Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Milestone 300th Post - 1955-56 Chevy

Three hundredth blog post! It is my pleasure to have been able to have this blog. And I hope you have enjoyed it thus far. I have done my best to provide an interesting and informative narrative, with high quality images.

I plan on continuing to bring you more informative content and images.

Today's image is a 1955-56 Chevy Convertible. I used similar graphic techniques as other recent images. The photograph was taken at the Frankenmuth, Michigan Auto Festival 2009 by Kent M. Gatzka.

I used Paint.NET for the Ink Sketch look and KPT's Collection Lens Flare for the highlighting the gleam of the sunlight. In PhotoPaint I re-sampled the image and added a small black frame. I also used the Tone Curve to give more depth to the colors.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Polly Come Home Cover

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blast from The Past - Twin Pines Milk Truck

Those of you who grew up in Southeast Michigan may remember this gem from your youth. This "Twin Pines Farms" milk truck reminds me of the days of milk delivery to our home as I grew up. That's when milk came in glass bottles and had cream at the top of the bottle when you opened it.

This photograph was taken by my brother Kent M. Gatzka at the Frankenmuth, Michigan Auto Festival 2009. I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and heavily cropped it to show the details of this memory. I saved the file and reopened it in Paint.NET to apply the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter, boosting the color and keeping the ink outlines clear.

Saving that I opened it in PhotoPaint again and using KPT's Collection's Lens Flare I added a yellow-orange lens flare to the image. I used the Adjust> Tone Curve> to bring depth of color to the image which was slightly over exposed due to the bright sunlit day. This placed the emphasis on the focal points of the lens flare across the image and the bright yellow and green's of the truck.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Love Struck Baby

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

1954 Kaiser-Darrin Convertible

Another car with a flare is the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin. Here is a represen-
tation created from a photograph by Kent M. Gatzka at the Frankenmuth, Michigan Auto Festival 2009.

A two seater, white convertible with a red soft top, this is one interesting vehicle. For more history about the Kaiser-Darrin click here on

I created this image using Paint.NET and PhotoPaint and various filters and maskings. The unique car is show at a pleasing angle that gives the viewer an idea of it's interior and sleek body style.

In the musical area I have completed writing, "The Last Good Cowboy," song I have been working on and now I look forward to recording it. I haven't decided if I will use any lead for the song yet, but that usually comes with experimentation while recording. As I play back the basic song, singing melody, lyrics, and playing the 12-string I try to discover an interesting lead for the song. If I don't discover one I leave it simple with perhaps back up vocals tracks added.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Tim McGraw - The Cowboy in Me

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buick Interior Circa 1970's

A Buick interior from around the 1970's era, this image is only slightly mani-
pulated. I wanted to show as much detail as possible with just a touch of creativity.

This is from another photograph taken by Kent M. Gatzka at the Frankenmuth, Michigan Auto Festival 2009. The large steering wheel, and speedometer and controls are truly amazing compared to the newer digital displays and functionality of today's interior dashboards.

If you recognize this dash and the interior let me know what year and model you think it is, leave me a comment on this page.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hot Orange Hot Rod Sedan

This photograph caught my eye while viewing images in Picasa 3 on my hard drive. I love the hot orange paint job and the vintage look and feel of the older hot rods.

I applied similar techniques as I used on the last couple of image entries on this blog. Increasing Tone depth and color and adding a Lens Flare for an accent to the Ink Sketched image.

I was up late last night and got out my 12-string and began working on a song entitled, "The Last Good Cowboy," using a basic chord progression of:

C2 G
Am7 D

Of course it is still in the writing phase. I need a few more lyrics to flesh it out. It feels good to be writing again. Another song I was working on is about feeling "Raw," emotionally during times of duress. Hoping for an empathic ear while dealing with such feelings.

Two different types of songs, and emotional depth. Great time working on them.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I'm RAW

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1958 Ford Edsel Convertible

One famous folly was the Ford Edsel. It's unique design and lines are unmistakable, you always know it's an Edsel. In my estimation it was a car before it's time. Especially this model shown here.

I selected the photograph taken by my brother Kent M. Gatzka and cropped closely to highlight the uniquely designed car. It needs little customizing, it stands out on it's own. I used PhotoPaint to do my cropping and saved the file.

I opened that file in Paint.NET to apply the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter. Again boosting the color and minimizing the black ink lines a bit. I saved it again and reopened in PhotoPaint, selected KPT's Collection Lens Flare and added one to the image to increase color and interest.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Afro-Celt Sound System - Seed

Monday, December 14, 2009

Red 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS

This car of all cars is my favorite Custom Car. Why? Because the very first car I owned was a 1962 Chevrolet Impala, though it was not an SS model like the two pictures here.

Yes, I owned a '62 Impala, with a 283 engine, two barrel carburetor. It was Burgundy Red quite like this car captured at the 2009 Frankenmuth, Michigan Auto Festival.

These photographs were taken by my brother Kent M. Gatzka. I opened them in Picasa 3 and selected the nicest of the photos. I opened them
in PhotoPaint and heavily cropped each image to focus closely on the details of this beauty.

Using Paint.NET I applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch to both, boosting the color and minimizing the black ink outlines. I saved those files and gave them more treatment in PhotoPaint. I used the Tone Curve to add depth to the color.

Then using KPT's Collection Lens Flare filter I added the flares to each image according to my preference of placement. This made them shine like the special car they depict.

This 1962 Impala was channeled to lower it closer to the ground and has a wonderful red paint job which gives it that "take me home," look. More than ever before I wish I had kept my first car so as to still own a beauty like this one.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - The Waiting

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This Corvette and attendant pickup trucks began as a photograph taken by Kent M Gatzka, my brother. It is also from the 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit Metro.

I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and used the Effects> Artistic> Oil Painting> filter using an average brush and a high coarse setting. Then I applied the Effects> Ink Sketch> filter with very light lines and full color selected. I saved this large image and reopened in Painter 8. I applied the Woodcut filter, adjusting the black lines to fewer and used the multi-colored palette to posterize the image.

Saving this file I reopened it in PhotoPaint to adjust the saturation, and the Tone Curve, brightening the colors. I then cropped the image to focus more closely on the main vehicle the Red Corvette. I selected the Mask> Select all> and using Effects> 3D Effects> Bevel Effect> I added the frame.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Still It Eludes Me

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cool Cuda - Woodward Dream Cruise

Here is another Custom Car image done in Painter 8 and PhotoPaint. The original image is from a photograph again taken by my brother Kent M. Gatzka.

I used the thick bristle clone brush on the car and applied a Digital Watercolor brush to the background and filled in other details with a different clone brush.

In PhotoPaint I cut out, masking the Cuda and used a Scatter filter on the background for a painterly look and feel. This style is a bit more realistic as requested by my other brother Karl M. Gatzka. He likes cars as much as Kent does. So with some of his suggestions I created this piece.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Spending the Afternoon - Original

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dream Cruise Revisited - Simplified Grunge

I received a CD of photo-
graphs taken by my brother, Kent M. Gatzka from the 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit Metro. I decided to do a few new car images but to keep them simple.

Here I selected a texture file from Mayang Free Textures online. They have a wonderful collection of many types of textures. I used here is a painted rust texture as the background. I copied and pasted the car photograph into PhotoPaint over the background. Then I applied the Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder filter to the car layer for the sketchy lines. I merged the layers together.

I selected the image with a mask surrounding it and applied the Effects> 3D effects> Bevel Edges> to create the frame for the image.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Like I've Never Been Refused

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Guitar Series XII - Picasa 3 Collage

This image will conclude the current series of guitar images I have been creating. I chose to do a collage of some of the photographs in Picasa 3.

In PhotoPaint I used the Effects> Artistic> Crayon> filter to give the softened look and feel to this image. It contains some of the images I used to create the series, before they were manipulated.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and hope that you the reader of my blog have as well.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Something Amazing

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guitar Series XI - More Concrete Grunge

This image began as a photograph of mine. I opened it in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter and then the Oil Painting filter. Saving that I opened it in PhotoPaint and opened a concrete texture background which I rotated and then reopened the image I had created in Paint.NET.

I overlaid the guitars upon the grunge texture and change the property to Multiply to allow the texture to show through. I then upped the saturation of colors to fifteen for more depth of color.

Using text I added a chord progression for verse, chorus and bridge, and a snippet of lyric. I also added the paint splatters using the font WC Rhesus B bta and the dripping, Effects> Distort> Wet Paint>.

This is number eleven in my Guitar Series which gives me one more to make it an even dozen in the series.

Musically I have been too busy to write or play for a time now, but I continue to listen and enjoy a variety of genres.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - When the Stars Go Blue Cover

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guitar Series X - Concrete Grunge

Number ten in my Guitar Series uses a concrete grunge background from TextureLovers, and another of my own photographs. I took the photograph using my lightbox that is also used for Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. It projects bright outdoor light, thus the heavy shadows.

I used the chords and lyrics from a song, "Can You Please Love Me?" ©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka. It is the chorus of the song. I kept this image simpler than some of mine. The grunge background adds texture to it. I used Paint.Net for the ink sketch look, and PhotoPaint for all the other elements, using similar techniques I have described in other posts.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Can You Please Love Me?

Guitar Series X - Concrete Grunge

Number ten in my Guitar Series uses a concrete grunge backgorund

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Continuing the Guitar Series - Rust Grunge

A very short post today to share another in the Guitar Series I have been doing. Here is an angled shot of the duo 6 and 12-string guitars. I used similar techniques shown below on creating this image.

The song listed in the text portion is titled "Acceptance," ©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka. It is about well-being and acceptance of limitations when one is experiencing them. Time and again one must evaluate a trying circumstance or condition and endeavor to be as modest as necessary to deal with them with a form of gratitude for what one is able to accomplish.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Acceptance

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guitar Series VIII - Music Stand Grunge

Yesterday I took the lyrics for "The Solitary Man" and added chords and a melody. I renamed it "The Solitary Walker" to better fit the words. I found some new chords in the "A chord" group. An A9 in the first two frets then I move it up to the next two frets and lift up one finger for the three chord basis of the verse. Variations of the "D chords" is used for the Chorus. With a simple bridge of G Em Am D.

The lryics were posted earlier and I did not change them at all, I was satisfied with them as they are.

The image today is another in my Guitar series. I used a floral grunge texture from Autumnights as the background. I took the photograph of the two guitars plus a music stand with lyrics and chords for "Cat's in the Cradle," and "Polly Come Home," on it. I play mostly by ear so I use these formats extensively.

I resized the two images to fit each other to overlay them. I used Paint.NET to apply the Ink Sketch filter with the color boosted high. I opened both the images in PhotoPaint and copied the guitars to the clipboard and overlaid it onto the floral grunge background. I used the Object Property Multiply for transparency and merged them together.

I used the font called Yukon Gold for the dripping chords, and WC Rhesus B Bta font for the paint splatters adding the dripping effect filter to them.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Polly Come Home Cover

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guitar Series VII - Quad Grunge

Listening to some world music today, strange drum beats and stringed instruments and vocals. All inspiring to listen to. Violin's, too. Great music. I like some of this genre but some of it I don't understand from a musical point of view. Cultures differ so much and so does the music.

Today's image gave birth as a photograph where I had laid the guitars across each other. A simple posing for another still life.

I opened a rusty grunge background in PhotoPaint that I believe came from TextureLovers. I took the photograph and resized it to fit 1024 x 684 72dpi for the web. I then copied it to the clipboard and pasted it in as an object in PhotoPaint. I used the Object properties Multiply to make it transparent. I copied that to the clipboard and set the first merging it with the background.

I took the clipboard copy and pasted it as an object (much like using layers) and flipped it horizontally. This gave me the Quad look and feel for the piece. I merged it with the background. I added the text about Folk Rock and some chords from a chart listing. I adjusted them by using the spin tool to slant them along the necks of the 12-string. Applying the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint for dripping of the text after the slanting.

I added some paint splatters again making sure they were somewhat transparent using the Object Properties set to Normal and changing the Opacity to 62%. This allows the texture to show through a bit. I also upped the saturation of the color. This has become a process that I use often to create these grunge genre images.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Baka Beyond - Spirit Of The Forest (African)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guitar Series VI - Duo Grunge

The Lyon 6-string guitar needed some new strings so a visit to MotorCity Music was in order late Sunday. I purchased a set of D'addario Phosphor Bronze Light gauge strings. I restrung the guitar after I got home and the difference is not subtle. The sound of the guitar improved immensely with the new strings. A rich , full tone with both bass and treble sounds coming clear and true. It's amazing what a new set of strings can do for an inexpensive guitar.

I took one of the photographs of the two guitars I had taken recently and added to my guitar series with another grunge piece.

I started with a rust colored leather like texture for the background, I have forgotten the source online. I resized it for the web to 1024x684, 72dpi to keep it managable. I did this in PhotoPaint.

I opened the photograph of the guitars and ran the Thredgeholder filter on it to get the sketchy feel to add to the grunge style. I copied it to the clipboard and pasted it into the texture as an object, much like using layers. I adjusted it using the Object Properties Multiply to allow the texture to show through.

Saving this file I opened it in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter with the color full up and the ink brush set at medium. I saved this and reopened it in PhotoPaint and adjusted the Tone Curve to lighten it a bit. This file I opened in Painter and used the Photo brushes Burn and the Splatter watercolor brush to the background. And I used the Photo Saturation brush to boost the color on the guitars only.

Saving that I reopened in PhotoPaint to add the text of a chord progression and a bit of lyric complete with Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> for the dripping. I then added some paint splatters and used the Object Properties to adjust the opacity to 62% letting the texture show through. I added the dripping wet paint to these as well. I merged all the object to the background, completeing the new Image.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Amanda Marshall - Let It Rain

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Guitar Series V - Dual Grunge

A short post today to share another guitar image. This one is done in the grunge style I have used in the past for both guitars and custom cars.

I opened a texture from TextureLovers for the background. I used a photograph of dual guitars taken by myself. I used the Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder for the sketchy look on the guitars. I added them to the background using the Object Property of Color Burn in PhotoPaint.

I added the text of some blues chords and a bit of a blues song I wrote called "Broadband Blues ©2008 by Kirk Mathew Gatzka."

Also added were the paint splatters using the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> tool for the dripping paint appearance. The whole image was created in PhotoPaint 12.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Amanda Marshall - Birmingham

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cubist Guitars - Series IV

Received my new Elderly Instruments Catalog Yesterday. It is filled with bargains and interesting accessories for the stringed instrument player. Elderly is known for it's wide variety of stringed instruments from Vintage Electric Guitars to Ukuleles. They have been in business for over 30 years and are one of the best stores in the country.

As I browsed the catalog I saw two Seagull 6-string guitars that attracted my attention. As I currently own a Seagull 12-string the appeal of owning a 6-string of the same make is strong. I am using the Lyon by Washburn 6-string now but it is just a basic guitar and needs the action corrected. I has a treble sound to it and I prefer a guitar that is Dreadnaught in size and full in sound, with easy action for playing.

The prices are very good for these two guitars, and I am tempted.

Today's image was created from a photograph of the two guitars stated above. I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> to it for the grainy appearance. I then opened that file in PhotoPaint and used Effects> Creative> Glass Blocks> filter for the Cubist look and feel. I used the Tone Curve to deepen the colors and upped the saturation a bit. I decided to overly a frame to the resulting image. Again I used Effects> Creative> Frame> and selected a frame and adjusted it's opacity to a foggy black.

I resized the larger image for the web display and saved it as a jpg file.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - A Bm C#m D Run

Cubist Guitars - Series IV

Friday, November 6, 2009

Guitar Patterns - III In Series

Last night I stayed up late because I could not sleep, you know the feeling. Restless and awake, so I worked on a song about feelings. Being so RAW that everything is intensified and burns into ones psyche.

The need for a listening ear that is not afraid of irrational thought or emotion. A tall order to fill. But a good song idea. It is a simple song, not very clever using a chord progression of open chords, with a chorus progression of seventh chords ending in a G.

I added a lead to it while recording it in Audacity. I did the main part of the song with a preamp called Detroit RnB Vocal. I used the 12-string for the background chords and I played the 6-string for the lead. Switching the Woody pickup between the two acoustic guitars. I saved it as an mp3 to keep the size controllable, though losing a bit of quality, it is good enough for my uses.

Today's image is the same two guitars I used for the song. I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and used the Tone Curve to deepen the colors and upped the saturation as is my common technique for many of my images. I added a pattern with Harry's Filters 3.0 plugin, selecting patterns and overlay to add it. I used the "jump" feature to get just the right pattern and colors. It jumps between patterns as one would guess from it's name.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I'm RAW

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dual Guitars with a Little Flare

Listening to the Country Rock of Kenny Chesney right now. Great songs and backbeat on this Live version of his hits.

It was suggested I do a series based upon the photography session I had the other day. How they knew I was thinking of the same thing I don't know. But today's image is another of the photographs of the Lyon and Seagull guitars.

I opened this photograph in PhotoPaint and used the Tone Curve on it to darken it a bit. Adding to the saturation made the colors of the two instruments deeper. I also added a Black shadowed frame and a Walnut colored thin frame to it.

I used KPT's Collection Lensflare to add the colored flare to the image with the largest portion on my pickguard. If you look closely you will see I etched a design on the pickguard to customize the 12-string Seagull, made it my own, so to speak.

I am enjoying this series of images and hope you like them as well. As a guitar player images done in an artful way are appealing to me. I have more to come and will share as I go.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kenny Chesney - What I Need to Do

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lyon by Washburn - Seagull - Guitars - Song Registration

Photography is a nice part of my hobbies. It is very nice to have a decent DSLR camera for small projects. I took my Canon Rebel XTi and got some photographs of two guitars.

A Lyon by Washburn 6-string and my Seagull 12-string. They were easy to pose and cooperated with me quite well. Neither of them fell or were hurt during the session. I shot about thirty-nine exposures. Using differing angles and backgrounds.

One of my favorites is the image I am posting today. I used PhotoPaint to apply the Mosaic Vignette to the close up of the dual guitars and upped the saturation a bit. Then I added the text using some grunge fonts. The details were made soft on purpose for the image.

I had been playing the Lyon recently and now have a blister on my finger from pushing and pulling strings playing lead on it. One of the small hazards of being a guitar player. It's action is a little stiff and not like my 12-string, which I had had adjusted to my taste quite a few years back. I would like to have the Lyon adjusted as well. But that remains to be seen.

I have been discussing song registration on the Acoustic Guitar forum I am on and it appears that quite a few persons are using to register their songs instead of the site. One reason is that it now costs more to register rights with the government. has a lower fee for that: $30.00 for up to four songs. Whereas the government wants $45 to $65 for song registration.

There is also the ASCAP site for composers and publishers of songs to register for collection of roaylties if someone uses your song for recording or performance. This is another way to protect one's songs from being used without authorization.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Jeremy Fryc - (Part 2)... most people seem to like it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Solitary Walker

The Solitary Walker is a photograph that was filtered in Paint.NET for an Ink Sketch look and feel. I was thinking it would make a good title for a song. I need to mull over that and see what I can come up with.

The bright colored tree seems to be the subject of the piece, but it is really the single person walking in the autumn color. The focus is not on him but the idea is. He is by himself in the brisk air of fall. Others were with families or friends, in groups of two or more. But he appeared to be by himself, alone.

When I was a younger man I would take long solitary walks. It was one way to deal with pressures of life, and on the other hand it was a real pleasure to do so. No one to talk with just the scenes I was in, walking and thinking. At that time I wasn't into photography as much as I am now. So I don't have any images from those days. But the memories are still fresh and clean.

The Solitary Man
©2009 Kirk Mathew Gatzka

The memories are fresh and clean,
The solitary walks alone.
Air was pure and foliage green,
I was alone but also seen.

Time stretched on before my sight,
I would walk on into the night.
A solitary young man alone,
Walking, Walking, Walking home.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking for pleasure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Seasons come and seasons go,
Weather changes from hot to cold.
Scenes change slowly as I go by,
Routes may differ as I sigh.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking under pressure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Thinking thoughts so deep.
Watching the Sun creep,
Across the sky as it goes.
Walking, Walking with no purpose.

Just a solitary man on his own,
Walking for pleasure, walking alone.
A solitary man on his own,
Always walking on his way home.

Something to think about and possibly refine, needs chords and a melody line.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Staind - Tangled Up In You

Monday, November 2, 2009

Black Horses - Painter 8 - Watercolor

I was in a sour mood yesterday afternoon. So when I am in a mood like that I turn to music to help me get snap out of it. I took the Lyon by Washburn 6-string guitar and hooked it up to my Toneport UX1 with the Seymour Duncan Woody pickup.

Using the Gearbox software I played around with the grungiest guitar and cabinet configurations I could. I played a couple of chord progressions for a background to play against and played some loud Blues Rock leads.

I used the chords EGAC GEm AmD and for a bluesy background I used E7 A7 B7. I recorded my efforts for fun with Audacity. They are not the best I've ever done, but it helped me out of the mood I was in as I played and improvised. I even used a bass guitar setting and played a bass back beat to the bluesy chords. I stuck with the E string and A string for the bass improvisation.

I usually play the 12-string so the 6-string was fun to work with for a change and the sound was harsh and loud. The best thing was it helped my mood.

Today's image was done from a photograph taken at Kensington Metro Park's Farm Park Hayride wagon. Both horses were black and new to people, young horses that are just getting used to crowds. I got a couple of good photographs of them and I think this was one of the best.

I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter. This gave me a basis for a pen and ink watercolor. Saving that file I opened it in Painter and applied the woodcut filter which gave it the pen and ink look. I opened the original for the coloring and set it as the Clone Source.

I then used the watercolor brushes for the painting of the image. I saved that file and opened it in PhotoPaint, framed it in black. I upped the saturation a bit, and used the Tone Curve tool to slightly darken the colors too. I saved the file and then resized it for display here and saved that secondary file.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - E7A7B7-Blues

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Painting Autumn - Corel Painter 8 - Impasto/Acrylic

Corel Painter 8 is a wonderful program that has been upgraded to Painter 11. I'm behind on the upgrades but I like this program immensely. It allows one to take their photographs and paint them with Natural Media to create Digital images that are painterly and exquisite.

Today's post shows an Autumn scene from Kensington Metro Park's sledding runs. A hilly area with a fine view of the fall colors on the trees.

I used the Impasto brushes for the trees in the foreground to make them stand out. Then I switched to a couple of different Acrylic brushes for the trees in the distance. It was an overcast day with just a hit of blue in the sky.

I blended a bit using the Acrylic brushes into the impasto foreground. The impasto shows the brush strokes nicely.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - No One Else

Friday, October 30, 2009

Picasa 3 Digital Collage - Kensington Metro Park

Digital Collage is very easy with Picasa 3 by Google. While in Picasa 3 select the folder you want to use to create a collage. Pick your photographs using the CTRL key (PC) to select individual photographs, the Shift key will select consecutive photographs. But if you want to use photos that are displayed non-contiguous use that CTRL key and click on the photo.

Go to the toolbar at the top and select CREATE and choose Picture Collage. It will take your photos and place them in a collage. Using the collage tools you can select a variety of types of collages and also you can create borders for the individual photos and the boundary of the collage.

You can Shuffle the pictures to place them in a pleasing order and balance. I chose to use a freeform placement with a black border for this image. To make the collage just click on the CREATE COLLAGE button and it will make a large collage saving it in the Collage folder.

Use your photo-editing program to resize for the web, make adjustments to brightness contrast saturation, etc. You can even try a couple of filters for effects. I chose to leave this piece as clear photographs without filtering.

Picasa 3 is a free download from Google at: Picasa 3 Free Download

It is a great free tool for tracking your photographs, digital artworks, jpgs and such. It does simple photo-editing and easy collage making. I use it almost daily to track my artwork and photos. I still have to learn all it's features. I recommend it and am not affiliated with Google or it's companies.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rusty Cultivator - Autumn Color - Paint.NET/PhotoPaint

A short post today. Here I am sharing a photograph with little alteration by me. It is an old rusty cultivator and wheel barrow with some Autumn color.

I used a similar technique as yesterdays "Turkeys" post. Using Paint.NET's Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> for the ink like look. In PhotoPaint I resized it, framed it, and upped the saturation of the image.

I liked the composition and the vertical (portrait) view of this photograph along with it's subject matter. So, I did not alter it very much.

This was taken at the Kensington Metro Park's Farm Park like the turkey's photograph. They have on display older farm implements that have aged wonderfully for such photographs.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Photographs

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kensington Metro Farm Park - You Turkeys

Today I am sharing another photograph taken at Kensington Metro Park. This one was taken at the Farm Park they have inside the main Park.

I did some alterations to it in PhotoPaint. I had to fix it in part because the turkey on the left had been behind the turkey in the forefront center. So I opened a different photograph taken before this one where that turkey was completely visible. I cut the turkey out and copied it to the clipboard. I opened the main photograph and using the paste as object function added the turkey with a frontal view.

I used the clone tool to clone out the extra feet (a turkey has only two legs and feet as you know.) Saving that file I reopened it in Paint.NET to use the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> on the photograph.

Back in PhotoPaint I framed it with a 10 pixels brown frame and resized it to a web sized image that you see here. I upped the color saturation a bit as well to boost the colors.

Information at Wikipedia about the folk song "Turkey in the Straw."

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Broadband Blues

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn Color Kensington Metro Park

Autumn color tours are common in the Midwest states, and we took a tour late Sunday at Kensington Metro Park. I took quite a few photographs and gathered some colorful leaves to scan in for artwork.

So here you will find an image made from one photograph of dried snowball flowers in the background and the scanned in leaves in the foreground. I used both PhotoPaint and Paint.NET in creating this piece.

I have an older scanner so I only did the scan at 300dpi 50% to keep the size workable. I used a white piece of paper behind the leaves and then using the Wand tool selected a lot of the white background leaving some of the 3d shadows intact. I took the photograph of the dried flowers and used it as a fill after I masked out the leaves.

Saving that file I opened it in Paint.NET to use the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter with the coloring set high and the ink set low. This gave me the textures I wanted. I saved that and reopened in PhotoPaint and found a frame in my Dover Clip Art collection that I added using a filter on it for more texture.

I am reviewing some of my older songs right now in Windows Media Player. Before I had a good microphone and the Toneport, I did OK using Audacity to record with a condenser mic. Funny how things can change with better equipment. The content is still good but now with the Toneport to preamp and a Shure microphone everything is much improved.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Love Is

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Self-Portrait - circa 1969-1970 - Photoshop/PhotoPaint

We recently set up our Mac G4 with Photoshop 7 on it and I opened up an old photograph of myself playing my Harmony 6-string guitar. I moused around in Photoshop and used some filters and a Gaussian blur for the background.

I saved the file on a Zip 100 disk and moved it to my PC, opening it in PhotoPaint. I found a second photograph of myself taken at the same time and cut out pieces of that photograph, with the lasso tool, to add to the main one I began with.

I ended up with the digital collage you see here. I also added a frame to it using PhotoPaint's Image> Paper size> centered. I selected this border with the wand tool and used the Effects> 3d Effects> Bevel effect> for a 3d frame.

I selected the guitar using a lasso tool and resized the object and angled it, adding six guitars and my arm strumming to the lower part of the image to add some interest. I was fresh out of High School at the time these pictures were taken. So my appearance now is quite different. This was just when I was growing out my hair long and had a mustache and goatee. Seems like ages ago, in fact it was!

I was songwriting in those days as well. Most of the songs were not worthy of keeping so they are all lost now. Only one that I copyrighted titled "Hello Sunshine, Goodbye Moon." Which we recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder with guitar, flute, lead guitar, piano and back up vocals and I entered it into a song contest which I did not even get an honorable mention. I believe that my sister has a copy of that on reel to reel tape somewhere, that my Mom had kept. It was the Bad Old Days then.

I can't even remember that song now, except to a few words and the chorus, no chords and the melody escapes me. It is odd how time changes your viewpoint and your approach to songwriting. But at the time it was on of the highlights of my endeavor to write, sing, play and record. Funny how time and memories work.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Something Amazing

Friday, October 23, 2009

Change of Pace - Autumn Squash - Corel Painter 8 - Visit to MotorCity Guitar

Autumn is the time for pumpkins and squash. My wife had purchased some squash and I took a couple of photographs of them grouped together against the backdrop of our Corian counter and our red kitchen wall.

I thought it would make a nice simple painting. So I opened the photograph in Painter 8, cloned it and selected all and cleared the image the deselected it. I used the tracing paper for the image. I was using the Digital Watercolors brushes to rough in the painting.

After I roughed it in I added some soft cloning to bring back some of the details of the squash. I used the Texture Spray clone brush to add some texture to the squash. It was a very straight forward painting.

I visited Motor City Music store of Waterford, Michigan, the other day and played some fine guitars. I would like to add a 6-string as an additional guitar so I was looking for one. I first
picked up a Seagull 6-string and tried that one out and since I like my Seagull 12-string I really found this one to be easy to play and comfortable, too. It had a full sound with a good balance of bass and treble tones.

I played some Taylor's and Guilds, an Ovation and a Takamine 12-string. I truly enjoyed my visit and pricing guitars I found that the Seagull was the best priced and one of my favorites along with one of the Taylor's, which was more expensive.

I always test out the 6-string guitars with the Drop D tuning and Double Drop D and the DADGAD tuning. I use the standard tuning as well and they were impressive guitars all reasonably priced.

I jammed with another customer who played some lead to my rhythm guitar. We did a little blues and folk rock.

I would like to own a electric guitar too but I did not try any out that day, just the acoustic and acoustic electric guitars.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Photographs

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vintage Photographic Book Page

Recently I've had the plesure of renewing contact with one of my surviving Aunts. She is 86 years old, and along with her my cousin.

A couple of photographs were shared online and I took the one on the right and cropped it and tinted it using PhotoPaint, adding a frame. Both pictures are of my Father and Mother. The one on the left is when they were older and at a wedding. My Dad played Hawaiian Steel Guitar as a young man. My Mom tinkered with the piano.

I created this collage of the two photographs, both doctored up by myself using Painter 8 on the left one and PhotoPaint on the right one. I created the illusion of an old Photograph Album, using a grunge texture as the background. I faded the photos to give that appearance of age.

Using CorelDRAW I made a corner like the ones used to paste photographs into a hard copy Photo Album. I copy and pasted it into PhotoPaint and added them accordingly.

Musically I found the lyrics and chords for "Polly Come Home" done by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. After some practice along with the recording I did a cover of it using my Toneport UX1 and the Shure PG58 microphone. I recorded it and exported as an mp3 file. It is a very pretty song and the chords are easy open chords. It was a pleasure to play it with the 12-string, singing it as best I could, it came out in my style as I have a very strong one by now.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Alison Krauss - Polly Come Home

Monday, October 19, 2009

Probiscus - Vector - Gradients - Symbols

I have been working a bit with vector graphics in CorelDRAW and making and using symbols and curlicues and small paisleys to create an image. I am sharing today such an image.

Probiscus is a large nosed fellow who is surrounded by symbols and little vector graphics most of which I created in CorelDRAW. This image shows my playful side with lots of color and some humor.

I used the freehand drawing tool and pen for some of the graphic pieces. I also used 'fit text to a path' for adding symbols to my hand drawn ones. Note he has two people in his ear, I believe I got them from the FFDingbats font.

The fellow with a large nose was a piece I did a long time ago and he became the main feature of this image. I imported the original file into CorelDRAW to add to the symbols. I had used many colorful gradients to create him, and computer assisted coloring, using colors you don't see much outside of a computer created image.

I framed the whole image in black to highlight the colors in this image. I exported to jpg from CorelDRAW for the web based piece. Again I have been influenced by images seen in recent computer art magazines from my visit to the book stores.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Jeremy Fryc - Here's to you!... Here's to your fall.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trio - Floral Grunge - Portrait

Today is a cool overcast day here, the lake view is one of gray on gray reflecting the clouds in the waves and movement of the water. Some autumn color from this side and the far side of the lake is attractive and warm.

This image I am presenting today was made using CorelTRACE and CorelDRAW along with Paint.NET and Painter 8 with PhotoPaint as well.

This started as a photograph (taken by myself) of a trio who were at a wedding anniversary celebration. I opened the larger photograph in PhotoPaint and resized it for work on a web based image. Saving that file I opened it in CorelTRACE and turned it into a vector based image cmx format.

Using CorelDRAW I ungrouped the vector pieces and deleted some of the background to give me a white field to work with. I exported the vector - regrouped - to a jpg file format and using PhotoPaint I cleaned up some of the white field to be able to add to that background later in the process.

Saving that I opened it in Paint.NET to use the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter on the image for line work. I then used PhotoPaint to mask the white field and inverted it filling it with the floral grunge background from Autumnights.

I opened that file in Painter 8 and Cloned it then using the clone I Auto Painted the whole piece with a Calligraphy pen for a painterly feel. Using the modified photo I had created I further changed the Auto Painted image to add back in details like the facial features and the floral and clothing detail. I used Charcoal brushes in differing sizes to add back the detail.

In PhotoPaint I used the Tint brush to add a bit of the green from the floral background to the trio to balance the colors out.

I added my signature and here is the finished piece.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Basic Dirt - DADGAD

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vector Export to Jpg - Portrait - CorelDRAW

I visited the book store yesterday and looked at a variety of design magazines. Computer Arts creatives and other Photoshop creatives were highlighted. I noticed the use of vector graphics is very popular with programs like Adobe's Illustrator and of course Photoshop.

I used Corel products almost exclusively from the Corel Graphics Suite 12, (I am behind on upgrades.) I used CorelDRAW, CorelTRACE, and PhotoPaint to create today's image.

My first step was to take the portrait into Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter to create a line image in black and white. I opened that file in CorelTRACE and converted it into a vector cmx file, a native Corel vector image file format.

I saved that traced file and opened it in CorelDRAW to add some vector objects. I used Fit Text to a Path with the forms I created there. My favorite is the little bug like creature I made. I used many of the tools in DRAW for the forms I made including the Freehand drawing tool, the Oval tool, the Rectangle tool, the Graph Paper tool, the Spiral tool.

I saved the large file to the native CorelDRAW cdr file format to be able to use some of the objects later in other images. I then exported the large image to jpg file format. This is opened in Corel's PhotoPaint 12 and also opened a grunge texture of painted watercolor paper. I copied the vector created jpg to the clipboard and pasted it into the texture as an object (layer.) then using the Object Property Multiply I made it semi-transparent to allow the texture paper to show through.

The whole process was influenced by the magazine's images I was looking at while at the book store.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Jeremy Fryc - Track 2

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Spiral Staircase

Looking for that elusive 2,000th visitor. If you are number 2,000 congratu-
lations and thank you for visiting gatzkART! Through Google analytics I know that I have had more than 2,000+ pageviews of individual pages of the blog and I want to thank each of you for your interest in our art and the techniques described herein.

This image has a few main pieces used to make the collage. A photograph of a spiral staircase by my son Keir M Gatzka, a floral grunge texture from Autumnights, and a piece of Dover clipart.

I added some text and guitar chords in a progression for the viewer to discern and play with on their guitar. A few pain splatters and drippings to add color. All done using Corel's PhotoPaint 12.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Something Amazing

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Floral - Guitar Chords - Vector Graphics

I've been working on using the freehand vector drawing tool in CorelDRAW for creating some swirls and floral graphics. I started with a photograph taken by my son Keir M Gatzka and opened that in Paint.NET. There I applied the Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter to the large floral saving the file.

I copied and pasted that into CorelDRAW and added the swirls and flowers drawn with the freehand tool. I grouped them together and copied to the clipboard. I then opened from the clipboard in PhotoPaint and added the frame.

I selected a chord progression I have been playing with, with modifications each time I used it. the E7sus4 not being a common chord I added the diagram of it and the arrow from CorelDRAW.

It is a simple open chord grouping and can be fun to alter the strumming and order of the chords, up the tempo, slow it down, flatpick it. It has yet to form a basis for a song but it is enjoyable to use for practicing these open chords.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Like I've Never Been Refused

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vector Graphics - Digital Collage - Guitar Chords

Vector graphics with a grunge texture from Texture-
with a guitar motif. I used CorelDRAW to create the centerpiece of the image a stylized 6-string guitar. I added some curlicues and musical notes using the freehand drawing tool.

I left out any text with the exception of some guitar chords for those who are guitar players to experiment with. In PhotoPaint I added the headstock of a 12-string guitar and a few duplicates of a 6-string. That was added using the Thredgeholder from Little Ink Pot for the sketchy appearance. Paint splatters and drippings included using Effects> Distort> Wet Paint.

I am missing out on a trip to the cider mill today. The weather here is better but I wasn't up to a trip out. So I created this image for the blog.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Open Book

Friday, October 9, 2009

Autumn - Thinking Rain Colors - Guitars

It's raining today, the autumn colors are coming out only to be knocked down by the rain. I've been hoping for some sunny dry weather for a small color tour and trip to a cider mill.

My minds been on guitars as a motif again and today's image shows that. I have taken a grunge texture from TextureKing as my beginning background. To this I have added multiples of guitars both electric and acoustic. I used PhotoPaint for the image. Duplicating the guitars and applying object properties Color Burn and Difference to alter them and make them transparent. I added text and a grouping of chords as has been my custom of late. Keeping with a musical bent for the theme pieces. I added some paint splatters and drippings using the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint with the settings on high.

Listening to a Cover of Gordon Lightfoot's River of Light that I recorded for fun and enjoyment. It's a interesting song and lyric.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - River of Light

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rust Guitars - Vector Play - Guitar Chords

I've been listening to Raising Sand with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. I found the song "Polly Come Home" online and have been playing it on the 12-string. It is a very nice tune and simple to play and sing. I am really enjoying it.

I decided to play around with some guitars on a rust texture for today's image. I got the texture from Texture Lovers. And used a variety of guitar styles for variation.

I loaded up the guitars into CorelTRACE and changed them into vector graphics to use in CorelDRAW. I pasted the rust texture into a new page in CorelDRAW and individually added the guitars. Using the select tool I took parts of the guitars and burst them out of their places to create the jagged edges.

I copied this grouped vector image to the clipboard and opened from clipboard in PhotoPaint to add some splatters and drippings. I added a frame and resized for display here.

I added some text from a nonsense rhyme and the title along with a nice chord progression.

C Am
C Am
C Am

Fun to play with differing tempos and flatpicking, strummings. I also enjoyed playing the guitar with these chords.

I have joined a forum for users of Corel Painter, called PainterTalk and have been sharing my work there as well, even-though the images are not always done only in Painter I use many Corel products to produce my digital visual art works. It's great for feedback on one's artwork.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Watch the Wind Blow By Cover

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hugh's Gal - Revisited - Vector Graphics - Guitar Chords

I've taken a Painter 8 painting and revisited it using CorelTRACE on the image to create a vector based piece. I saved the file as a Corel cmx file format and opened in CorelDRAW and added the guitar chords and a bit of text, with some freehand designs. I used the freehand drawing tool for the designs and inverted a duplicate of them to 'frame' the face.

I had taken the opened cmx file and ungrouped it and lassoed and moved some of the vector pieces to add some interest to the image. Adding the green background that shows through some of the open spaces I created with this method.

The guitar chords I added is a small progression:



Csus2 (or C2) you can try either


Also added a part of a dessert recipe for some tasty ideas about chocolate.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Alison Krauss - Polly Come Home

Monday, October 5, 2009

Custom Mustang - Corel PhotoPaint - Grunge Style

Just a short post today, time constraints. I used Paint.NET and PhotoPaint on today's image using similar techniques as I have written about before. Check previous posts for more details.

The Custom Mustang was squealing it's tires on Woodward Avenue during the dream cruise. That is tolerated by the Police at that time. Notice the engine in this baby. Torque at the wheels must be mighty.

As usual my added text in this digital collage has included a guitar chord progression for the enjoyment of guitarists. It is a very basic one that can be played and rearranged as one pleases. The addition of a G7th to C makes for a different sound as no other 7th chords are used. Quite fun to play around with.

The original photograph was taken by my son Keir M Gatzka. He has many good ones like this. and the grunge texture is from Grunge Textures online again, they have a great selection.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Watch the Wind Blow By Cover

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Custom Cruiser - Corel PhotoPaint - Grunge

As a guitar player I like to do covers of other's songs. Some times I find a song, think I know it as I listen to the singing and lyrics only to find out that after I get the song it contains words I don't want in any song I sing. I am not asking for much, but just want a song to be clean and not dirtied up with cuss words and the like.

I just had that happen to me last night. I found the lyrics and chords online at one of the resources I use. And found objectionable content. Spoiled my intentions of covering that song. I could change the lyric, but it would not contain the original intent of the artist. Whatever that may have been, shock value, rebelliousness, superstitious nonsense. So I just won't use that song. I'll move on to another in hopes of finding a good song to cover. Fun to play and sing.

Today's image is a continuation of my grunge motif with custom cars. It was done in PhotoPaint, with a grunge texture from Grunge Textures as the background. It is a modified PT Cruiser, highly altered. I focused on the front end of the vehicle.

I used the Thredgeholder plugin filter, from Little Ink Pot, to create the sketch like appearance of the car. I added this using the object property Color Burn. Adding some guitar chords in a progression and a partial critique of a story I have written for children, (which needs only some illustrations to finish it up.) I again added some paint splatters and drippings for the grunge feel.

I do so enjoy a decent grunge piece, they are so much fun to do.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Alison Krauss - Rich Woman

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Luv Trucking - Corel PhotoPaint and CorelDRAW - Grunge Style

In keeping with a theme of trans-
portation and custom vehicles I am sharing a Tractor Trailer done in the Grunge style.

I used both Corel PhotoPaint and CorelDRAW to create this image. Before I opened it in either of these programs I opened it in Paint.NET to use the Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter to simplify the image coloring and gain the ink like look.

Saving this image I opened a grunge texture from Grunge Textures to use as the background. I overlaid the truck image on the texture using the object property Multiply to add transparency. I merged these and copy and pasted the image into CorelDRAW where I added the logo and design on the trailer.

I grouped all the objects together and copied the the resulting image to the clipboard. Then in PhotoPaint I opened the file from the clipboard. Here I added the text and a chord progression. I used Effects> Distort> Wet Paint for the dripping of the text and the additional paint splatters.

Another power outage and phone service outage to deal with here, locally, was very inconvenient. It is amazing how dependent we are on technology and how much we miss it when it is unavailable.

Have played the 12-string guitar also practicing chord progressions and reading Rikky Rooksby's book on how to write songs using the guitar. It's a good book and I recommend it to songwriters using the guitar as their instrument of choice.

Here is a listing of Rooksby's books available at Amazon (not an affiliate.) There seems to be a revised version of the book I have, plus some others that may prove helpful to guitar players and songwriters.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Something Amazing