Practice research

Practice research was done in parallel with story analysis, and one informed the other.

What became clear quite quickly was that in order for the story to be told told visually at least three visual styles were needed.

  1. A visual style illustrating a ‘normal’ point of view. The view of the narrator and all of characters apart from the main protagonist, the elderly man/patient.
  2. A visual style illustrating the patient’s experience that includes confusion and delirium.
  3. A visual style to illustration the patients experience of vivid nightmare hallucinations.

My hypothesis was that if used consistently, these different visual approaches would sit side-by-side and give the story more impact and drama.

I carried several rapid experiments to find an effective way to illustrate new imagery.

This included:

  • Screenprint using mark resist
  • Paper stencils
  • Monoprints
  • Screenprint and stencil combination

Screenprint using mark resist

The first set of prints built up different colour layers by using a variety of dip and bamboo pens with Indian ink on mark resist.

This direct approach allowed me to make fairly expressive marks that I hoped would translate into the final prints.

Fig 1 – Pen and ink drawings on mark resist (2022)

The mark resist layers were transferred onto screens using photosensitive emulsion and printed over two three-hour sessions.

Paper stencils

I attended a 2-day Experimental Stencil and Monoprint Workshop run by Charles Shearer at Ochre Print Studio.

I’d used stencils during Printmaking 1, but not in such a fluid and creative way.

The constraints of making prints using stencils mean thinking about representing subjects in a completely different way and accepting surprise and error as part of the process.

The results were, for me, quite distinctive, and very unlike my usual ways of working.


Like my use of stencils, I’d made monoprints during Printmaking 1. This workshop introduced me to idea of overprinting a colour tint to add a subtle layer of colour that helped to bring out highlights and give more depth to the print.

Again, the constraints made me approach making the image in a different way, with the final result being quite different and distinctive when compared to my other work.

Screenprint and stencil combination

The final experiments combined and developed what I’d learned about stencil printing with silkscreen printing.

What was new for me was using screen filler painted direct onto screens to create an intentionally crude line. I thought this would compliment the rough and very direct stencil prints.


List of illustrations

Figure 1 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Pen and ink drawings on mark resist [Photograph] In pocession of: The author

%d bloggers like this: