28. December 2009

By compiling the 1998-2008 Retrospective I've learned how useful it is to review the own work after some time. And what would be a better occasion to do that then the end of the year?

So, let's see if 2009 brought anything new!

( And to those who do not care so much about my ramblings: just enjoy the paintings!)

Abstract journeys

2009 started abstract. I guess I simply had to relax a bit after the holidays.

'Heaven and Hell' - 2009 - Photoshop

Although these artworks were created for the pure joy of painting and composing color, I did not want to paint completely abstract. I always tried to at least hint at some kind of representational scene.

'Diestel' - 2009 - Photoshop

'Rust Cathedral' - 2009 - Photoshop

A fun experiment was the "deconstruction" of an artwork I painted at work. I liked the colors and just wanted to bring them into a new composition.

'Dark Seraphim Deconstructed' - 2009 - Photoshop

The original artwork:

'Dark Seraphim' - 2009 - Photoshop

'Lava Gate' - 2009 - Photoshop

Getting more real

These abstract paintings made me feel more and more comfortable with bold, opaque and expressive brushstrokes. I had already started to use opaque brushstrokes in 2008. However, I really needed some time to let all the happy accidents happen that come with this style and to come to the conclusion, that rough does not only mean "unfinished" but also "breathing". I tried to apply these qualities to more representational paintings as well.

'Treecave' - 2009 - Photoshop

'Jungle' - 2009 - Photoshop

In my first fully representational illustration of 2009 I tried to keep the fresh look of expressive brushstrokes. 'Celephais' is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

'Celephais' - 2009 - Photoshop

The loose brushwork helps to keep certain abstract qualities alive in the paintings. At least that's what I think about it.

'Flaming Cosmos' - 2009 - Photoshop

Finding the edge

After having discovered some clever post processing in the comics of The Black Frog I started to experiment with the "Find Edges" filter in Photoshop. The filter automatically puts a thin outline between contrasting regions which then can be overlayed onto the painting.

'Ice Fortress' - 2009 - Photoshop

I instantly loved the effect and used it to at least some degree in most of my following artworks.

'Sea Temple' - 2009 - Photoshop

I needed some time to figure out what I liked about the effect so much. I think it is that the fine lines reminded me of japanese woodcut prints. I especially like the way this effect suggests an elaborate drawing on top of the painting which puts even the smallest brushstroke into a seemingly predestined place. There are also hints to the artwork of Alphonse Mucha in this look, which I also really like.

'Quarzmine' - 2009 - Photoshop


I haven't shown much of my regular everyday sketches on this website yet. Mostly this is because they are not too interesting to look at. However, here's a small compilation of the more fancy ones I've done this year. All sketches were created in Photoshop.

I like the little scene in the lower right corner

Some Captain Orion sketches compiled from different pages

Some high contrast thumbnails

This last page shows some small sketches of which some evolved into the following quick color studies.

'Red Bandana' - 2009 - Photoshop

'Jungle Scene' - 2009 - Photoshop

'Asteroid Outpost' - 2009 - Photoshop

Sometimes, the fastest way to capture an idea is to directly put it down in color without any prelimary sketching. I mostly do this if my mental image is more about general color and light impressions and not so much about the concrete form of objects. The objects will then have to be designed later in the process.

In these sketches I tried to visualize a scene from "Celephais" by H.P. Lovecraft

Some rough color sketches for a series of Captain Orion paintings

However, my most common approach this year was based on a small sketch...

Sketch for 'Welcome to the Wormworld' - 2009 - Photoshop

... followed by a rough color composition ...

Color composition for 'Welcome to the Wormworld' - 2009 - Photoshop

... and culminating in the final rendering of light and detail.

'Welcome to the Wormworld' - 2009 - Photoshop

2010, I'm coming!

So, that was a small collection of artwork from this year. There's a lot more but I picked my favorites out of the pile. Of course I also spent a lot of time designing this new website. In fact, most of my more elaborate artworks were created for the header illustrations you'll find throughout the pages. It did not make sense to me to feature them here again (except for the Wormworld Saga header illustration above).

2009 was really interesting for me in many aspects, some of which I'm not able to tell you about just yet. Let's say that I found a lot of new impulses and goals and that there is plenty of things for me to share with you in the coming year. I'm now getting prepared for my Wormworld Saga online graphic novel project which I will start to work on directly in January. Make sure to visit my Blog in order to catch the latest news about it and all the other stuff I'm working on!

Thanks for your interest in my artwork and a happy year 2010 for all of you!

'Colorful Scene' - 2009 - Photoshop

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