Combining with paint and technology to explore Hull’s maritime identity

A group of young painters in Hull have been honing their artistic skills to contribute work for a digital animation telling the story of the city’s development.

The workshops led by Hull based artist Annie Luke Turner are part of Nova’s digital and creative skills project with Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City.

A meeting of some of the city’s brightest creative minds, the programme is an opportunity for an emerging generation of creative Hullensians to learn new skills, enhance their portfolios and explore their own local identities.

After the success of the writing and illustration group in 2021, the painting cohort took to the studio on Saturdays over January and February in the new year.

Tasked with creating painted backdrops for an animation depicting Hull’s history as a maritime city, which will combine the work of the illustration cohort and the upcoming sound cohort, the progress of the group’s painting was captured in real time by Nova in order to create a stop motion style animation.

Here’s what workshop leader Annie had to say about the sessions…

Week One

The first morning we went on a tour of Hull with Paul Schofield. It was very useful to see the buildings, landscape and hear the Maritime history of Hull. We took lots of photos which we used as a reference when we started painting.  

When we got back to the studios we did some warm up painting exercises using large amounts of paint, big paper and large brushes. These exercises were directed step by step and included ways of moving ink and paint with scrapers, brushes, cloths and sponges to introduce the participants to new experimental ways of using paint.

Week Two

On the second week we started with another painting warm up followed by an explanation of what we needed to do over the next two Saturdays.  

We had a list of all the landscape images we needed such as; stormy sea, blue sky, rainy weather etc.. I did a demonstration to show the way we needed to paint the 4 pieces of paper in a very similar way, but each slightly different.

Then once these were photographed they would change them again so the paintings could be developed into animation – we did this four times with each set of paintings.

Back at Nova, Callum started to put some of these sequences together to show at the workshops the following week. 

Week Three

We carried on with the same tasks the final Saturday but also created some static images of stone walls, brick walls and cobbles as additional assets for the animation

Seeing the work that the participants made, all from their own imagination and the research they did, was fantastic. They managed to be experimental in their approach but also with an acute attention to detail which was wonderful to see.

We couldn’t have picked a better bunch of young people to work with, they were keen, talented and also gelled well as a group. They were friendly and keen to learn new techniques and try new things.

A fantastic project to work on – thank you!

This creative programme is part of the £30.3m Hull Maritime project, funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Elements involve the refurbishment of the Hull Maritime Museum, restoration of the Spurn Lightship and the Arctic Corsair and regenerating the North End Shipyard, a hidden gem along the River Hull.

For more information and updates visit or follow @Hullmaritime on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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