Serbin Creative, Inc.

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Mark Samuel

illustration of This image was commissioned by the Hampshire Field Club. Nothing of this building survived  above foundation level  The first step was to reconstruct a 2-D plan of the priory.  The wireframe image was then printed out at A2 scale and transferred to paper using a lightbox.  The remainder was done with different hardnesses of pencil + grey matter.
illustration of This aerial view of the historic Blackfriars shows what a helicopter would have seen over the south west of the City of London in about 1530.  The view is taken looking north-west. The image is based on extensive archaeological recording of the friary and the analysis of old maps of the area.
illustration of A recent excavation of University property in Cambridge revealed part of the long-demolished friary.  The image was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust because victims of the Black Death were excavated there.  The cut-away format was specified by the client to allow as much as possible of the interior of the friary to be seen, including the funeral of one of the excavated patrons in the Chapter House.
illustration of This was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to show a burial ground connected to St John's College (then a hospital)   These burials revealed the first genetic remains of medieval Bubonic Plague  (Yursinia Pestis) to be excavated.  It required much study to conjecture the appearance of the hospital at this date.
illustration of *This shows a scene from an unwritten novel about the WW2 bomber offensive in England.  The chapter deals with the untold story of an imaginary
illustration of This incident is loosely based on 'Affaire de Coeur' in
illustration of This trial image shows a distressing incident in the 1828 work updated for the modern world with an imaginary BBW opera  singer and an equally imaginary hedge fund manager. The incident depicts Stendhal's advice to a woman who needs to quickly crush a would-be lover's hopes (page 48).  The viewer can predict the next moment.  The medium is particularly suitable for her silk dress and the gallery exhibition.  The reactions of the other party-goers are provided.
illustration of 'Laughing Diplomat' is the autobiography (1936) of an Italian diplomat, Daniele Vare, This image imagines the incident when the convent opposite his family villa in Rome complains about his half-Scottish daughters' immodest tree-climbing.  This image is done  entirely from the imagination.
illustration of Wyndham Lewis' 1918 work


I have a family where architecture was/is a dominant interest. This has expressed itself in a variety of forms. My father was a modern architect and one of his house is today listed. My sister is a professor of Architecture. Several of my ancestors were water-colourists; or otherwise concerned themselves with art, scholarship and literature, I was brought up in a house full of pictures and books; in that respect being very privileged.. However, I was more interested in archaeology, in which I have worked continuously since 1981 - specialising in the study, analysis and reconstruction of buildings, long-destroyed and only known from archaeological excavations. It follows that my training was largely pre-CGI/CAD. This informs my style to this day. I always enjoyed using pencil and watercolour to record buildings and landscapes. I was virtually self-educated, developing an individual style. I particularly admire the Norfolk school (Cotman, Bonington). As a self-taught person, it has never occurred to me to follow any "-ism". I left institutional employment in 2001 and have since worked as a freelance archaeological specialist. It became apparent that 'heritage interpretation' was as vital as it was overlooked, Since 2014, I have worked on several reconstruction diorama projects. Clients appreciate that 3-D comprehension of excavated evidence is non-negotiable as a tool of inclusiveness. it is therefore vital to see it as part of the interpretative process. There is no Prince-Charles approved purity in my approach however which can more accurately described as "steam-punk"! I use CAD to model the subject and then (once the client has made their choice) select a fixed viewpoint. Detail at that stage is minimal. The basic forms are modelled using the simplest "two-and-a-half D" techniques. The 'block' view, once ready, is transferred to watercolour paper using a lightbox (I told you this was primitive!). The final image is then painted - yes - painted with fine detail provided by eye and mind. This allows freedom with an inimitable range of colours and textures + a convincing degree of messiness and dilapidation where appropriate. I started painting 'illustrations' for practice with some props and models. Experimentation in getting the 'look' of things and people was the aim. The images reproduced here are in part based on real literature. Others are parodies of genres. The themes invariably have a historic bent - usually comic. I hope you enjoy them.


Caricature, Graphic, Line, Line with Color, Mixed Media, Painterly, Pencil, Realism, Watercolor, Whimsical, Graphic Recording


Action, Architecture, Character Development, Children's Books, Education, Historical, Information Graphics, Landscape, People, Religious, Romance, Technology, Americana, Agriculture, Vintage / Retro, Feminine, Masculine, Ethnic, Edgy, Urban