Colour and Line, room guide, colour into line Room 1

Turner’s engravers had to produce complex patterns of black line which, when printed onto white paper, could convey the impression of colour. They used many skilful techniques and tricks to ‘translate’ colours into a language based on tone. Deep colours such as blue appeared dark, whilst lighter colours such as yellow would be created using white. Mid-tones such as red might be black or white, according to the emphasis placed within Turner’s picture.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘The Thames from Richmond Hill’ c.1825–36
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Thames from Richmond Hill c.1825–36
Tate
after Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Richmond Terrace, Surrey’ 1838
after Joseph Mallord William Turner
Richmond Terrace, Surrey 1838
Tate
Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Criccieth Castle’ c.1836
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Criccieth Castle c.1836
Tate
after Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Crickieth Castle, North Wales, engraved by S. Fisher’ 1837
after Joseph Mallord William Turner
Crickieth Castle, North Wales, engraved by S. Fisher 1837
Tate

‘he that impresses the observation or stimulates the Associate idea of a colour individually is the great artist’ J.M.W. Turner