Jim Burns (2)

Sep 6th, 2010 | Categories: Airbrush / Realistic | Art | Illustration | Jim Burns | Sci-Fi

Jim Burns Sci-Fi Illustration

Jim Burns Sci-Fi Illustration

Jim Burns Sci-Fi Illustration

A return to rip-roaring, full on Sci-Fi Illustration here with 3 samples from the vast portfolio of Welsh Artist Jim Burns (born in Cardiff, April 1948). Jim’s enjoyed a long highly successful career since graduating from London’s St Martins School of Art in 1972, and has an instantly recognisable style, he was also one of the major contributors – along with other British artists such as Angus Mckie, Chris Moore and Peter Elson – to the highly popular Terran Trade Authority series of books, published back in the late 70′s. Other career high points include working with Ridley Scott (also a St Martins Graduate) on his 1982 Sci-Fi Film Noir BladeRunner, and winning the Hugo award for best professional artist three times, most recently in 2005.

Some notes then on the featured images:

Top: “Scoutship Pilot” – This Illustration comes from the book “Planet Story” written by Harry Harrison in 1979, it’s available on Amazon here: This image (which I’ve cropped) was originally scanned and posted by occasional Sci-Fi-O-Rama collaborator Jeff Love over at the excellent, Jeff’s been very busy posting new content to Ski-ffy recently, so if you’ve not checked it out for a while I highly recommend a visit! With regards to the piece itself, this is an excellent example of what defines much Jim’s work, a beautiful girl in a figure hugging outfit posed at the helm of advanced craft, obviously that’s typical subject matter for much Sci-Fi Art, but Jim handles it with real verve – love her hair!

Middle: “Exordium 4 – The Rifters Covenant” (thanks Ed!) Image is sourced via the Hungarian Fantasy/Erotic art horde I picked this sample to really highlight Jims strength when working with colour, a great mix of super saturated orange, vivid ultra-marine really make the girls drab olive uniform leap out, there’s also a nice military feel to the general styling, Jim’s work definitely has a slightly darker edge than most of his peers – oh yeah, love the furry gremlin things!

Bottom: This piece is a great demonstration of lighting, rendering and texture and again, slightly embarrassingly I don’t know the title or source!


For more info and Artwork check Jim’s official website with a chance to buy prints, books, and originals. His Wikipedia profile:

Comments 15

  1. Raj Bhaskar says:

    I thought I recognised the name but it took me a moment to remember that I’ve got this fabulous print by the same artist hanging pride of place on my wall :).

  2. Kie says:

    That’s pretty cool – very nice Raj!

  3. Ed. Grove says:

    The title of the middle arwork is apparently “Exordium 4 – The Rifters Covenant”. Sold last year through Jane Frank, dammit : / An almost perfect artwork.

  4. Kie says:

    Cheers for the tip Ed, I’ve made the edit

  5. Jeff says:

    Hi Kieran,

    The bottom image is from Jim’s collaboration with Harry Harrison “Planet Story” – I don’t think the image has a title (funnily enough I was going to post it on my post about the book last week) but it depicts “RRAGG” – a Railroad and Ground Grader – sort of like a robot that lays locomotive tracks!

  6. Adam says:

    I love the recent stuff youve been putting on but this is the terran trade stuff I was looking for when I found this blog so I was psyched to see these!

  7. Kie says:

    Cheers Adam :)

    Yeah was nice to add Jim’s gorgeous SF Illustrations into the mix as I realise not everything I post is as “far out “

  8. I was just about to chime in that the last image is from Planet Story but looks like Jeff beat me to it. That one is well worth seeking out for Burns fans – its the period of his work I think I enjoy most.

  9. Wayne Haag says:

    Agreed Dan.. To this day I still think his Planet Story era paintings are compositionally his strongest work. His palette back then was more refined and subtle which I actually prefer. Either way, always awesome to see Jim’s work no matter what colours he uses!! Thanks for posting..

  10. draw says:

    yeah I prefer that period as well

  11. [...] art. There’s usually something good going, but recent features on French SF illustrations, British SF artist Jim Burns (whose work graced the covers of any number of the SF books I read as a teenager in the 1980s) and [...]

  12. trav28 says:

    Jim is one of the greats! Superb site, btw. I find sci-fi is pretty much my muse and Jim is one of my inspirations….

    Keep up the great work!

  13. [...] credit : Jim Burns) Filed under: Music Comment [...]

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