Bushrangers hold a prominent place in Australian folklore. Many are romanticised, having been made the subject of poems, songs and tall tales that weave equal amounts of embellishment and truth into their fabric.
Two such figures are Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner, bush rangers in the mid 1800s whose names have been firmly carved into Australian history. Both men feature on the labels for the Cumulus Wines ‘At Large’ Bushranger Collection.
For Dede Putra, who has previously illustrated historical imagery for publishing clients, these historic figures make the perfect subject matter to stretch the mind and showcase his talents.
“I really enjoyed researching the era and reading about the outrageous acts of these bushrangers,” says Dede, who was briefed to create the figures for these wine labels in a style similar to ink drawings from a 19th century wanted poster.
Dede’s biggest challenge was to achieve a naive look similar to that of the time.
“Many illustrations of that era have a less refined look,” comments Dede. “This is probably because they were rushing to meet a deadline, and because the drawing was only based on eyewitness stories. The paper and printing press technology of that time would also have contributed to the wonkiness of the drawing line.”
In order to achieve the look the client was after, Dede deliberately created an uneven ink brush using a softer black ink colour and looser proportions.
The illustrations turned out perfectly according to our client, creating a set of wines that any bushranger would have set their sights on.