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