Tate Britain, London

October 30, 2007 at 8:20 pm (Focus)

I visited Tate Britain because of the “COLOUR & LINE Turner’s Experiment” Exhibition taking place. The aim of this visit is to learn other methods of expressing drawing and understand the basic principles of other drawing techniques.

COLOUR & LINE Turner’s Experiment Exhibition

This exhibition shows how “Joseph William Turner (1775-1851) work using variety of methods and techniques of “Making Images” on paper. The types of image-making Turner did are:

  • Prints

  • Watercolour

Turner was known for Print-making. His Print making is to translate the effects of Colour into Black lines printed on white paper. He produced most of his prints with a combination of “Etching” and “Engraving lines.

Etching Lines is used to set out the basic composition.

This is produced by drawing through a waxy ground onto a metal plate which is dipped in acid in other to make it “Bite” the lines into the metal. the outcomes of the lines have a blunt and round ends.


Engraved Line is a direct cut into metal printing plate using a sharp tool called “Burin”.

Turner & Colour

This painting below i found it very interesting because its a simple painting but he was trying to create an illusion of depth in a flat painting by just using 3 primary colours (Red, Blue, Yellow) to show how the colours in light behave when they are represented on watercolour papers.

Blue & Red represents the “degree of shade” while the Yellow colour represented light itself.


Other watercolour painting of Turner’s:



Colour into Lines

Most of turners techniques or tricks of colour into line was all about translating colour into a language based on tone. and also representing the harmonies of contrasting colours.


Artist work from light to dark and has to deal with the unpredictability of wet washes.

“Turner’s innovative methods and unchallenged mastery of technique raised the status of watercolour, and provide a benchmark which is still admired today”


Turner’s Palette

This shows the changes in his watercolour painting as he travelled across Europe representing different light effects has really developed colours and painting.

Turner’s Sketchbook:

Showed different types of mark-making he used at various stages of his life.





Exploring Turner’s methods of Drawing

The BEST part of this exhibition was the opportunity to study and work from some of Turner’s drawings by copying his drawings and exploring the different ways he approached his subjects and the techniques used for light, shade and perspective.

Examples  of  exercise:                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Instruction for this exercise:”Start in one of the top corners and try to copy the way Turner might have moved his pencil to make the marks.

Try holding your pencil like this:





Turner has used pen and ink, but you could try using a soft pencil (more than 2B) to follow the coil-like lines on the left-hand side. Think of the energy and speed he might have used.

Use your hand from your wrist rather than just from the fingers, and try holding your pencil like this:  





Conclusion: this exhibition has motivated me and i have learnt and have acquired a bit of Turner’s skills. But to my understanding of what Turner work was “Him having a reputation about LINES (and how they can be used to express or make drawings stand out) and not colours.

Other Artist Exhibitions in Tate Britain

Other artist works were displayed which i found very interesting because it was a display of different ways of representing an idea or concept without actually Drawing…

John Piper (1903 -1992) he was known for his abstract work. examples of his work are shown below and the various methods he used:

Made with: Ink & Paper Collage on Paper

   Screen print on paper

The Images below are made with:

  • Lithograph on paper  


Sources of some images: http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/

1 Comment

  1. WeldIncerce said,

    I am, Joseph
    some nice posts here
    my page:


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