Nathan Hackett Combining Collage and Drawing with Intricate Detail

Posted at 12 pm on September 18, 2013 by

Posted in: Ink Illustration, Pencil Illustration, Photoshop

It’s obvious that an incredible amount of work goes into each of Nathan Hackett’s illustrations, the time spent can be seen in the detail. For what is achieved in the final pieces, it’s time well used. Every millimetre is filled with his intricate drawings and sketchy textures, creating images with so much to enjoy each time.

As he goes on to explain, his work is a combination of drawing and a process of stitching together pieces from here and there.

I think what is particular about my practice is that I like to explain my process as similar to collage. I make laboriously hand rendered monochromatic pencil and ink markings that are then constructed together on screen (it gives me ownership but also room for the quirks of the vernacular that ‘collage’ sometimes has).

I draw all the elements separately, which has its benefits because I can work out the elements as I go and if things aren’t working, I don’t have to be too precious.

nathan hackett-wartime planes

It’s therapeutic (pathological) to have a methodology that is or can be quite mathematical and structured. I do think it’s important to have a harmony between what I can do digitally and traditionally so, in the edit, I still prefer to draw on paper in case something comes out I wasn’t expecting and I have a heavy reliance on the paper I use, how I mistreat my scanner or the gradient of the pencils (although it tends to be on the softer end of the spectrum).

I do draw small though, and I’m very un-dynamic with my gestures when I use either my brush pen, fine nibs or mechanical pencils; I imagine the verb to be ‘dabbing’.

I should say, there is so much playing with the composition that I have a special sketchbook for that where anything goes; iconographic at best (because who’s going to see?). I have another for observational sketches, one for life drawing but my most used and deteriorating is my notebook.

Most of my images are perhaps made in an editorial reaction with a focused narrative and are charged from my written ideas or stories that I translate graphically.

An inevitable recurring theme in my work is urban and concrete structures that I think portrays me more cynically than I naturally am (not enough people celebrate their cynicism).


nathan hackett-coffee cup

nathan hackett-sketchbook sometimes awful

nathan hackett-desk space

nathan hackett-nathan hackett

© Nathan Hackett, 2013