Hello and welcome to this Printmaking and PhD Research site for Edward (Jonnie) Turpie’s journey in analogue, digital, drawn, and printed,  portraiture:

The drawn serigraph: An investigation through portraiture


Turpie, having pursued a successful creative industries career returned to education in 2017 as a Doctoral Research Student at Birmingham School of Art. His career included establishing Maverick Tv, an independent production company producing innovative and award winning television and digital content. During his journey towards PhD completion he has written articles on Fine art Printmaking and digital photography, his first academic work since achieving an MA Printmaking from the RCA in 1979. His PhD Research subject is: The drawn serigraph: An investigation through portraiture, in which he explores the subtle digital and analogue techniques of image making and the complex relationships between the Artist and Subject.


Curriculum Vitae

Jonnie produced and directed public service drama, documentary and digital media over the last 30 years from the West Midlands. Following from his career as an artist his touchstone has been collaborative film, television and digital media.

Acknowledged across the industry as a forward thinker, he applied new video, technology and digital techniques to create innovative styles and approaches to multi award winning television and digital media.

For 25 years he was a Director of Maverick Television, which he founded and has grown into one of the UK’s leading independent production companies. Maverick joined the UK’s largest Independent Production Company All3Media in 2007. The company has bases in Birmingham, Los Angeles and London employing a wide range of talent, which he supported, mentored and advocated for.

He has supported. contributed to, and served on many boards of creative and cultural  organisations inc: director of The Space, founding director of the Birmingham Ormiston Academy, Chair of BOADigital, Creative England, Screen West Midlands, Trustee of Birmingham Museums Trust, Chair of MAC. In 2010 he was awarded an MBE for services to international trade in the Queen’s New Years honours List.

In 2015/16 he was the High Sheriff of the West Midlands with a theme of arts, creativity and young people. In 2017 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Having retired from the wonderful Maverick he is embarking on his practice based Phd at Birmingham School of Art.

Academic Activity

Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice. Vol 5 Number 2. Intellect Ltd. ‘Drawing Ed Ruscha’ Accepted August 2020. Published January 2021

Impact Journal (2). UWE Centre Fine Print Research. Title:Gestural drawing for serigraphy’. Published November 2020. 

Ethics in relation to portraiture presentation, specifically focussing on the selfie and the omnipresent smartphone camera and discreet capture. Birmingham School of Art MA, 2021.

Huddersfield University: Photography and lived experience. ‘Consenting Adults’. Delivered June 2019

The National Association for Fine Art Education / Royal College of Art. Urgency in the Arts Symposium: Being open and vulnerable to the making, in the making. Delivered March 2019

Materials Encounters. Birmingham School of Art Research Cluster. Co delivered: WRITING WORKSHOP : Peer-review, publishing and editorial roles. November 2020.

European Academy: 8th Euroacademia International Conference – Inside-Out: Europeanness Exposed to Plural Observers. Title:  ‘Portraiture and Identity in the Ages of Analogue and Digital Art and Invention’ Lucca, Italy. Accepted, but not delivered due to expense

A drawn serigraphic portrait. Birmingham City University Essay. October 2019

Photographic Portraiture In The Western Context. Birmingham City University Essay. October 2019

Discreet and Surreptitious Photography and Art. Birmingham City University Essay. October 2019


Art Exhibition 

2023. RBSA Gallery Birmingham. Drawing Prize. Highly Recommended.

2022. ‘Thinking of place’ International travelling printmaking exhibition.

​’ToP III was conceived as a project that would bring together new works from over 80 artists from 16 printmaking groups in 9 countries…..some of the contributing artists adapted their conceptual responses to the notion of identification with place; their altered perceptions of space, horizons and thoughts about our ‘place’ in the world are reflected in their imagery.  A rich array of print media is represented, as one would anticipate, from 85 artists working in disparate parts of the globe.’

Exhibition sites: NorthSite Contemporary Arts Cairns, LSAD in Limerick, Ireland, Impact 12 Bristol UK, Auckland New Zealand Corbans Estate Arts Centre, Canada, Thompson Rivers University Art Gallery, Buenos Airies, Forma,

2022. Inliquid Gallery Philadelphia. The  Trouble I’ve Seen. Covid Portraits.

2022. RBSA Gallery Birmingham. Print Show. 

2021. Schwarmerei. Ort Gallery: ‘Deceptively Beautiful’ Photo and text.

2021. IKON for Artists. ‘PhD Passion Ian Sergeant’ Silkscreen.

2021: D Contemporary. Magistrates 100 Year Anniversary.  Portraits of the future: Race and the Criminal Justice. Drawn silkscreen.

2021. IMPACT11 Hong Kong (virtual)

2021. Printmakers Council Featured Artist

2020. RBSA Prize Exhibition.

2020: Ort Gallery Schwarmerei 

2019:  ‘Cabin Baggage’ with Norwich University of the Arts and the University of Dundee

2019: ‘Powder Drop’.  D Emptyspace. Featured Artist

2018 / 19.BCU PGR Lab.

2018: IMPACT 10 Print Biennale. Santander.

2018: You and I are discontinuous Beings. BCU School of Art and Coventry University Department of Art and Education – Co Curation 2018

1973 – 82. Various Art Exhibitions inc ICA New Contemporaries, Midland Group Nottingham, Robert Self Gallery, Artist Books, Boulder Colorado.

More recently: West Midlands Open at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, SALON at Waterhall , Pulpa Print, 20×20 Hot Bed Press; 2017 High Sheriff Printed Portraits BMAG; selections for the RBSA Print, Photography, Prize and Portraits.

Board Positions

2011 – Vice Chair, Birmingham Ormiston Academy

2016 – 2022 Chair Midlands Arts Centre – MAC

2016 – Trustee Birmingham Museums Trust

2015 – 2021 Director The SPACE, Arts Council and BBC

2013 – 2019 Director Creative England

2014 – 2019 Creative Champion GBSLEP, Employment and Skills board

2013 – 2018 Deputy Chair, Birmingham Creative City Partnership

2011 – 2015  Birmingham Science City Board

2010 – 2012 Director Advantage West Midlands

2005 – 11 Chair Screen West Midlands

2008 – 2010 PRIME Strategic Partnering Board, NHS BEN Trust

2007 – 2009 Chair Hello Digital International Digital Film & Media event

2005 –  2011 Director, Hi8us Midlands

2004 – 2007   Deputy Chair, Culture West Midlands

1993 – 2017 Founder Director Maverick Television

Selected Production

Digital Media

Random Acts – Executive Producer Maverick & Rural Media C4/ACE

Dissemination Lead FISTAR  – Future Internet Health EU FP7 Programme

Executive Producer, No Delays digital health platform – NHS Grampian

Media lead – Living It Up – Innovate UK  & NHS 24

Exec Producer- Spill with DanceX for SPACE, BBC /ACE

Exec Producer – Teaching Shakespeare – RSC

Director –  NHS local – NHS West Midlands Digital Health Service

Exec Producer, Embarassing Illnesses online – Channel 4 new media – Winner BAFTA

4TALENT and Ideas Factory  – exec producer C4

EDRAMA – Hi8us, DTI, Birmingham University, BT.


GENETICS FUTURES – YTouring/ NOF/Science Museum

Factual Television.

TEACHERS TV – 18 SERIES, Exec Producer

UK SKILLS JAPAN – Exec Producer


SLOT ART 8 x 3′ for Channel 4 / Arts Council Exec Producer

BULL FIGHT 3 x 50mins C4, Exec Producer

ALIEN DIARIES : Producer Channel 5

HIGHLAND BOLLYWOOD ; Producer, Channel 4

TRADE SECRETS. 24 X 10mins BBC2, Exec Producer

GOOD MORNING DIARIES. 6 X 6mins BBC2, Exec Producer

LOOK WHOSE TALKING. 4 x 5mins for C4 Director /Camera

CLOSE TO HOME.  30mins, C4 Current Affairs. Producer/Director

FREE FOR ALL. Channel 4 weekly access series. Producer Director.

MOTOR CITY MUSIC YEARS. Central TV, 3 x 30mins.  Director.   Birmingham’s Pop history. Inc The Move, Black Sabbath, Spencer Davies, Joan Armatrading, UB40, Duran Duran and Apache Indian.


STAFFROOM MONOLOGUES – Dir Jean Stewart. Teachers TV.                                                                Winner RTS Education


LONG HAUL Exec Producer STV/Scottish Screen


Winner :  Commission for Racial Equality, Best Drama

PURE C4 /ACE – Writer/Director

THE VISIT C4 – Writer/Director.                                  Winner : Royal Television Society Best Independent Production

BLAZED. C4 – Director Script Michael Buffong.          Winner : RTS Best Independent

WINGNUT AND THE SPROG. C4 – Director, Script Marie Jones.

DREAM KITCHEN. C4 – Director, Script Gary Lyons

OUT OF ORDER – Director BFI/C4 Script DHSS & Howard Schuman.                                     Winner of Ethique & Television Montbeliard

Young People’s Collaborative Programming



TURN IT UP x 4 – BFVW for C4


Portrait prints 19/20

Caroline. Drawn two colour silkscreen. Bread and Butter Paper 101x68cm. 2020.
Yuchen Yang 2020. Silkscreen on cartridge 420 x 594mm
Mohammed Ali. Artist. A2 iPad drawing and silkscreen printed. Canaletto Paper, 841 x 594. 2019
Hamza. Jacket Man. A1 Drawn silkscreen. Canaletto Paper. 2019.
Hamza. ‘Jacket Man ‘ Collaborative with Mohammed Ali. Drawn silkscreen on tracing paper with overpaying. 2019.
Afzal Ahmed. Carpenter’s Peak. 101×68 Drawn silkscreen. Bread and Butter Paper 101x68cm. 2019.
Afzal. Carpenter’s Peak. 101×68 Drawn 3 colour silkscreen. Bread and Butter Paper 101x68cm. 2019.
‘Mentor’. Stephen Goldstein. Silkscreen. 594 x 841. 2019
Rashid Campbell, Gold. Charity Worker. November 2020. 594 x 841mm. A/P Silkscreen. 2019
Richard Demarco. Edinburgh. A1 Silscreen. 2019
Brian Travers. A1 Silkscreen. 2019
Pre Fab Conservationist. A1 two colour silkscreen. 2019

introducing colour tests

Building on the carbon dust background  tests I have began and introducing tints and varnishes. I have made three portraits applying these techniques. I have been applying subtle colour tints rather than primary colours. Silver, gold and varnish mixed and thin.

Nav dark, light and gold tint

Herman Geo Table Maker. Gold, silver, silver varnish

Oxford Phoner: gold, silver/varnish, silver

I am looking further into these techniques and in particular Chine Collé. Printing with Chine Collé:

Chine Collé is a technique that allows you to add colour to your prints without making another block. Using Chine Collé you are able to print on much finer, more delicate papers which are bonded onto a more sturdy paper during the printing process. Japanese papers are often used but you can try tissue papers, maps, sheet music, even fabric – anything delicate enough to be printed onto.  from https://www.handprinted.co.uk/ramblings/printing-with-chine-colle

I will provide further detail of these experiments in coming posts. One result of a  recent test where I did not stop out the border of ‘Herman Geo Tablemaker’ to retain the edge of the mark resist film the drawing was made on.  This is not immediately obvious when viewing the print, however once noticed it provides a tactile fine border and reveals some of the process.

mark resist bottom edges

mark resist scissor cut edge

For Herman’s portrait I created a charcoal dust background to erase highlights into.  However eraser could could not deliver the fine lines required for Herman’s impressive moustache and I used a scalpel blade to achieve the effect.

Close up showing scratched technique for moustache

Herman OPW

RBSA Drawing

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists ran their first ever drawing prize exhibition recently. There is a great breadth of drawing talents showing until mid October. I submitted two drawings: Deceptively Beautiful: My CMLcells and an iPad drawn Portrait of My Haematologist Consultant Dr Hayder Hussain.

Surprisingly both were accepted by the judging panel of: Barbara Walker MBE RA, Kate Mason and Steve Balcock and the first was ‘Highly Recommended. Any proceeds will go to Cure Leukaemia.

Deceptively Beautiful: My CML Cells. 5b pencil on Arches paper
Hayder Explains. Dr Hayder Hussain. iPad Drawing printed on matte photographic paper. A3

Great turn out for the opening
@Cristina_celestini Calmly viewing the work while someone photographs them.
Time exposure photograph

@paulinebaileyarts checks out the drawings

Catalogue of all exhibited drawings is available here:



Polymer plate inked on the press bed awaiting the damp paper to be lain over it, ready to be wound through and transfer the ink to paper.

Half Empty? Half Full?
June 2023. 20x20cm


A slideshow of the Testing process using water and sunshine to develop and harden the polymer on the plate in preparation for inking up and winding through on the on pressure press to print out on paper.

This print was begun when I was waking up with a cup of tea in bed. The cup was smooth china, the tea half drunk, held by the dark maroon bedcover, in contrast to my hand that has become old and wrinkled in the last year since my CML diagnosis and in particular since the treatment with the daily drug Bosutinib. My skin in general has become wrinkled and pock marked with rashes and itches. I tried to capture my observation by taking a number of photographs with my smartphone. Getting contrast between hand, cup and bedcover took a number of attempts. One was effective which I printed on photographic paper.

Half Empty. Photograph.

It was effective in its reflection of the contrast and some of the underlying intention. However It seemed too sharp and ‘photographic’. Perhaps a softer printed version might encourage a reading of the question behind the scene: the hand was owned by a person questioning their mortality.

My CML Cells. 2022. Photogravure. 280 x 400mm

I had made a photogravure print from my bone marrow cells last year and perhaps a print using this hybrid technique would work.

I made film positive of the hand photograph to expose in the direct to plate method I had used. Unfortunately the large epson digital printer that had been successfully tested to take the very thin metal sheet coated with a light sensitive polymer, was out of commission. I consulted with master printmaker Justin Sanders whether a photo gravure print could be applied to the image. He thought it possible, but it maybe too contrasty. As we could not use the direct to plate method at the moment the only way forward would be to make some manual tests to establish an exposure that would provide the breadth of tone. The direct to plate methods had required testing to provide a predictable and stable exposure. Now we would have to test the positive image and the random aquatint screen that together generate the detailed polymer exposure.

I printed a second positive image on to transparent film to be exposed on to the polymer plate. Polymer Photogravure uses light-sensitive, very thin steel backed, polymer plates to create a photographic image that is inked and printed using traditional etching techniques. It can give a fine detail with a wide tonal range. We tried a number of tests with the acquatint ( stochastic) screen and positive exposures. The process of stochastic screening differs from conventional halftone screening, namely in the position and amount of random dots in each image. According to supplier Rittagraf :

Stochastic screening for photopolymer plates. Also called aquatint screen, it is an indispensable tool in photogravure for converting continuous-tone images to discontinuous-tone images.

Without the use of a stochastic screen, our photopolymers would be excessively contrasted, open bites would appear in the darkest areas, and gray gradients would be lost.

After an exposure test and print out we were unhappy with the lack of depth in the blacks, and few whites in the highlights we went back to the developing room and tried varying the exposures on the positive with a 30 light unit exposure on the screen. This did not seem to change the image radically. Justin had a radical idea: up the screen exposure and decrease the positive.

Test platesand prints

The result was surprisingly good with a much better breadth of tone and deeper blacks. We applied more plate test strips and print outs: 30:25/ 30: 27 /30:30 and eventually 35:27. This test plate looked to be rather good and we went straight to a full size 20x20cm plate. Once developed in the water tray for 3minutes the soft yellowy polymer was laid in the bright sunshine to harden the polymer. As the UV rays hardened the polymer to a silvery grey, ready to take the ink. Four proofs were made.

Comparison between first proof plate and 2nd plate after testing.

Artist’s Proof. Half Empty June 2023

The efforts to make the photogravure print as opposed to the photographic image has been valuable. Both have their qualities, and the photograph may be more dramatic on this electronic screen, however the print is more of an interpretation of the observation rather than a sharp document. I have also included an irregular torn border and a secondary flat tone internal border that indicate a hand made, rather than photographic print. 25 prints will be made and despatched to HotBed Press for the 2023 Exchange Exhibition. Although we have successfully carried out a tested balanced exposure between image and screen, I look forward to the time when we can get the digital direct to plate system back up and running.

Making the edition

30 sheets of Fabriano Tiepolo were cut to 23x23cm. 12 were soaked in the water bath in preparation for printing. The plate was fished out of the drawer it had been keep safe from scratches in and inked with soft velvet black.

Hand upon hand 12 prints were inked and rolled through the press and laid on the drying racks. Another 13 will be printed tomorrow. The paper squares are taken from the water and placed between plastic sheets to retain their soft soaking overnight in preparation for printing tomorrow.

Finally a separate print is prepared. An A3 piece of Zerkall German Etch paper is placed in the bath. Zerkall ismould made, acid free, neutral sized, alkaline buffered with calcium carbonate. At 350 gsm it is very thick. French Charbonnel ink is carefully eeked out of the metal can leaving a flat surface to be covered with tracing paper, preventing the air reaching the unused ink to ensure it does not dry out.

Zerkall has been chosen as it provides a surface that holds the details ad tones of a plates as it is pressed into the inked surfaces. Once dried it is thick, stable, and displays the breadth of tones across this print. The wide border gives space for the half full/empty print to live.

25 editioned 20by20 photo gravure prints on Tiepolo paper numbered, titled and signed for despatch to Hot Bed Press in Manchester for the curation of a touring exhibition. (https://www.2020printexchange.com/howitworks) The first edition of each submitted prints retained for the opening exhibition and tour. The additional 24 are shared with 24 submitting artists in a dedicated 20:20 print box. A positive print exchange.

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