Archaeological Illustration & Fine Art

Between 2012- 2014 I studied for the Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology, which is part of the Continuing Education programme at Oxford University, with the intention of further developing and underpinning my creativity with a fuller and more rounded knowledge of the subject.

I was particularly fascinated by the area of prehistory which examined the production and distribution of stone tools within the British Isles, choosing to make it the subject of my extended research. (1.6M pdf)

Right: observing the black floorstone from inside the mineshaft at Grimes Graves, Norfolk U.K., 2014.


During the course I became involved with the East Oxford Archaeology Project (Archeox) where I was given the opportunity to learn how to illustrate some of the finds for publication under the guidance of illustrator Jeff Wallis at the Ashmolean Museum.

Alongside my interest in lithics (stone age tools) this has since opened up a new line of enquiry exploring how the techniques used in archaeological illustration can be used as a starting point for further creative expression of which the following works are the result.

The scale drawing on the right is taken from the original object, whilst the derivative works below explore the impact of scale on the original forms.
The studio image with chair gives a sense of this scale.

Early Neolithic core from Grand Pressigny, France
(Ashmolean collection).
Illustration: Claire Winfield, 2013

Grand Pressigny (drawing 2015)
acrylic on paper 100x200cm

Grand Pressigny side view (painting 2015)
acrylic & pva on canvas 100x200cm

Primary flake cortex found at Peppard Common, Oxfordshire, May 2014 (personal collection)

Secondary flake cortex found at Peppard Common, Oxfordshire. (Ashmolean collection)

Two greatly enlarged drawings of the above taken from my original illustrations using an overhead projector.
charcoal on paper 110x115cm

Secondary flake cortex (2015) acrylic on canvas 92x92cm

Late Neolithic Awl, Hackpen Hill, Wiltshire (personal collection)
Illustration: Claire Winfield, 2014

A painterly interpretation of the awl to the left.
acrylic paint & PVA on canvas 65x100cm

Late Neolithic piercer. Grimes Graves, Norfolk U.K. (Personal collection)
Illustration: Claire Winfield, 2014

Late Neolithic scraper. Archeox project, Donnington, Oxfordshire
Illustration: Claire winfield, 2014

These illustrations follow convention in their recording of the side view as well as the dorsal (front) view.
I used the simplified side view as the basis for the triptych at the bottom of this page.

The choice of colour palette in my work was informed by the differences in colour and patination in the flint samples shown below.

Grimes Graves

Grimes Graves

Lithic scatter,
Peppard Common

Lithic scatter,
Hackpen Hill

The painting below combined the use of side views and the colours of flint from the areas in which the pieces were found. L-R: Donnington, Oxfordshire; Hackpen Hill, Wiltshire; Grimes Graves, Norfolk

Triptych (2015). Acrylic & PVA on canves 85x93cm

For further information about flint types and geographical location see my extended essay (1.6M pdf)