Friday, 27 February 2009

Biggins the Kid (2001)

Here's an old image from 2001 entitled Biggins the Kid. Though it's stylistically obsolete, I've always had a fondness for this one.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

A Quick Slideshow

Here is a wee slide show. Just whacked it together to show the best of my drawing over the last 12 months, (which is essentially how long I have been drawing properly again after my 5-year hiatus). Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Illustration Friday: Instinct

For this week's Illustration Friday, I decided to come up with a very simple idea and take my time doing it. Having said that, this was produced surprisingly quickly and the result is the above image. There are a few issues I couldn't work out, and may revisit this in the weeks ahead to correct some of those issues. I suspect this is the most photo-realistic piece I've done to date.

And before anyone mentions Little Red Riding Hood - believe it or not I was halfway through drawing this before it even occured to me that the theme was similar. When I realised this I changed the girl's hoody from grey to red as a last minute acknowledgement.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Character Posters Through the Years

As promised in the previous blog, here is a brief history of my Character Posters.
Over the last 10 years I've attempted many, but to date only four have been completed, namely the versions from 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2009. Here they are;


I always had a mandate in mind that I should do one of these posters every year, I suppose the main reason being that my cartoons use several different styles and I used to like drawing them all together to see where I could merge the styles together. I was always worried that by employing different styles I was confusing my development, (hence by the time I drew the third one in 2001 all characters were drawn similarly). Lately, I've realised that having different styles only adds to the overall diversity, so in the latest one I have drawn each one as different as necessary. A couple of these include characters designed by my colleague Nathan Manders, as a nod to our history or collaborations.

Anyway, the current 2009 batch of characters looks as follows;

Over the last year I have been drawing each character seperately and adding the designs to a reference database, and this means I can pluck any character out at any time and use it in any context (such as a character poster). By this April (12 months after beginning the project) I should be able to add several more characters to this picture. So, watch this space.


The Characters of Jim Rowland (2004)

Here is the most recent precursor to the current banner (character poster). Drawn in 2004 it is the third such character poster in the archives. I shall present the previous 2 over the coming days.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Biggins & Company Band (2004)

One of the last drawings I did towards the end of my time at university (before I had to get a job!!) was this band image of Biggins and Company. Every character was drawn seperately and added to the composition within Photoshop. The guitars Biggins and Charlie are playing are both based on guitars I actually own in real life.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Waking Up In Wonderland (2003) Re-edit

video

Okay - here is a film I never thought would see the light of day... it's called Waking Up in Wonderland and it was my first big project during my last year of university in 2003/04. In the planning stages the idea was promising and it seemed that I might have a good film on my hands. Ultimately, it just didn't develop as I had wanted.

You'll noticed that it's a wee bit on the pretencious side (a classic failing of many art students) and it didn't help that the story was a bit too melancholy. Yes, it was based on myself and in the end that decision came back to bite me on the bum-bum.

Well, when I dug it out this evening it was so badly edited that I had to make some hasty adjustments before uploading it. Gone is 90% of the live action from the start, gone is the original title sequence, and gone is the very ending. I've now included a new piece of music called Follow Me Home (by my good friend Raoul McGurk) to act as background/mood music, and I've also thrown in some effects...in a some-what hap-hazard fashion.

It's still a pile of poo but seeing how much time I put into planning this thing in 2003, I figured it deserved a base level of exposure.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Illustration Friday: Celebrate

This week's Illustration Friday topic was Celebrate. When I came around to doing this picture an hour ago, I was in a rather strange mood and didn't want to pour hours of time into drawing something, so I just started drawing in pen with the aim of messing it around in Photoshop. The above image is the fruits of that endeavour.
Don't ask me to explain it because I can't. I guess you could call it a mood piece as I took a very instictive approach. it does have a weird 1980's vibe which I must confess to liking.
This is Jim Rowland Creations at it's most abstract!

Caligo (2004)

video

This is Caligo, my final film while at university

Starhog 1997-2004

Here, to conclude my current period of introspection, is a brief timeline of Biggins & Company's primary mode of transportation; Starhog.
Origially concieved of in 1997, Starhog made it's first appearance in the a comic called The Invasion, drawn during one of my school holidays in the summer (remember those? Six weeks of bliss!!)
It went through a brief period of evolution then settled into a basic design that would be used over and over again, most notably in the infamous Biggins Versus Burrow 13 comic by me and Nathan Manders, drawn in 1999 (and still being worked on believe it or not!).

This image basically comprises of some of the best images of Starhog in chronological order, as seen in comic, cartoon and animation.

Whether or not Starhog will ever come out of retirement is a question that even I cannot yet answer. I was always quite taken with it's design though - it is so simple... just four big spheres thrown together to make a spaceship - how simply can you get!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Biggins & Charlie: A Historical Introspection

Having recently blogged about my last ever comic (drawn back in 2004) I feel it would be equally as interesting to cover the subject of my two first proper comics... drawn in 1996. Not surprisingly, both my last and first comics both feature my most famous character; Biggins (originally called "Biggles" as a piss-take of the books by Captain WE Johns).

These two comics were drawn on landscape A3 paper on my family's diningroom table, and the second one introduces the well-known character; Charlie the Pig.

This is the first one. it's entitled "Biggles Learns to use the Phone"



And here is the second, entitled "Biggles Makes the D.I.Y. Sewage Factory"

I feel the point of viewing these is by way of personal comparison. I like to look at these characters, comparing how they're drawn now in 2009, to how they were drawn in 1996.
Biggins has changed the most, though I think I still see a vague hint of the old design in the new.

But here we an see that, although the drawing quality has improved, Charlie is still essentially a naked pig, and thus, his design has has deviated far less than his companian's.
My fascination with these two characters is rooted in the fact that they are my pilots (almost literally). Whenever I devise a new drawing style or a new way of drawing/colouring a style, I try it on these two guys first. They're my plastecine models and have usually been the first to exhibit any new skill I pick up.
Well anyway, back to the present. I shall be embarking upon my first new Biggins comic venture in the coming weeks and this wee blog explaination may prove useful in the days ahead.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Disco Charlie

Not quite sure why I drew this, or when for that matter! Really like this though - can't think why I never finished it.

Waking Up In Wonderland; Screenshots

Leading on from the above image, here are three screenshots from the film Waking Up In Wonderland. These may not be the best screenshots, but they're the only three I have lying around on my PC.

Waking Up In Wonderland, Title Comic

In 2003 I began work on an animation entitled "Waking Up In Wonderland". The story revolved around a comic artist (played by me) who becomes so obsessed with his work drawing comics that upon falling asleep at his work desk, he wakes up inside his own imagination (hence the wonderland reference as an obvious nod to Alice in Wonderlnd). The above comic was used in a title sequence at the beginning of the film, which basically summed up part of the plot.
The words in the speech bubbles are a poem by Edgar Allan Poe which talks about dreams within dreams.
The main reason I have put this up, is that it is officially the last comic I ever drew. It was drawn in 2004 just after the film was completed, and since then I've never drawn a proper comic. Well, this is of key interest to me because over the next few weeks I plan to put an end to the silence and finally draw a new comic. This image will serve as my best comparison when that day comes.

Untitled Dragon Character

I went digging through some archives from my time at University today and found a few images I thought I'd lost. I shall post two now...
The first is the above Dragon character. He was designed as a replacement for a nightclub mascot (already a dragon but badly conceived). In the end I think he went un-used, but I feel quite fond of this little chap's cheerful disposition. I think I shall name him Dennis.
I think when designing him I just ripped off my own Charlie design and made it green!!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Illustration Friday: Time


I've always had a preoccupation with time and the changes it brings. Whether they be on a personal note, cliche milestones or of a scientific nature, these changes always seem to be part of a larger unstoppable force - against which we have no defense.
For this image I have spelt out some of the the big stages of life. Not everybody goes through the pub phase but I threw it in anyway. Originally there was an image of a graveyard at the end, but I didn't want the image to be overwhelmed by the morbid finality of the subject. I wanted to revel in the various stages without an undue sense of conclusion!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed

This week Illustration Friday gave us the word "Flawed" to illustrate. Already having a fairly full plate this week, I decided to make this image very quickly - one might say "cheap and cheerful". The result is the image you see above. I've opted for a musical theme for Illustration Friday before, but I rather liked the idea of Biggins playing a violin very badly, and people around him comitting suidice out of desperation - thus illustrating the flaws in Biggins' playing.
This was eventually considered too time-costly, so I simplified the idea to Biggins simply playing a violin (neither well nor poor), and Charlie simply reacting in an over-the-top fashion. For a quick image it's turned out...okay.