Research : Artists who include a lot of detail in their work

Some research into artists who work in a painstaking or meticulous way, i.e. plenty of detail. Brice (E), Clarke (F) and N.S. Harsha (G).

(E) Lisa Brice

Currently showing at the Tate Britain in the ‘Art Now’ room is Lisa Brice.  Her work is mainly figurative using the female nude as her main motif.  These figures are usually set in a place where her subject is relaxing seemingly caught off-guard in downtime.  These settings are often fairly sparse but where she elaborates the setting to any degree she then often shows an abidance of detail.  In Fig. 1 1 (and E1A) we see the repeating pattern of the black and white floor tiles form a diagonal pattern over much of the lower two-thirds of the work.  This detail is further enhanced with some of the scene viewed through a railing with intricate tracery separating the foreground figures from the background

The disparate elements, shapes and design are all united in a harmony of blue.  Brice uses a single colour, a dark indigo blue to paint the work, which unifies everything in addition to adding a period between the wars look to the work.

(F) Graham Clarke

The artist notes the following of this etching [Fig F1], “ A tribute to JMW Turner and his association with Margate”. (Clarke, 2018).

However, much more than just a tribute to Turner is going on here; there are echoes of Alfred Wallis from the way he depicts the harbour and the boats plus the figures scuttling along the shore front are reminiscent of those drawn by Lowry and there is also more than a hint of Quentin Blake.

These painting by Clarke need an especially close eye to see the detail of the carry-ons by the subjects within his works.  The smallest details often contain a humorous or whimsical note.  The size of the works is often an aid to us in this as they can be large by etching standards, though even at this large size the detail is quite small and easily missed.  Take Fig. F1 (Captain Booth’s Fancy), the hotchpotch of houses piled one upon the other in his scene of Margate below.  The town crowds onto the beach practically pushing the beach-huts into the water.  The details in this picture continue in the foreground where the onlookers, sailors and fish all vie for our attention.  Looking closely at the boat in the right foreground we observe Turner the artist (aka Mr Booth) at work.

In Fig. F2. (Monday), there is so much detail and mini points of interest our eyes dart above being drawn in turn to fantastic flying machines and mechanised balloons and to islands dotted across the wider scene populated by fairy-tale castles and buildings.  There must be fifty flying machines and at least half that number of castles in the ultra-busy scene.  Like the Margate scene in Fig. 1., the buildings totter on the edge of collapse and they are jammed higgledy-piggledy on top of each other, Wallis-like in their disregard for perspective and scale.

(G) N.S. Harsha

Hasting (2013), in Vitamin P2 notes of Harsha’s oeuvre “he investigates the way in which the individual merges into the collective”.  In these two examples (Figs. G1 and G2) Harsha introduces a single element into the work and then repeats it many times across the complete work.  These a very similar elements but each is unique as portrait.  In Fig. G1., he repeats the honeycomb hexagon approx. 150 times with each one containing a unique head and shoulders portrait.

In “ Fig G2 “We Don’t Know why We are Stitching Plants” he repeats a sewing machine and table one hundred and eight times in a grid of six rows of eighteen.  Each machine is operated by an acrobat as they twist and table in the air around their sewing table.  Tumbling from each table is a green plant, again each differing from the next.  With repeating colours, sewing tables and rows there is a harmony, beat and rhythm especially to this work

List of Illustrations

Lisa Brice

Fig. E1.. Brice, Lisa, (2017). Between This and That. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2018].

Fig. E1A.. Brice, Lisa, (2017). Between This and That. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jun. 2018].

Graham Clarke

Fig. F1. Clarke, G. (2002). Captain Booth’s Fancy . [online]. Available at: [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. F1A. Clarke, G. (2002). Captain Booth’s Fancy detail. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. F2. Clarke, G. (1996). Monday. [online]. Available at [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. F2A. Clarke, G. (1996). Monday. [online]. Available at [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

NS Harsha

Fig. G1. Harsha, NS. (1998). Running around the nectars of time. [online]. At: http://www.Blouinartsalesindex. Com/auctions/N-S-Harsha-3980845/We-don’t-know-why-we-are-stitching-plants-2009. [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. G1A. Harsha, NS. (1998). Running around the nectars of time detail. [online]. At: http://www.Blouinartsales index. Com/auctions/N-S-Harsha-3980845/We-don’t-know-why-we-are-stitching-plants-2009. [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. G2. Harsha, NS. (1998). We don’t know why we are stitching plants. [online]. At:’t-know-why-we-are-stitching-plants-2009. [Accessed 1 Jun’18]

Fig. G2A. Harsha, NS. (1998). We don’t know why we are stitching plants [detail]. [online]. At:’t-know-why-we-are-stitching-plants-2009. [Accessed 1 Jun’18]


Clarke, G. (2018). Etchings | Watercolours | Block Prints | Books | Graham Clarke. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].

Hasting, J. (2013). Vitamin P₂. London: Phaidon Press, p.124.