Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I have finished the 8 page prolog to GREW entitled, For The Public Good. I must sing the praises of my fellow Anthologists involved with the SteamPunk project we have going over at the Illopond.com They have done MAGNIFICENT work! If you haven't been introduced, please let me now do so.
Paul Caggegi of the Process Diary podcast He dose magnificent work in a 3D program called Blender his podcast centers on tutorials in Blender and are SEAMLESS! perfectly conducted to Whet the Appetite of any creative interested in trying their hand at 3D rendering.
Pauls contribution to the project is a Magnificent Asmiovian sci fi Chiller of a man transformed into an immortal, bound to the ship which has taken him to the end of the solar system.
DATA POINT take a peak at his process.
Mark Harmon of Harmon Illustration is a talent bound for greatness, and a great guy of which I am proud to associate with. His contribution is a comic Romp of a tale.
PEST CONTROL His Characters Conrad & Trigger provide a bit of light hearted Levity to the heaver segments of our book.
Lee Wiley of http://www.wileyillustration.com/ Strings an emotional and action packed story of young mans dream to find a world beyond the post apocalyptic dregs of an existence and find a purpose, a greater reason to his being. Thwarted, but never defeated in his quest.
Clint Sutton of http://www.clintsuttonart.com/ adds another Light hearted comic to the mix with his witty and warm hearted STARJUNKERS Clint hales from South Africa! What an experience to meet and work with such a talented brother. I hope for much more to come from our efforts here.

Zach Bosteel of http://zachbosteel.com/ brings some comic adventure to us through his story THOROUGHBRED When a Brilliant, if somewhat bungling inventor and impetuous daughter wrangle with the mishaps of his invention, a Steam Locomotive that is able to lay it's own tracks.
Warren Belfeild http://www.warrenbelfield.com/ shares with us a story of a Mans Duty to his family and country. A history of sacrifice in the name of liberty and it's all to human costs.
DECISIVE MOMENTS is a humanly heavy piece that will move you to question the cost of war.
Carsten Bradley has joined us to round out our 8 story anthology. his story;
Tamerlaine Waller & the Tentative Temporal Time Thief is a warm hearted tale of a Sleuthing Hamster named Tamerlaine Waller. His Arch nemesis, an evil Owl named Galbraith is not all what he appears to be.

Be sure to watch for a podcast interview posted to the Process Diary this week end.
five of us discuss what we are doing and why. I hope you listen in and even more, get involved in a project over at the Illopond.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

Process & Tutorials

    I'm still so new to digital art. I've been pounding away at it for almost three years, but I am FAR from concurring the beast! But when I learn something new, I've got to share how I put it to use.
Not long ago, I learned how to make an Image Hose in Painter 11 here Image Hose Tutorial
Now this is a risky tool. It can ruin a piece if overused, and I hope this will offer an example of proper usage.
   For the latest page of my Steampunk Anthology piece, I needed to picture plants growing over buildings, being poisoned by men in safety suits. It started with this photo I took a couple of years ago on a trip to New York City.  After a little noodling in Painter, I had this;    

Then came the fun Part! Making up the image hose.
Years ago I pressed some flowers in a poetry book. I fond them awhile back
and decided to scan them into the computer, and this is what I had.

Following the directions in the tutorial, I made an image hose from all, and while playing around with it found it to be the answer to my plant problems in this piece. The Aged, weathered & warn appearance of these pressed flowers from long ago worked perfectly along with some fall leaves processed in the same manner.    

 All the other elements worked up and combined, I think It worked out perfectly for the effect I was going for in this page.

Having trouble with the text tool in painter. My just be the font I've chosen, but I may need to use Pages to reassemble the page and fix the problem, but all in all I was really happy with the new process I discovered, and I think It worked out really well for this piece.    


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How collaboration brings about Progress

Some times in the solitude of the artistic life, you find yourself wondering if you have made any progress what soever. Locked in the fervent battle of line, value, composition and color, hours pass unnoticed, and when you come up for air, your mind can be so muddled that you can't make that distinction. I have concluded that it must be a rare individual that can subsist on their own with out the vantage point of an exterior view. I indeed wonder if such an individual exists. A truly successful individual that is. So I must give pause to praise those who give of themselves in an effort to lend their eyes, ears and voices, both literal and metaphorical to the encouragement and betterment of their fellow artists.
YES! Praise to the collaborative effort! To my Art buddies over at the http://Illopond.com      
       Just to demonstrate how you can benefit from the constructive criticism of other artists, here are a couple of pages from my contribution to "8 A SteamPunk Anthology" a "Before and After"
if you will, of how listening to the comments can motivate you to reach the next level in your creative life.
TA DAAA! Hows that? 

Well, I hope there have been improvements any way. Perhaps my muddled brain wishes, but I feel that it is a vast improvement in paneling as well as in the execution if the visuals. The befores were done a little over a year ago, and the afters I just finished up tonight.  
I think this highlights also the importance of letting go of the precious, realizing that even your best work, in your mind, can be made better if you are willing to do so. Case in point, I tried to cut corners and fidge  with the boys illustration in panel one and using it in panel four, COUGHT! thanks Mark! Ill hammer out another one. So I'm still not done with this one. Nice to know that even
completely rejected concepts, are beneficial in what you learn from their execution, so nothing is waste.         
You know, I think this is true not only as far as our artistic endeavors, but also for our growth as human beings.  We have to learn from each other and trust each other. Everyone has a perspective that is different from our own, and from that perspective we can find much which can be used to better ourselves.    

Friday, October 8, 2010

What lies Ahead

Our Steam Punk anthology project is moving right along, and it is affording me opportunity to rethink and retool some rejected concepts for GREW. 
This 8 page story will serve as a prequel to GREW and I hope will properly set the mood for the major work to follow. All of my book-mates have very strong projects in process, and I cant wait to show it all to the world! Our goal is to have the anthology wrapped up and at the printers by the end of February 2011, affording me opportunity to take along issues to Wondercon in San Francisco in April. All booth space in Artist Alley and in small press are full. I've submitted an application to get us on the waiting list. I just hope there are cancelations so we can represent.       

So we look hopefully to the future, and in the mean time breath life in to what is shaping up to be a stunning Project. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Steam Punk Prequel

I'm so excited about my latest side project. I am working again with the best group imaginable!
Mark Harmon, Chris Tupa, Lee Wiley, Clint Sutton,  Zack Bosteel, Myself, and a newbe to the group Jeremy Wilson, and perhaps a BIG surprise contributor (Hopefully more on that later)  are producing
yet another Anthology 8 project.  8 A Steam Punk Anthology. Geared for a mid to older teen audience this one promises to be one incredible book!  Here is a sneak peak!
Check out our first offering 8 a Kids Anthology it turned out So nice!
And don't forget to check out my first all ages comic available for the first time anywhere over at Indyplanet.com 
So excited about it. Please tell everyone you know!   
and come join in all the fun over at the Illopond.com Lots of Collaborating going on!!!  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Some thing new on the horizon

from and independent collaboration, Steamer 8, an Anthology of Tales.
samuel E. kirkman Jr. ©2010 

There is something new on the horizon. Something so compelling to artists that I think we would all do well to have a look. It's actually been germinating and growing right before us for some time now. I allude to the internet and the social networks that are transforming the way the world communicates. For artists, the line between consumer and producer is blurring.  Established professionals can now communicate directly,  instantly with their fans and friends making our circle an intimate one. The fact that it is global in scope seems oxymoronic doesn't it? An intimate global community of creators. For those of us who's dream  has been to share our musings with someone other than our friends siblings or spouse, is enormously significant. It is as if the doors long barred to the unknown, unrepresented and unpublished is perceptibly dissolving. More and more independently produced properties of startling resonance are being discovered by an insatiable audience. Evidence of this is in the increase of conferences, book fairs and self publishing events nation wide. Even at the major media events such as Wondercon in San Francisco, areas designated for exhibiting independent artists and publishers are filling up earlier than ever. last year space was available up until November of 2009, this year, all available space is already booked! APE the Alternative Press Exposition also in San Francisco,
is now twice the size it was just the year before! Independent Publisher offerings now command close to 20% of the industries annual product. Yes! This is something new! Something that all artists with a vision need to take notice of and get involved.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Anthology Project

Folks its official! 
Soon, this incredible little 64 page book will be available for purchase from 
Book mark it because round about November it will be up. 
Significant because, one, it has turned out to be an amazing kids book,
and two, it shows what is possible when the creators are in control of their own project. 
7 other author/artists and I found each other on the web, banded together, and for the sheer 
love of laughter and story hammered out this little puppy.

My hat is off to Mr Christopher Tupa ! He was the instigator of the whole incident and took charge of our layout and file prep.

and to Mr Ben Powis who provided the scene for the crime.
Imagine! creators from all over the globe banding together to accomplish such a feat.
Imagine too that you could be a part of it! The welcome matt is out to any creatives interested in developing similar projects. To get involved, start by taking a dip over at the;
See how our cadre formed and worked collectively to critique and edit each others work.
Further nods to;

Mark Harmon    http://harmonillustration.blogspot.com/ for his cover design and killer story Robo 6

Denver Wagner   http://denverwagner.blogspot.com/  for designing our table of contents, And     phenomenal The Call of Tooth Head

Michelle Kondrich   http://www.michellekondrich.com/ for her wacky     Pand In The Pantry  and for preparing our press release.

Craig Pirrall   http://craigpirrall.com/ for his Funny Go Froggy Go! and layout of our Bio Pages.

Lei Wiley   http://www.wileyillustration.com/    For his creative and colorful  Bradley's Crayons

   Collaboration is nothing new, but  in the way our little project has been accomplished, something new has been achieved. I really think we have stumbled on to something. Not that by our efforts we are trying to circumvent the Guardians at the Gates,  (One of the reasons we all became involved in such a project was to hopefully gain their attention.)  but perhaps we've helped lighten their load, so to speak. Like many out there minding the muse, our main objective is to bring smiles to as many faces as possible. 
So keep a watch for our lil Anthology project, and stay tuned, because we enjoyed this so much we have plans to do it all again! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Messages and meanings

         What do you think?

Should an artist concentrate on entertaining, 
or should they strive to inform, to enlighten, to
move an audience in some way?
Art, to which I am personally drawn, must have some
meaning, Some moral good or ethical truth that motivates
and inspires me to better myself. 
We are always encouraged to speak from our hearts, 
to pull from our own personal experiences.

              Risky business.

We all know the sting of an open heart, slapped by
the palm of indifference or rejection.


Meet a new character from GREW. 
Her name is Charlotte, inspired by a literal Charlotte, Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute. Charlotte's selfless efforts in promoting the work of her father Max Gerson in the face of ardent opposition by the modern medical community are, (in my opinion) an artistic expression in the truest sense. A Beautiful Truth,  Perhaps not with brush, paint, pen or ink, but with nutrition. With fresh, raw, organically grown produce and vegetable juices. With a vegan diet free from food additives, artificial colorings and preservatives. Things with which the Food Industry continues to envenom the public and which the American Food & Drug Administration continue to claim to be safe and non toxic. This in spite of the mounting evidence to the contrary. 

What dose all this have to do with GREW?  
We are integrally tied to our environment. It is an extension of our very being, not a place where we live.   The importance of our paying attention to what we eat, to what we drink, and to the air we breathe can not be avoided or ignored. GREW will explore a world which has all but eliminated it's natural environment, replacing it with a panoply of man made marvels to "improve" upon what fools in their ignorance have eradicated from the earth. More importantly, it will shed light on the ability of the environment to cleanse itself from such cancerous incursions. Like the human body, freed from toxic impediments, which can dissolve a malignant tumor.          


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Through seeming absence, progress is made.

It has been awhile since my last post, I apologize, but I have been very busy.
Vacation is coming, which will mean a trip back home to Texas, so I will be
absent again. Meanwhile, I hope this new page from GREW will be of
interest. Please leave any comments and I wish you a happy productive day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What art is, and what it can do.

   Close to five years ago I was moved to execute this piece.  Five years later, and the specter of its muse still haunts. I will reveal to you only that it's subject can easily be discovered in the morning paper and what spurred it's birth is an issue of great controversy, great sadness, great loss. Loss of innocence, loss of trust. An abhorrent deformation of human conduct and character that must not be overlooked, excused or dismissed. 
   I've always tried to bring something relevant to my work, convinced that as artists, no, as human beings, we have a responsibility to reveal what lay hidden in the imperfect mortal heart. By doing so, perhaps, we can expel, exorcise, eradicate such lesions in behavior so that no child should ever be so wickedly betrayed agin.

It is perhaps only stained glass, wood and florescent light, but if it is anything more, I suppose that that will be decided by those who view it.
Please leave a comment and share this post with others. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sorry for the delay, let us press on!

Spring is always one of the most difficult times of the year for me creatively. I'm burning inside to work on my properties, but the Physical and mental demands of the day job, saps every ounce of strength left at the end of the day. I have since just before Wondercon, finished a couple of pages to share. Hope you approve, and that you find yourself able to press on in spite of what life throws in your way.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Illustration Friday Brave

Thought this one worked well for the topic this week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Development of Character, or what is happening in my brain.

To future, not in the applied style of the story.

This Guy's more like it!

How the minister came to be.
I thought it might be of interest to some to lay bare a bit of my processes since method differs so much from artist to artist.
Like most, I do a lot of exploratory work in the beginning.
trying out different techniques in this faze and learning much
about these new digital tools in the process.
Once the character has been discovered, I then work in gradual steps to refine the visuals.
First a rough sketch which used to be done in pencil and then scanned into the machine.
Now I find it much more expedient to work directly from my Wacom Pad in Corel painter 11.
I still use the pencil brush tool in the rough sketch faze, usually with a burnt umber-ish color.
I then Refine the rough sketch further using the blending tool. my workhorse blender is the smooth tool. By playing with the bleed, re-saturation and opacity sliders, I push the pixels laid down in the initial sketch to a more finished point. Then I raise the drawing to a water color layer. I can then start to explore the color of the piece with a mid or half tones approximating local color.
I then pull out of my box of tricks, the old burn & dodge tools. these two tools not only allow the variation of value & tonal qualities, but they also do wonderful & unexpected things with color leading to all the happy accidents that I love. Then, more noodling with the blending tools to refine even further. To finnish, I then raise this stage to a water color layer and with a grayed, complementary color, plot out the shadows and refine those again with the smooth blending tool. add finishing details and then the piece is ready to incorporate into the panel, and then finally into the page.
Lulled into a vision, our protagonist is about to be rudely brought back into the real world.
More to come on both story development as well as GREW itself.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Perspective I.F.

A piece inspired by the music of Ian Narcisi of Ianmusic.com
The song is Burning. You can give it a listen to at his site by checking out the link above.
please do, he is incredibly talented.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I.F. Propagate

The Farmer in the dell,
The Farmer in the dell,
High ho, the merry Oh,...

The Graphic Novelist Network is growing!!!

almost a year ago I tried to start an online private critique group for people interested in sequential art. Poor little site didn't see much action until last week when Chris Oatley at Chrisoatley.com posted his Classic Monster, Classic Lit Mash up assignment.
head on over to the site to check it out. It was loads of fun to participate.
I extended and invitation for those who participated to join and so far several of them have.
Thanks to:

Christopher Tupa of http://tupa2008.blogspot.com/

Thanks to all of you for Joining the GNN!
I hope you will benefit and enjoy being a part of the group as much as I will!


Please check out their sites, There work is AWESOME!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Adrift, Illustration Friday 02/13/2010

a little added color
Adrift, without a care, for there is peace... everywhere.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

IF Muddy

Making our challenge useful.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Illustration Friday Focused

From a simple sketch at work to a finished illustration. This weeks challenge affords me an excellent opportunity to do just that, FOCUS my efforts to attain my goals.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, The New GREW

I've been feverishly working to a polish a new view of my book GREW.
I hope to have a good bit ready to show at Wondercon this April in San Francisco.
Yes... I know, it is quite different than my All ages Graphic Novel OUWANGALAYMAH!
yet both works live in me in tandem. One vie ing for attention from the other.
GREW is now getting the lions share of my time.
Perhaps I may be a bit premature in revealing the new look of a work I started not quite one year ago, but being terribly predisposed to a lack of patience, and quite prone to, as they say, jumping the gun, I can't help myself. so here, for your paroosel, I give you

More is on the way.