In 2002 I spent a lot of time to refine my digital painting technique. By this time I had started to create the drawings for my paintings directly in Photoshop. I painted over them but there were always remains of the initial drawing left in my paintings. Also I did not always use the right brush size and painted a lot of thinly scribbled lines in the backgrounds which, looking at it now, were quite ugly.
When I encountered the work of Jake Parker I was so inspired by his 'Missile Mouse' comics that I created a fan artwork which shows his character with human proportions and realistic rendering of light and shadow.
Participation in online communities gave me plenty of opportunities to work on my painting skills. Online forums constantly fuled my motivation for example with topic threads were everyone would paint artworks of a specific theme. 'Jedi' and 'Mafia' were two of the bigger themes in 2002.
Inspiration also came from computer games. The gamers of 2002 played 'WarCraft III' (and did not yet know that there soon would be a whole 'World of WarCraft' opened up for them).
The whole fantasy theme resonated quite strongly within me and most of my artwork in 2002 contained some sort of knight or ork or both. Fantasy artwork also was a good opportunity for me to paint a wide spectrum of different materials.
On of my larger paintings of 2002 was 'Ironknight' which today I regard as a typical material study of these days. There are all my favorite materials in that painting - different metals, leather, fabric, fur - and there's a total lack of meaning in the figure and pose. However, the painting was incorporated in Ballistic Publishing's 'ExposÚ 2' artbook, which was my very first achievement in the international art community and made me really proud.
By the end of 2002 I had gained much more control over my digital brushes. I learned to deviate from the initial drawing and to define forms with color alone. I concentrated very much on how I was painting and not so much on what it was. The internet provided a constant stream of themes and I painted right away in order to figure out how things were done.
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