Jul 22, 2013

100 Heads in 100 Days #56 - A look at Jim Murray

Okay, today I'm going to talk about another artist I really like, an artist I've only really been a fan of for the last couple of years, though I've been aware of him for considerably longer.

I present to you... Jim Murray

I first came across Jim's artwork a good 10 years ago. He did some of the packaging artwork for the TV show Spaced (another Simon Pegg reference!). He also did some of the artwork, I believe, that Pegg's character, Tim, a comic artist, drew.

Then some of his artwork started popping up in a few Magic the Gathering blocks, namely the Mirrodin and Kamigawa cycles. Over the years, he has produced artwork for about 75 Magic cards, here are a couple of my personal favourites -
Gaea's Herald
Bramblewood Paragon
Pentark Paladin

He has also created some fantastic work for the World of Warcraft card game -
A Final Blow
Kavai the Wanderer

Then, last year, he produced a digital comic for Dota 2. I HIGHLY recommend reading it, it's amazingly good, probably in my Top 5 favourite comics of all time. It is quite simply some of the best painted comic art I have ever seen.

Most recently, Jim and writer Robbie Morrison produced the lavishly illustrated comic called Drowntown. I picked up my copy of the hardcover a couple of days ago and it is really great. It's a large format comic and just feels good in your hands. Get it.

So what is it about Jim's art that I like? Well, I think the thing that attracts me the most is his pure skill as an illustrator. He can obviously do many things incredibly well. His nature stuff is vibrant and has the haphazard wildness that is a great representation of how nature actually works. His knowledge of anatomy and technical things is right up there too. He seems to be at home drawing anything from a tautly muscled forearm to a piece of made-up tech that looks as though it could actually work.
I also really like how he balances realism with caricature. Many of his faces are obviously heavily exaggerated, but he uses such solid and subtle rendering and lighting that the effect is quite remarkable.
Lastly, he's a great one for using unusual angles to play with drama and heighten story. I would say it is cinematic, but I think it goes beyond that to a sort of super-view effect. Much like his figures and features, the angles that Jim presents are often on an extreme level.

Most artists have a few things that are part of their signature style and become what they are known for. Some of these artists will have a few more special skills to add to their arsenal that makes them even greater. I think Jim Murray is one of these artists. He seems capable of drawing anything with no drop in skill and manages to retain his style no matter what he is doing. He can also adapt his work to suit the subject, again, without a style or skill drop.
That's impressive.

Thus ends our brief look at the art of Jim Murray.

100 Heads in 100 Days #56
Skeelig the Goblin
Me Fact #56
I cut my own hair and have done so for the last 7-8 years, I just shave it a number 4 every couple of months and I'm good to go. I've saved a fortune on hairdressers and I usually leave the cuttings out for birds to use for nesting up in the woods.

1 comment:

WA_side said...

Can I also have Skeelig please?

I put off reading through blogs with a little more text until I have time to appreciate them, which means my reader can get pretty chockas. Much as I dislike that massive unread count, I like to have the time to immerse in what I'm reading and not just skim through it. I guess I'm leading towards saying how much I enjoy reading about all of these artists and aspects of life that I haven't experienced before, even if it does mean I can't always read the posts as often as I would like.