primarily for his works of vessels of ample size and sail area; as well he popularized professional fishing in many of his works. He was a prolific artist who worked in oil and watercolors often heightened with bodycolour. He garnered a greater attention with his watercolors and as a result, these works are more widely collected and are considered by many to be the finer.
He was a member of the new watercolor society and was also elected a member of the royal society of british artists in 1884. He exhibited at the suffolk street galleries and at the royal academy.