Featured Bat-Artist: Jim Hopkins

Pimp My Batmobile

I have long been an admirer of artist Jim Hopkins’ work. Jim is an illustrator living in New Jersey and in addition to traditional illustration techniques, he has developed something he calls “3D Art” that I think is really amazing. I first saw his ’66 bat-themed work many years ago and was blown away by the process. It is very hard to describe in text or over the internet. It has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. But here’s Jim’s description:

 “I always wanted to be an animator and was fascinated by the multi-plane cameras created by Disney Studios and how animators used it to create a 3d effect in animation movies. My art has the same basic principle. each illustration is cut out by hand with an exacto knife then all the whited edges from the cuts are hand painted to match the illustration. each illustration is accompanied by one to two sheets of glass, sometimes I will have to paint portions of the illustration right on the glass. For example if I do a space illustration the stars, explosions and some of the planets will be painted directly onto the glass. Sometimes I use prints of the illustration and other times I use the original art either drawn on paper or painted on mylar then carefully cut out with an exacto postioned  on the glass with a divider between each illustration usually 1/2 inch. The materials include no less then 3 sheets of glass, depending on the complexity of the 3d. I have used up to 8 glass panes.”

Gator board or foam core is used as the dividers that are built up in sections to separate each illustration and lock in the the sheets of glass. There are anywhere from 3 to 5 levels of illustrations again depending on the complexity of the 3D. Some times 1 level can have a half dozen different illustrations in it or more. From start to finish A 3D illustration can take anywhere from a couple months to a couple years depending on the complexity.  

“Right now I have a 3d Star Wars space piece im working on with over 30 different illustrations on five separate dividers including over 20 Tie- Fighters, 3 XWings, the Millenium Falcon, explosions, a planet, the Death star and a couple thousand stars. I’ve been working on this piece off and on for over 2 years now. “

Jim Hopkins works in color and black and white and can be commissioned. Mediums include, acrylic paint, water color, pen and ink,  and color pencil. All of the art featured here is available in 3D format as well as traditional prints.  His work is available through our site online and we will be featuring it in our ordering page soon, or you can contact him directly at jhopkins007@comcast.net

Jim is also a Batmobile Pimper:

(More of Jim’s art and batmobile customizing can be found on the message board)

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