Research point: landscape

Project 2 Landscape

Research point

I found it useful when starting this project to look for artists that use landscape as their main subject. I’ve started by looking up the artists suggested in the course handbook as a starting point (specifically Albrecht Dürer, Claude Lorrain, L.S. Lowry, George Shaw and Sarah Woodfine), then plan to add others that capture my interest as I work through the module.

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

Although I recognised the name of Dürer, who was a German Northern Renaissance painter and printmaker, I was more familiar with his etchings, like the one below, and portraits than I was with thinking of him as a landscape artist.

Fig. 1: Landscape with a Large Cannon (Dürer, 1518)

I was surprised to learn that a lot of his earlier work was landscapes and using watercolours. One I particularly like is House by a Pond, which was painted in c. 1496 of a pond near St. John’s Church on the outskirts of Nuremburg.

Fig. 2: House by a Pond (Dürer, c.1946)

I love the contrast of the sky with the reflections in this painting: clouds and water is something I would like to work on in this part of the course.

Claude Lorrain (c.1604-1682)

Originally born as Claude Gellée, Lorrain was born in the Duchy of Lorraine, but left relatively early on in his life to live and work in Rome. He completed many etchings and paintings of landscapes, and was influenced by other painters who worked in Rome.

One of his etchings I liked in particular was Departure for the Fields (Lorrain, c1640-41)

I liked the use of line in this, and is similar to the technique I tried to replicate with drawing a tree with a black drawing pen in an earlier exercise. See: Larger observational study of an individual tree

L.S. Lowry (1887-1976)

Lowry’s work focuses a lot more on the industrial than the artists I looked at earlier. The artist is known for his paintings and drawings of Lancashire, where he lived for over 40 years.

Fig. 3: Industrial Landscape (Lowry, 1955)

I’ve noticed from looking at a range of Lowry’s work, that they all look very similar weather-wise, and are quite grey and dull looking. The overall atmosphere often appears much the same throughout the artists works, which fits with the industrial theme.

George Shaw (b.1966)

I didn’t know much about Shaw until researching him for this exercise. I was intrigued by the materials he used, particularly the Humbrol enamel paint, that is usually used for painting models.

Although he is a landscape painter, much of his work is focussed on more suburban scenes, and are often based on slightly dismal views of and around England housing estates. His work was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his collection of work ‘The Sly and Unseen Day‘. focussing on the the housing estate he grew up in: Tile Hill, Coventry.


Fig. 4: Untitled (Shaw, 2005)

As well as some of his paintings, I really enjoyed looking at some of the etchings that the artist produced, like the untitled one above from 2005. The effects in this, and other similar works by the artist, look like a cross between graphite and watercolour, and has given me the idea of trying out some techniques using water-soluble pencils that I have.

Sarah Woodfine (b.1968)

I didn’t know what to make of Woodfine’s work at first – I think these would have been much better to view in real life. The combination of pencil drawing and sculpture is an interesting one.

Alfred's Story

Fig. 5: Alfred’s Story (Woodfine, 2006)

I liked the way that in each photograph of the work it looks completely different – and the use of pencil just seems unexpected. It reminds me somewhat of popup children’s books. Alfred’s Story is very similar in style to her earlier work Newfoundland.

The artist originally trained as a sculptor, which does come across in her work – I noticed the careful positioning of the drawings so that it can be viewed from multiple angles without losing the effect.


Figure 1: Dürer, A. (1518). Landscape with a Large Cannon. [Etching] New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Viewed online at: (Accessed on 31 July 2017)

Figure 2: Dürer, A. (c.1496) House by a Pond. [Watercolour and gouache on paper, 21 x 23cm] London: British Museum. Viewed online at: (Accessed on 31 July 2017)

Figure 3: Lowry, L.S. (1955) Industrial Landscape. London: Tate. Viewed online at: (Accessed on 31 July 2017)

Figure 4: Shaw, G. (2005) Untitled. London: Wilkinson Gallery. [Etching, 41x49cm] Viewed online at:  (Accessed on 1 August 2017)

Figure 5: Woodfine, S. (2006) Alfred’s Story. [Pencil on paper in perspex box, 23.5 x 23.5cm] London: Danielle Arnaud. Viewed online at: (Accessed on 2 August 2017)


Hamilton, A. (2011) Claud Lorrain: The foreign fields that inspired our greatest landscapes. Available at: (Accessed on 1 August 2017)

The National Gallery (2017) Claude. Available at: (Accessed on 1 August 2017)

Jones, J. (2016) George Shaw review – down, dirty and delightful in the woods. At: (Accessed on 1 August 2017)

Cumming, L. (2016) My Back to Nature by George Shaw review – darkness at the edge of town. At: (Accessed on 1 August 2017)

Kellaway, K. (2015) George Shaw, 49: ‘Every second, every ounce of time has to be accounted for’ At: (Accessed on 1 August 2017) 

V&A (2017) ‘Newfoundland’ by Sarah Woodbine, 2005 At: (Accessed on 2 August 2017)


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