Monday, August 31, 2009

Missing the Alaskan Mountains - Painter 8

Though it's a nice day here I am reminiscing about last years visit to Alaska. I am missing the mountains and the beauty of the area we were visiting.

Here is a piece I did in Painter 8, using acrylics brushes and watercolor brushes. I added a texture to it in PhotoPaint as it had the type of texture I wanted. Painter allows you to texturize as well but I used PhotoPaint in this instance.

This photograph that I used was on our second day trip South from Anchorage toward Homer. It was a cloudy day with a little rainfall. So I took a few photographs through the windshield. I have many photographs from that trip. So many it is hard to select which one to use to paint.

I have been reading some music blogs lately and waiting for the inspiration to hit me for working on some new songs. I sent my brother, in Alaska, four Audio CD's with my work and a few covers of older songs for their collection. I'd like to do a greatest hits CD with the best of my work and covers but I don't have a big enough fan base to make one, I don't know which ones are the best ones. I need to share with a broader base, but find that family and friends are they best ones for right now. I am not actively seeking to promote my songs. So I guess a greatest hits CD is a way off for now.

I haven't been playing my 12-string guitar much lately, as I turn to digital painting again. Painting takes time. So my time has been there.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Crocodile Dundee - Opening Title Theme

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Showtime! - It Was Nice - Digital Collage

Two tickets to see the "American Idol Live" show is the basis for this digital collage. I added some Dover clip art to the cloudy sky background. The collage says"It Was Nice" using an Art Deco poster of Nice. A little humor added here.

The show was nice, but some shows you take away a lasting impression, this was a little more like cotton candy. All sweet, melts in your mouth, little aftertaste. I was surprised it didn't have more of an impact on me. I rarely go to concerts unless they are the free kind.

Last one I had gone to before this one was Bob Dylan and it, too, was a bit disappointing. The music was grand and a big sound for Dylan, but his vocals and singing were poor at best. Not his greatest effort, his band did a wonderful job though and they were playing and rocking hard.

Maybe it is because of being older now and more mature than years ago when live concerts were cheap and you could see Bob Seger for little and Alice Cooper and the MC5 and other Detroit area sounds, like the Frost and the Amboy Dukes. It was exciting then, but I was younger as well.

I love to listen to music when creating my digital artworks. I like various styles of music but I don't like today's mainstream pop music. Who would ever have thought I would reach an age where I wouldn't appreciate young music. Not myself, I am as surprised as anyone. I guess age does make a difference. Too bad.

I am glad I still love music though. Where would I be without it? Hurrah for Music!

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Chris Isaac - I Want To Fall In Love

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Corel Painter - Digital Watercolor - House Scene

Switching motifs I have done a pencil sketch and watercolor. Using Paint.NET for the pencil sketch I saved that file and opened both in Corel Painter 8. I used the Digital Watercolor brushes, switching between a couple of different ones, and added the color to the pencil sketch.

This is our front porch which we just added new this summer season. It was interesting to note how Digital Watercolor brushes picked up the colors sometimes grayish and other times closer to the photograph I used as model. The actual color of the siding is a lighter blue, and the window is not green. Plenty of white on the trim turned gray as well so I did little to color the porch leaving the white showing.

I reopened both files in PhotoPaint and resized to show here. I copied the pencil sketch to the clipboard and pasted into the watercolor as an object. I used the object property Color Burn on it and merged it with the watercolor layer. I had darkened it a bit using the Tone Curve before adding it. That brought out some details.

I am trying to use Painter 8 more often again. I have gotten away from digital painting while doing so many collages. I want to keep up on painting skills in my loose style. It is enjoyable to do, but definitely takes more time than a collage! So I work at it as patiently as I can, and I am not too patient. So the loose style shows itself predominately.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Mr Tambourine Man Cover

Friday, August 28, 2009

88 years young - Betty Painter 8 Pen and Ink Watercolors

Just a short note of text today. Here is an older friend of mine. She is always telling me I am young yet, I love it. I used a photograph I had taken and brought it into Painter 8 where I cropped it and then cloned it and used the tracing paper feature. I sketched from the photo using a ballpoint ink pen.

In PhotoPaint I added a grunge background. Back in Painter 8 I added some color with Liquid Inks camel brush. Then using the Digital watercolor brushes I gave it light color.

She sure enjoys her coffee.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - EGAC_Run_Am7_Em_G_D

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jonathan - Charcoal Portrait in Painter 8

Portraits are fascinating subject matter. As well as guitars and custom cars I enjoy a good portrait.

Lately I have been doing more of these, beginning as sketches in Painter 8. Then if I like the sketch enough I flesh it out with painting.

In this instance I began with a charcoal sketch of Jonathan, which developed into the portrait I am sharing today. I used Painter 8 to flesh it out again using the charcoal brushes. I like the colors of this piece, the came from the beginning photograph.

Painter 8 is a great program for natural media and I really enjoy tackling a portrait with the different types of media it has to experiment with and grow creatively.

We went to the American Idol's concert last night and It was a noisy but enjoyable show. My songwriting has little to do with Pop music. I noticed that in evidence during the concert. It was obvious that I don't tend to reach crescendos, the high climax, in my songs. Mine are more Folk Rock and Rock like but without that build up that many performances had at the concert.

I don't suppose that isn't a bad thing, just different. I have plenty of hooks and decent choruses, and some decent verses plus a few bridges here and there. But that rousing climax eludes my work. I imagine others interpretations of my songs might add that to a performance. But as for my recording of them I have rare times that really burst out intensely. Could be that that is my style of delivery and not the songs shortcoming.

I burned some Audio CD's to send to my brother in Alaska of my current work, much of it written and recorded this year. It is a challnge to place the songs in order for a CD. Which comes first, the song the name of the CD is or another to begin. I tend to alternate between my singing and instrumentals, and try to build a listening experience. I am reviewing one right now to see if it has any problems with playback.

I switched to Media Player to add the following song, one of my favorites of my newer tunes.

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lead Belly Music - Guitar Collage

Many people like the Blues, I am one of them. I have a collection called the Essential Blues complete with commentary about the different Blues players it features.

What Blues has done for Rock and Roll is amazing. It is one of the true roots of Rock. From the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin and John Mayall plus countless others, Blues influenced their lives and music.

Here is a collage I did in TwistedBrush and PhotoPaint. I superimposed a picture of Lead Belly in the center and then surrounded him with differing kinds of guitars. I first created a textured background in TwistedBrush, which proved to be too dark for this piece so I lightened it in PhotoPaint using the Tone Curve feature. I added the guitars using the object property of Multiply or Color Burn. Using the Thredgeholder filter I did the sketch like images I put together.

Listening to a little blues by Cale and Clapton.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: JJ Cale and Eric Clapton - Heads In Georgia

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Painting Portrait in Painter 8 - Baby and Mom

Here is another portrait, this time a mother and her baby. The original photograph was taken by David Benjamin in a casual setting at a gathering of friends, he was using my Canon Rebel XTi DSLR. I opened the photograph in Painter 8 and made a clone of it, selected all and cleared it then used the tracing paper. I started with pastels and used a few different pastel brushes.

I then switched to the acrylic brushes for more details in the eyes and mouths and ears. I got a painterly look with some realism thrown in as well.

I used PhotoPaint to take and mask out the faces and change the background, done in pastels, and filtered it using the Effects> Custom> Alchemy> filter. This gave the background a texture it hadn't had before, and it retreats more from the faces now.

I haven't attempted a portrait like this in some time. I usually go for less realism in my work, but these two together looked so good I wanted to capture that essence. I hope you enjoy it.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Bruce Cockburn - Great Big Love

Monday, August 24, 2009

Portrait in Painter 8 - Veronica

My niece asked for a portrait the other day after seeing the one I did of Jesse. So I took a black and white photo from her Facebook photos and embellished it in Painter 8 using watercolor brushes and pastels with pen and liquid ink brushes.

I enjoy working in Painter 8 and find it fascinating to work with. There is so many choices to make that you can get lost making the right decisions. I have worked with the oils and acrylics brushes too and found they can be quite the challenge, getting a portrait to look just right.

One of the interesting parts of using Painter comes from the use of the natural media traditionally. If you weren't very good at it then you probably won't be with Painter either. The cloning tools are very good though and allow you to get very realistic portraits if you use the brushes for that. But if you become too dependent on them it shows in your work, it looks too photograph like. Then the painterly quality can be lost.

I like to work without cloning too much, as it poses a greater challenge and the possibilities are endless. What you do end up with is more personalized in your own style and not photographic looking. If you want to be an artist you have to take chances with your media and experiment, push it and pull it to your whim.

I will admit that I have ended up with some atrocious pieces that I don't even share with anyone. But there is the inspiration of searching for a style or a new expression of yourself and your creativity. You have to take those moments and learn from them and do better the next time.

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Homemade Grunge - Digital Collage

I have made a home made grunge back ground. Taking some packing paper I applied some white gesso to it to make it more usable for sketching. I decided to scan it in for a paper back ground. I did so with sharpen more selected to increase the wrinkles in the paper.

I chose to make a digital collage of the Woodward Cream Cruise of August 15th, 2009. I included three custom car based images and one of a young band playing on the corner near where we were watching the Cruise.

In PhotoPaint I added a green tint by using another textured background and applied the object property of Multiply to add transparency but keep the green tones. I added some paint splatters and saved the file. To enhance the colors I used the Tone Curve and darkened the image just a bit. I also made each corner stand out with the original color of the packing paper.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Beck - All In Your Mind

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Digital Collage - Classic Fins

I started with Twisted Brush Open Studio to create a grunge back ground. I used the watercolor brushes at differing sizes and changed the canvas type to use different textures on the same back ground. I saved this file.

I reopened it in PhotoPaint and also took a leaf from another grunge background and added two of them. I opened a Dream Cruise photograph of a custom car with fins, not sure if it was a Plymouth or another brand. I resized the image to fit the background. Copying to the clipboard I pasted it into the background file. I used the Thredgholder filter on it for the sketchy appearance. I used the object property on it called Color Burn to add transparency to the car. I merged these.

I used a couple of pieces of Dover clip art and filtered them and applied the object property Multiply to them and dropped them to the background layer. I also added some paint splatters and played with their opacity. I ended up with the piece you see here.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Amanda Marshall - Everybody's Got A Story

Friday, August 21, 2009

Portrait in Painter 8 - Jesse

Recently I have joined a forum that is compiled of individuals who use Corel's Painter program for digital art. Many print out their work and embellish with traditional materials like acrylics or oils, others print on canvas or high quality paper. There are some very successful digital artists in this medium. Painter mimics traditional painting tools very well and with a tablet for painting is great fun. It is considered the best natural media painting programs available today.

Here is a portrait that started as a cropped photograph taken by my son Keir M Gatzka. I opened it in Painter 8 (current version is 10 or 11 I believe.) I used the Pens Ballpoint Pen brush to do a sketch then used the Watercolor brushes to add color and depth to the piece.

I wanted to do more in the way of portraits and change the custom cars grunge motif for a time. Though I have many photographs to work from. I did do another grunge study which I will post at another time, but for now I am taking a break from them. I need to stretch my digital work a bit so back to portraiture.

Need ideas for a lyric or a title of a song? Lyric Ideas for Songs is a good resource, I have written a few songs from their ideas that they post weekly and daily. Some times you need a boost to get the creative juices flowing and a spark that can grow to glowing embers. I appreciate this site and you may find it useful as well.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Time Will Tell

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Painter 8 Portrait - David

Taking time out from the custom cars motif for a slight change. Today's image started out as a photograph of my friend David Benjamin, who is a photographer himself.

In Painter 8 I created a clone then cleared it and used the tracing function and the ballpoint pen brush to make a quick doodle. Later I came back to the image and decided to add to it. I used the woodcut filter in Painter on it and then opened both the sketch and the woodcut in PhotoPaint.

I used Tune Blur Gaussian blur on the colored woodcut to smooth out the posterized colors. Then I merged both the images using Color Burn object property on the ballpoint sketch. After saving this I reopened it in Painter and used the watercolor brushes on it. I then switched to Liquid Ink brushes and used a small brush to add to the eyes and lines cloning some of the color and using the color right from the color swatch for the highlights and clone for the background.

He looks serious in this portrait, which I highlighted by making the eyes a focal point and very intense. I wanted to do some painting instead of the cars I have been doing and decided to share the results.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - If You Got Trouble Cover

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Custom Pickup Truck - New Song 'Something Amazing'

Lacking any ideas for lyrics, but having a chord progression and chorus chords, I went to Lyrics Ideas site yesterday. I found a couple of lines that inspired me to write an new song. "Something Amazing" using the chord progression I had.

The line that caught my imagination was "I know something amazing." It sparked some ideas about amazing things, like a spark that is fleeting, how we are wonderfully made, sunsets that don't repeat themselves. Capturing the moment in song I found my self songwriting right away.

I recorded it with singing and playing the 12-string through the microphone set on "Detroit RnB Vocal" just enough reverb. I mixed in a second guitar, using "Archtop Jazz" preset in Gearbox. Then using a preset called "Basic Dirt" I added lead guitar. No drum backbeat to this one.

Some times all you need is a little push in a direction and your imagination follows the clues to fruition. The progression I had was a remix of a similar progression but switched around to a new sound. Needless to say I was delighted to be writing again. That lull was a bit too long.

The image that I am sharing today was worked up in PhotoPaint. I used a grunge background from Smoko-Stock at Deviant Art's site. It was named "Tweeter Rattled the Monkey," cute. I had to cut and paste to the clipboard and resize it to fit the photograph of the custom pickup truck I selected to use for the piece.

I applied the Thredgholder to the truck image for that sketchy look and pasted it as an object in PhotoPaint. I applied the object property Color Burn to it to make it transparent and have that burned feel. I merged the background and the object together, added some text and paint splatters. I continue with the Woodward Dream Cruise images.

So happy to have written another song!

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flamed Mustang - Saleen Custom Made

Though Ford's weren't popular cars for my family growing up, I have always liked the stylish Mustang. This flame painted custom by Saleen is a beauty. Photograph was taken at twilight, you can see vehicles in the background lit up at the gas station pumps off Woodward Avenue.

I am still using Grunge textures and paint splatters and dripping for the overall appearance of my current pieces.

Here I used Paint.NET for a light ink sketch then opened the image in PhotoPaint. There I used a Sand grunge background lightened in the Tone Curve to allow for the texture to show through. I used the object property If Darker to overlay the texture. I added the paint splatters using the font WC Rhesus B Bta and the Effect> Distort> Wet Paint> for the dripping. I merged all object and layers.

Music is on my mind and in my ears as I listen to various artists. Waiting for the time where I am creative again with some songwriting. I must be patient.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Ben Harper - Strawberry Fields Forever

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sleek and Sweet - in Twilight

Towards the end of the daylight, during twilight, I shot this photograph of a sleek and sweet ride. The driver had just pulled up to let a friend off and I was right there, so I took a couple of photographs.

I used PhotoPaint and KPT's Collection Pyramid Paint on the image to blend it out. I then filtered it through the Thredgeholder and copied that to the clipboard and undid it. I pasted the sketch onto the picture as an object and used the Object Property Color Burn to overlay it. This brought back into the piece the sleek lines of this sports car.

I resized the image for display here. I have been aware of the compression of my jpgs lately and have been making them a bit smaller for faster loading on the blog. I have been reading some about tips about blogging and the importance of certain features and image loading times. So I have improved the image compression and size, trying to avoid sacrificing quality.

I have been listening to music but not writing, I find myself in a lull for now. I do practice but nothing new has been coming out by way of lyrics and melodies. So I listen to a variety of styles and it is all going in, soon something will break out, of that I am confident.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Afro-Celt Sound System - Dark Moon, High Tide

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dream Cruise - Up Close And Personal

I skipped a day of posting so I could personally attend the 15th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise. We met in Downtown Birmingham, Michigan and watched the cruise. I was able to get a few good photographs this year.

Here is a hot rod that I shot. I used Paint.NET to make an Ink Sketch image. I decided to keep it simple and clear. I used PhotoPaint for framing and resizing and adding my signature.

This is one of the best shots I got, it is clear that the driver and passenger were having a good time with their participation on the Avenue. We were a good group my two grown children and my son in law, my brother and my wife and I. We enjoyed some refreshments that were not over priced.

On the way in the cars were so packed it took use about an hour to travel only about a mile and a half to met up with them. From our vantage point many cars sped past too fast to get really good photographs, but a few parked vehicles that I shot will be good for the blog for a few more of the Custom Cars motif.

Each year you learn something new about where to position yourself on the Avenue. We realized that the Southbound side was a better place to be, but did not have the time to cross over. We came too late in the day. But we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Mute Math - Control

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hemi's Rock - Grunge Dream Cruising

Well the telltale sign that it's time for the Woodward Dream Cruise starts tomorrow is the fact my Brother has come down from up North to visit and make his trip to the Avenue.

It's official! He comes every year to visit and stay with us while he goes to the Dream Cruise.

I have to share today a Hemi based custom car, done in grunge mode. I used PhotoPaint and a concrete texture for this White Beauty. Adding the grunge is the fun part. But I tried not to take too much away from the clean lines of this car.

I also had some time to play around with the guitar last night. A real simple rock instrumental with a major chord progression. I am listening to the recording now as I post this. Some cruising music again.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - D C G A E Run

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Red Dodge - Dressed for Crusing

"Put your red dress on, we are going cruising tonight." Once again using the Woodward Dream Cruise as a reason for a car motif I am sharing this image. Taken from a photograph at the 2006 Dream Cruise.

Each one of these I had to clone out the date in the lower right hand corner. The date was a fine reminder of what year these were taken in, but added nothing to the piece at all, in fact would have made it funky looking in a bad way.

Grunge funky is good but the snapshot look is not what I am going for. I opened this image in Painter 8 and used the woodcut filter on it, lessening the black ink to allow the red to show clearly. You can tell by the reflections on the side of the car it was highly polished. I saved that file and opened it in PhotoPaint, resized it and framed it in black, then I found a grunge background of brick and mortar. I used the Tone Curve on it to take most of the color out so I could use the texture of it. I overlaid the brick and mortar onto the image with Object Property Multiply.

Time for that cruising music.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - C2_G6_Em_Asus2_D7_C7_D7_G_D

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Woodward Dream Cruise - Are you Attending?

They've already started to cruise the entire Metro Detroit area. Custom Cars and Rebuilt Classics, Hot Rods are everywhere. It's time again for the Woodward Dream Cruise here on Woodward Avenue.

This is an annual loosely knit group of festivals up and down the Avenue. Different towns and burbs showing off their stuff along with all the magnificent cars. It's popularity brings car aficionados from many differing locales.

At "All Roads Point to Woodward Dream Cruise" article states:

"The Woodward Dream Cruise is already full speed ahead…has been for at least a week. And in spite of a few less sponsors and a tough economy, the motorheads are already lined up along Woodward Ave for the 15th annual event."

I love the term "motorheads," it describes the fans perfectly. And the Weather looks good for the weekend. So many will be out cruising and some will be just parking and lining the Avenue for a front row view.

This photograph that I manipulated in Paint.NET and PhotoPaint shows a beauty of a car with more modern lines, sleek and colorful.

I used Paint.NET's Ink Sketch filter and upped the color as well. In PhotoPaint I added a grunge wrinkled paper texture, after I resized it to fit and sharpened it I applied the Object Property Subtract to it to add it.

Time to get out all your cruising songs to listen to as you cruise the avenue.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - EGAC_Run_Am7_Em_G_D

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sweet GTO - Is It Still a Pontiac?

The Woodward Dream Cruise for 2009 starts on August 15th and many custom cars are already in town for the event. Can you beleive this GTO's engine? What torque this baby must have at the wheels!

I took this photograph, taken by my son, Keir M Gatzka in 2006, and opened it in Painter 8. There I used the Woodcut filter on it without the black checked. This gave me more color to work with.

I saved this image and opened it in PhotoPaint. I applied the Tone Curve to darken the piece, then I upped the saturation by about 9.

Musically speaking I got out my playbook of songs I have written and did some practicing with my 12-String. I am getting better at some of these songs through practice. Which is great considering I wrote them. The tempos are a challenge as always when I play. Do you find that true of you as well? They can all blend together if I am not careful.

Now listed below is a song that was written one way and performed another. The recording bears little resemblance to the original chord structure. The recording sounds better than the original chord progression. But did I write down the new chord progression? No, I simply did not. So it is nearly impossible to reproduce this song. Not to mention the drum back beat and the lead.

It is funny how a song can get away from you like that. Go figure.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - You Are The One

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grunge Chic - Sweet Decay

Well I joined another forum yesterday. It is called PainterTalk and is for digital artists using Corel Painter and other tools for creative activities.

I have had a warm welcome and hope to learn some more about using my Painter 8 program.

I also downloaded Pixxara's TwistedBrush Open Studio while I was online. I wanted to experiment with another free painter program.

I created the textured background for today's image with it. I have an image I did in ArtRage, another free painter program, that I opened in Painter.NET, yet another free program, and used the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter on the image. Copying to the clipboard I pasted it in PhotoPaint where I already had the new background opened.

I stretched to fix the 1024 x 768 texture and used the object property Multiply to add it to the piece. I added some paint splatters and Grunge fonts for interest. Oh yes, I did use the Image> Adjust> Tone Curve to darken the texture I made in TwistedBrush.

All this changing of programs may be unnecessary for others but it stimulates my imagination and I find it a challenge to use the different programs for their strengths.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Metric - Love is a Place

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Classic Car - Woodcut Look

Here's a photo-
graph mani-
pulated to look like a woodcut print. I believe that it is a Duesenberg Classic. The photograph is again from the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise of 2006 taken by my son Keir M Gatzka.

I used PhotoPaint Image> Transform> Threshold> with the color set "to black," which allows some of the color to show through, so it has a touch of color and a great textured look.

I hope you are enjoying my series of Classic cars from the Dream Cruise. I have a few more to share but you never know when I will change it up. Digital Art allows for a multitude of motifs and a variety of approaches to Visual Art.

Today I had the experience of performing for a pretty hard to please audience, a friends child. Kids know when you are faking it. I think I passed as I did a song I wrote with my son years ago, a kid's song called "A Whole Lotta Fun."

The basis of the song is you sing a couple of verses about Arnie, who wants to go skating and then horseback riding and is gonna have a whole lot of fun. Then you ask the child what he likes to do for fun, this time it was baseball, and you sing it to him/her using their name. It gets them involved with the tune and the fun of the song. It usually works well with a child or group of children. It was fun.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - This Is Us

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Muscle Cars 1971 Classic - Grunge Design

"Its about Horse-
he said on his cell phone, "You Gotta Come See It!" Yes, Detroit Iron, Muscle Cars and Speed! Its all at the Woodward Dream Cruise on Woodward Avenue this August in the Detroit Metro area.

This image continues my motif of Grunge Design with the Classic Cars theme.

I used PhotoPaint for this piece, a photograph taken in 2006 by my son, Keir M Gatzka. I started out using the Image> Transform> Threshold> filter to create a black and white image of this 1971 Muscle Car. I added color by using the selection wand on the white in the image to mask the black out, and Harry's Plugin filter Gradients> Mystic Mountain>. I applied the Effects> Custom> Alchemy> filter for the painterly appearance for some of the colored areas. I added some paint splatters using a font called WC Rhesus B Bta sizing them large enough then as an object I used the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> filter to add the drip factor.

Late last night I picked up my 12-string guitar and played using the DADGAD tuning at first then changing to the Double Drop D tuning, and on to the Standard tuning. I played around with the tunings improvising chords and lead. I used a chord progression I have already shared on this blog with a little change to it, uptempo and nice.

No recording but I did almost write something with the chord progression. I have the kernel of an idea percolating in my mind. We'll see what comes of it if anything. Seems I come up with ideas when I should be sleeping.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kt Tunstall - Another Place to Fall

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dreaming of Past Dream Cruises - Grunge Cars

Past Woodward Dream Cruises have given us a plethora of photo-
graphs, custom cars, antique stock cars, hot rods, muscle cars, etc. Many unforgettable images, some unbelievable engines with huge turbo chargers compact fuel injected low emission engines.

I chose today's photograph because it shows the full car, including it's over sized wheels and tires and other fine attributes. I used PhotoPaint and Paint.NET for this piece. With CorelDRAW for fitting text to a path, a dingbat font.

I found that using one of my splatter fonts I can take the object and apply Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> and get a drip effect on the splatter, which adds more Grunge to the image. On the image I used Color Replace to get the colors I wanted and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I love it when you try something and it comes out different than you expected, adding something you hadn't planned for but really boosting the image's quality.

I also took a small piece of a building mural from Chicago area and added it as three small objects, if you look closely you may see the giraffe in the piece. The photograph was taken on the way back from O'Hare airport, so it was a quick shot through the van window, I used it just for the giraffe.

I expect to get back to some music discussion soon - I haven't been playing for a few days and miss it. I need to get back to chord progressions in standard tuning again.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Feeling Alright

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Custom Cars are a GAS - Grunge and Polish

Hard work, a great classic car and a fabulous paint job polished up to a high gloss. You are ready for the Woodward Dream Cruise. All nature of cars will be cruising Woodward Avenue and the image for today names only a few brands.

On you can share your memories of previous Dream Cruises with photographs of your memories. And they even have an Events listing for you to plan your days at this years Cruise.

I used PhotoPaint for the piece with another Grunge sandy background. I took the photograph of the car into Paint.NET and used the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch with no color for the overlaid car image. I applied the object properties Color Burn for the browns of the ink sketch. I then thought awhile about some of the cars I had seen at previous Cruises and added their names to the piece. I know I have probably not covered them all, but many of these names are going away in the current Big Three crunch.

I used a variety of fonts, some Grunge others a bit more polished, but you'll get the idea from the image itself.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Take the Time 2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Moose no Squirrel - Grunge Humor

Alaskan Moose mostly don't have Squirrels as friends, not like Bullwinkle who had Rocky. My friend Dan inspired me to do this, he commented on a photo painting I did - something about a moose - so I remembered my Alaskan Moose photographs.

I decided to use a sandy grunge background in PhotoPaint and created the Pencil Sketches of the moose in Paint.NET. Then I instantly thought of Bullwinkle and Rocky ( name reversed because of subject being the moose.) I added some quotes I remembered from the show. One of the great cartoons of it's time.

I used the object properties of Color Burn for the overlaid pencil sketches. Adding a couple of Grunge fonts and I had a piece to share.

Personal note: I have a toothache and the Dentist says Root Canal. I am not too happy about that, as you can imagine, it hurts even with pain medication and antibiotics. So I hope for a quick change of that situation. Doesn't put you in the mood for working on music. Except maybe a song about it!

Still tuned to DADGAD and have been having fun with that tuning. Presses beyond your comfort level, to some creative highlights. Nice.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Kenny Loggins - Playing With The Boys

Monday, August 3, 2009

Annual Woodward Dream Cruise - Again with the Grunge

This August is the month for the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise of all manner of automobiles down Woodward Ave in Detroit Metro and surrounds. It is usually the third Saturday of the month, I am not certain of the dates this year. It will be bitter sweet for the city of Pontiac, Michigan as this article shows from The Freep.

Detroit Metro has been hit hard with the recession as many of the car companies have been through changes that have been short of a complete shock to the area. But people love their cars and will show them off as the Big Three struggle away against all odds.

I used PhotoPaint for this image along with CorelDRAW and some cdr format clip art cars for the piece (actually from CorelDRAW Suite 8 clip art.) The background is a sandy texture overlaid with a Photograph from a previous Dream Cruise Custom Car. I used object properties of Color Burn on the objects I overlaid on the image. I used the Thredgeholder to get the hand drawn look for the photograph.

Each year my Son and my Brother go to the Dream Cruise and take many photographs and I have many photos from differing years shows. So I go vicariously and get to use the photos if I want to, thanks to my Son.

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

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Grunge Guitar - Chord Progressions II

Recorded yesterday, a tune using the DADGAD tuning with my 12-string guitar and I mixed in some lead using Audacity's program. It was enjoyable to get some recording done even if it was only an instrumental.

Included in the image is another couple of chord progressions if you can make them out. With the Grunge approach to design you can't always read things clearly. But that is part of the fun of it all.

Busy day with company. Keeping the post short. Will try and do better in future postings. Enjoy the image.

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

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grunge Design - Chord Progressions Embeded

"Drop D" and "Double Drop D" tunings are also great for making creative juices flow while playing guitar and experimenting with chord groupings. In my previous post I discussed the DADGAD tuning for the same reasons - creative playing.

Wikipedia has a listing of alternative tunings for guitar including the open tunings. Many songs have been written using these different tunings in Rock. Jimmy Page was known to use some of them for songs.

My Grunge designed image has many chord progressions in it as part of the whole and some chord charts with very basic chords for the standard guitar tuning. If you can make them out then feel free to try them.

I used PhotoPaint for most of the image, Thredgeholder filter and object property "Color Burn". I also used CorelDRAW to make the chord charts. On the two guitars in red I used Thredgeholder then I used Effects> Texture> Plastic> filter on them for a slight three dimensional appearance. There is an old rusty Ford tractor in the background as well, you may be able to readily see the headlight and grill of it.

Now playing on Windows Media Player: Jeremy Fryc - Oh Jackie