This month, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about drawing. And, what a fantastic medium it is! Pause and think about it for a moment. Drawing is how people communicated before they had written language. But, in our contemporary world, how many of us are active drawers?
All this thinking about drawing led us to The Campaign for Drawing, a UK-based organisation that has one aim: to get everyone drawing. According to patron Andrew Marr, “Learning to draw is a very important part of becoming a fully rounded human being…Drawing is about being alive, being more human, having a richer sense of yourself, ultimately.”
Searching for inspiration closer to home, the Art Partners team connected with Daniel McLachlan. In sessions with artists Helen Seiver and Sam Beard, Daniel shared his remarkably diverse portfolio of fictional worlds and characters.
Well Known Inspirations
Daniel has drawn inspiration from many sources including fictional characters which many readers will recognise. Drawing these well known characters is one way that Daniel has practiced his skills. Below are Donald Duck and Tin Tin as well as Naruto, from the famous Japanese comic.
Captain Trips and Machine and Human
According to Daniel, Captain Trips is head of the Wolf Squad. He was awarded a symbol of honour, and is one of the best captains in the universe. Notice the symbol consisting of a circle with an arrow through it. It appears emblazed on the front of his uniform.
The role of Captain Trips is to plan the battles and make the all important decision of how the Wolf Squad engages with the enemy.
The world was once at peace, with robots responsible for keeping it. However, the robot systems were sabotaged, and war was waging in a violent attempt to force the planet to bow to a new world order. Captain Trips and his squad clearly have their hands full in Machine and Human (I) which depicts the battle in the sky.
Machine and Human (II) focuses on the detail of ground-level military manoeuvers.
Welcome to Cronos
This is clearly one of the favourites of the Art Partners team. Welcome to Cronos depicts the story of robot life. Robots happen to live on a really peaceful planet which the humans hear about and decide to visit. Daniel tells us that Cronos is a good example of robots and humans getting along amicably. According to artist Sam Beard – with whom Daniel recently spent a few hours – Daniel has done a super job of creating a sense of depth in Welcome to Cronos by not using a solid line to delineate the base of the buildings.
Daniel spent a few hours one afternoon with Helen Seiver. They perused his portfolio and talked about Daniel’s wish to complete a written story and illustrate it. Helen suggested Daniel begin work on a cover illustration for his story. Daniel happens to do most of his drawing on his own, but responded very well to the challenge of drawing in public. In Helen’s presence, he completed the Orc Realm character for Realms (graphite on paper). Then, as an additional challenge, the Art Partners team proposed that Daniel recreate one of the drawings on a 9 x 5 inch panel for an upcoming collaborative project with Edith Cowan University. Daniel had no trouble obliging and his Orc Realm made a comfortable transition to the composite panel.
Other Intrigues: Bounty Hunters and Detectives
Daniel’s portfolio is chock full of characters and stories. The central character in The Bounty Hunters had a difficult childhood. When he became an adult, he couldn’t find a job and eventually became a bounty hunter. His toughness is evident.
Detective Mack is interesting in that it combines objects from different eras. Notice the mobile phone alongside the magnifying glass.
Curiosity Flows both Ways
During the time that Daniel spent with artist Sam Beard, there was a lot of discussion about Daniel’s drawings and his accompanying stories. Sam was clear that the stories behind the characters add another layer of depth to the drawings. Toward the end, time was taken to look at Sam’s visual diary which was full of intriguing bit and pieces including an etching Down on the Street.
Next for Daniel
See Daniel’s Orc Realm in an exhibition of 9 x 5 inch panels at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries from August 18 – 24. From there, Orc Realm will move to an exhibition at Edith Cowan University from August 28 – September 17.
Next for the Rest of Us
How about a little drawing? According to Campaign for Drawing patron Andrew Marr: “you’re educating yourself to understand the dance of colours and shapes all around you.” Who can resist that? Can you?