Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vintage Digital Collage - Dover Clip Art - PhotoPaint

Using a texture from Mayang's Textures I selected a portion of it in Photo-
Paint for the back-
ground. I then used Picasa 3 to browse a slideshow of my Dover Publications Clip Art. As I browsed I selected differing pieces and fit them into the collage.

I used the Tone Curve to increase depth and boosted the saturation. I had used the object property Texturize on each piece of clip art to give an overall unity of the image. I added the heart with the young couple in the left hand lower corner for an image of love. I also added the butterflies to the floral plant for some interest.

It was a simple image to construct. I really enjoy the variety of Dover Publications Clip Art. They have a great selection of vintage pieces. I added a blue-green border and a film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3 to complete the collage.

Now playing: Dashboard Confessional - 5
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grunge Guitars - Baby Blue Texture - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

Digital Collage with a Grunge flavor and Guitar motif is today's image. It is a return to one of my favorite motifs grunge guitars. I took a selection of a large texture file with baby blue paint and gray / white paint from Mayang's Textures. I opened it in PhotoPaint and using it as a background I applied the Tone Curve for depth, leaving the saturation alone for a change.

I opened a dual guitar photograph taken by myself, in Paint.NET. Here I applied the Effects> Artistic> Pencil Sketch filter using a larger pencil point for the sketch.

I copied this to the clipboard and pasted it into the background layer in PhotoPaint, using the object property Color Burn I merged it into the image. I then added a snippet of guitar chords and lyrics from my song "Better Left Unsaid." Also adding some paint splatters and drippings.

Using Filter Forge's Freepack 3 for film frames I first added blue borders and subsequent two film frames to the image.

For easier reading here is the snippet of chords and lyrics I used in today's image:

"Better Left Unsaid"

A Bm C#m D
We're looking on the bright side
A Bm C#m D
Brushing it off the shoulders
A Bm C#m D
Feeling like a million dollars
A Bm C#m D
Are you jealous? Do you smolder?
E E7


F#m C#m
I call that inappropriate
F#m C#m
For two many reasons
F#m C#m
Never been a better time
F#m C#m
Link to the past lessons
But some thing's are best left unsaid
G E E7
Rumors get ever widespread.

The song can be heard at my link to My Page at the Acoustic Guitar Community on the right side of the blog. It is listed first on that page in the player on My Page. You are welcome to go and listen to it if you so desire.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Better Left Unsaid
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 27, 2010

Every one is Talking Snow!

I had to share a nice Snow photo-
graph taken with our old point and shoot digital camera. I changed the photo-
graph to black and white and removed all the electrical lines from the image.

I only added a couple of borders to this image for framing. I did little else to adjust the image, just a bit of Tone Curve in PhotoPaint for more depth.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Peaceful Tones
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Orchids - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint - Painter

A photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka of Orchids at the produce market last summer.

I opened it in Paint.NET and applied a pen and ink sketch filter along with a painterly filter for a start. I saved that and opened it in PhotoPaint. There I applied the Tone Curve and boosted the saturation for depth and color. Then with Filter Forge's Freepack 3 I used a watercolor frame. Adding a 10 pixel black border.

In Painter I added Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance> for the texture ( see the larger image for details. )

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Don't Leave Me Alone
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Babe - Pet Portrait - Painter

I don't recall sharing this image before, if I did please excuse my bad memory! I rarely do pet portraits but this face was full of expression and I did it for my son. It is his dog "Babe."

I cropped this from a photograph taken by myself, focusing on the face. Babe is a happy dog and very kind and gentle.

I used Painter to do this impressionistic image of her and used the soft cloner to bring back detail in the eyes.

Filter Forge's Freepack 3 was used for a film frame. I upped the saturation and adjusted the Tone Curve for color and depth in PhotoPaint.

Now playing: The Beatles - One After 909
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grandson - Painter 8 - Expressionism

A quick painting for today's post. an expres-
sionist image of my Grandson. I used a background created in Paint.NET using a kaleidoscopic filter and then a muck up in Painter using an acrylic grainy brush.

I used watercolors and liquid ink brushes for this quick study of a young boy's head.

No realism is intended in this piece. Just a expressionistic view. I did clone some of the original background in with the soft cloner.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12-String Guitar DADGAD Tuning Instrumental - The Roof

The Roof by Gatzka Music

Who is That in the Mirror? - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

I couldn't resist manipu-
lating this photo-
graph of my Grand-
son in his Giraffe costume. A follow up after yesterday's image.

Here he is gazing into the large mirror trying to figure out what he sees. He even reaches out to touch himself.

I did a slight manipulation on the original photograph taken by my Daughter. In PhotoPaint I cropped it to focus on the action and leave out uninteresting details. I saved the file after re-sampling it and opened it in Paint.NET.

There I applied the Ink Sketch filter highlighting the color and minimizing the ink. I saved it again and reopened in PhotoPaint.

Now I altered the Tone Curve to darken it and give some depth, also I upped the saturation for bolder color. I added a film frame in Filter Forge's Freepack3. Added a brown border and applied another film frame for a double frame.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - A Bm C#m D Run
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Giraffe Costume - Grandson - Painter

Here is a cute image of my Grandson in a Giraffe costume. I have another photograph of him touching the mirror trying to get to the Giraffe inside. You can't see his face so I did not use that one.

I used Painter 8 for this watercolor. A simple approach, nothing fancy. I used Auto Clone for the muck up and then painted the rest of the image.

I used both a watercolor frame and a film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3 for framing the piece.

We love this little guy and he looks great as a Giraffe!

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Something Amazing
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Building - Toledo Ohio - Art Nouveau

I began today's image as a large collage made in Picasa 3. There I used the collage aspect of super-
imposing photo-
graph upon photograph to create a background.

I opened PhotoPaint and using Picasa selected an older building photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka in downtown Toledo, Ohio. I copied it to the clipboard and pasted it into the background.

In Paint.NET I turned the same building into an pen and ink image which I copied and pasted over the existing gray-scaled buildings image, using the object property Multiply to allow the background to show through.

In PhotoPaint I went to my Dover Publications clip art folder and selected an advertisement that I reshaped and resized to place on the side of the building. I used object property Opacity to alter the transparency of the advertisement to allow the brick work and cement work to show through.

I also selected another advertisement for the center block of the front of the building. which I sized and reshaped to fit. Also altering the opacity of it to add slight color to the building's heading. I added a stained glass window to one of the windows of the building.

I took an Art Nouveau frame which was portrait in size and made it a rectangle to fit the image for framing it. I altered the color to match the building's color.

I then added the Art Nouveau woman and cut her out while in PhotoPaint and pasted her into the image. I used the eraser to clean her up and applied object feathering to her, sizing her to the window to give the appearance of her reaching out. Then placed her with the Ctrl-Shift-Down Arrow.

I upped the saturation of the picture a bit for boosting the color and used the Tone Curve to give it some depth.

Now playing: The Beatles - Hard Days Night
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wine Shopping - Flaming Pear's Zombie - Painter 8

Looking for a focal point is some-
times a chal-
lenge. But this photograph, taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka, was a no-brainer. The focal point was clearly the wine bottles on sale.

I kept this image very simple as I found that, in Painter 8, Flaming Pear's Zombie filter to be an adequate one time filter. It created a black and white image with much grain and a vignette of gray.

I added framing using Filter Forge's Freepack 3 again, using a dual film frame. As you know it is one of my favorite frame selections in the Freepack.

So nothing fancy or technically difficult to produce this piece. But I really like the resulting focal point and the grain of this image. Hope you like it as well.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Use It Or Lose It 2
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Toy Doll Collection - Flaming Pear - ChromaSolarize - PhotoPaint

Toy Collec-
can be fas-
cinating subject matter for Digital Visual Art. I selected this scanned in image of a collection of dolls belonging to my niece.

I enlarged it in PhotoPaint, and saved it for use with Flaming Pear's ChromaSolarize filter. I applied the filter in Painter, and then saved that file.

I reopened it in Paint.NET and used the Ink Sketch filter on it and added a painterly look and feel to it as well. I then used Adjustments> Curves> Luminosity> to add depth to the colors.

Back in PhotoPaint I added a 50 pixel pink border to begin framing it. With Filter Forge's Freepack 3 I added a thin film frame, then I added another pink border and thin film frame. I selected the last border and applied Texture> Plastic> to it and removed the mask, saving the final image.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Come Home Blues
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dancers at a 50th Wedding Anniversary - Flaming Pear Effect

Quite awhile ago we attended a Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary party. This is when we had a point and shoot digital camera, before I got my DSLR. This shot was taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka at that party.

I opened the file in Painter 8 and used Flaming Pear's ChromaSolarize filter on it to give it the look and feel it has now. It is an interesting way to look at details, like shadows and the balloons and lighting.

I added a double film frame using a fill on a fifty pixel border that I made from another photograph. I added the film frames with Filter Forge's Freepack3, one of my favorite framing techniques.

The effect was a simple way to make a striking image of the dancers. The couple are of Mexican descent and the music theme was Mexican and the dancing was marvelous.

Now playing: Concrete Blonde - Mexican Moon
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dancers Surrounded - Digital Collage - Self Portrait

This digital collage began as an Art Nouveau floral back-
ground from Mayang's Textures. As I went I added various pieces to the collage, some Roaring Twenties, Japanese, a couple dancing, a self portrait, a man working an old saw, and a banner.

I used some of Dover Publications clip art along with images I produced, like the dancers and self portrait. I placed each piece and sized them to fit, angling some. The majority of the work was done in PhotoPaint with a bit done in Paint.NET.

I am down to two days of my 30 day Alien Skin Exposure trial so I did pick Color Film> Cinema> Technicolor Vibrant> which boosted all the color of the image.

I added a brown border of 50 pixels width with a double film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Switch Time
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Toddler in Chalk and Digital Watercolor - Painter 8 - Baby Collage

We were comparing baby pictures of my Daughter and Son n law with pictures of their son, our Grandson. To our delight we found that we could see both of them in his features and expressions.

This image for today was one of the enlarged crops I made for a collage for them from scanned in photographs at 300dpi. It is my Daughter as a toddler. I used Painter 8 Chalk brushes for the piece, varying size and taper. I used a large Chalk brush for the background then applied a Digital Watercolor brush which darkened the background considerably.

I applied Alien Skins Exposure 3 trial Slide filters to add to the texture. Deciding that I wanted more texture I used the Apply Surface Texture> Paper with a woven cloth swatch.

In PhotoPaint I added a large border to allow me to use Filter Forge's Freepack 3 frame on the image without losing any of the crop.

I also am sharing the collage of the three of them showing the similarities from each parent. It is amazing that DNA carries this remarkable ability to form a human with part of both parents so well mixed. We got a big kick out of doing this collage. I used Picasa 3 for the collage and resized it in

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Use It Or Lose It 2
via FoxyTunes .

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Song - Better Left Unsaid

Better Left Unsaid by Gatzka Music

Music - American Indian and Spain Motif Collage

I was able to over-
come my slump with my music and was able to finish three new songs:
  1. Where the Wind Blows
  2. Switch Time
  3. Better Left Unsaid
I have placed them on my Acoustic Guitar Community Page [click here] and have asked for input as to which song is the most popular. Thus far "Better Left Unsaid," is the choice a few have made.

I believe that I over-mixed "Where the Wind Blows" as it has some distortion. Some of that comes from using a Progressive Rock vocal style on the song, which wavers in and out. I may rerecord this tune with a simpler mix, just vocals, guitar and a little reverb. "Switch Time," is one of the shortest songs I've written coming in at 2:41, I usually am in the 4 - 5 minutes region, longer I know.

Today's image is another Digital Collage made with Mayang's Texture background and Dover Publications clip art. I did add texture to the large American Indian design in Painter, but the majority of the piece was assembled in PhotoPaint. It also has some flavor of Spain in it with the man and his donkey on the right.

I used Filter Forge's Freepack 3 for a watercolor frame, which I altered to make it not as predominate and colored it an olive background. I added a ten pixel black border as well.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Better Left Unsaid
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Art Nouveau Digital Collage - A Custom Sedan

Art Nouveau is one of my favorite art periods. I have taken one of Mayang's Textures of peeling painted rust and used it as the background for this themed piece.

With PhotoPaint using Art Nouveau Clip Art from Dover Publications I added them to the image using the object property Multiply for most of them and Color Burn for others along with Invert. I placed them In such a way that the theme would be obvious.

Using the first two pieces of clip art I ran the image through Alien Skins Exposure trial - Technicolor Vibrant - which boosted the color dramatically. Then I place the other pieces to frame the larger ones. I finished with a film frame from Filter Forges' Freepack 3.

On the Custom Sedan I used Paint.NET for the Ink Sketch and applied a painterly filter as well. In PhotoPaint I applied the Technicolor Vibrant from Alien Skin trial. I added a LensFlare from KPT's Collection for an enhancement. Finished with a film frame from Filter Forge.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Where the Wind Blows
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Custom Corvette - A Technicolor Sunset

Another two images to share today. The first is a custom Corvette Wagon at the Woodward Dream Cruise a few years back. And the second a Sunset near some railroad tracks in Waterford, Michigan.

Both of these photographs were film processed scanned in at 300 dpi and resized for display here. On the Corvette I opened the scan in PhotoPaint and used Alien Skins Exposure 3 Trial Color Processing on it. Then I brought it into Paint.NET and applied the Ink Sketch filter, also a painterly filter. Back in PhotoPaint I used KPT Collections LensFlare on the image. I boosted the saturation by fifteen and added a film frame with Filter Forge's Freepack 3.

For the Sunset photo-
graph I used Alien Skins Exposure 3 trial and applied the Technicolor-Vibrant filter which boosted the color dramatically. I did not have to increase the saturation at all for this photograph.

Still in PhotoPaint I applied the film frame to the piece. Then added both a white ten pixel and a black ten pixel border to the framing.

All in all two good images to share with you.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I Walked Along the Lakes Song
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Burst of Creativity - Multiple Images


Ice Cream Truck

Self-Portrait Playing Guitar

Another Guitarist


A Single Peacock

An Artist At Work

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Onions 89 Cents - Produce Shopping

A simple image post today. "Onions 89 Cents," is the title. As you can see the image is one of warm colors and depth. The original photograph was taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka in the Lansing, Michigan area, while produce shopping.

I used Paint.NET Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> on it after resizing it for the web. I upped the color all the way up. In PhotoPaint I used the Tone Curve to add depth to the piece. And using Filter Forge's Freepack 3 I added a warm colored watercolor frame. To that I added a 10 pixel black border and my signature in black as well.

In Painter 8 I applied Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance> to the whole piece for a good texture. (see the larger version by clicking on the thumbnail.)

All in all a simple digital manipulation of a great photograph, keeping it warm and inviting.

Now playing: Blind Blake - West Coast Blues
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Song - Like I've Never Been Refused - SoundCloud

Like I've Never Been Refused by Gatzka Music

Corel Painter Digital Painting - "I've Got Tooffies!"

"I've Got Tooffies!" is the title of today's painting. My Grandson has got a grin you just have to smile about. He is bright eyed and has an attention to detail that is just marvelous.

I took the photograph of him this week, in a series of shots I was able to capture this toothful grin. I opened the file in Painter 8 and used the Wow! Book Oil Brushes for the muck up and some of the cloner brushes to add back in detail in his eyes and grin. For the background I used an oil brush then I used a Texture Spray brush for the impasto look and feel.

In PhotoPaint I added a watercolor frame with Filter Forge's Freepack 3. I altered the color to a brown orange and narrowed the settings for a fuller image. I also added a black border in PhotoPaint and my signature file.

I really like his expression. He is a very expressive child and a joy to be around. He concentrates so closely when you are talking with him and makes many sounds, he is very vocal.

This same day I read a children's book to him and he watched me and listened through the whole book with out lapse of concentration. He is only nine months old. Amazing!

Listening to SoundCloud Acoustic Guitar Group

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Digital Visual Art Tutorial

I decided to use CamStudio, free version, Screen Casting software to create a Tutorial showing step by step digital manipulation. I scanned in an APS camera Panoramic size photograph of a tree with unusual bark at 300 dpi and 100%. Saved that file and as shown manipulated it.

Due to the timing going 4 minutes over the 15 minute limit for YouTube I did not show the finishing of the image. I'll explain that here.

I used Filter Forge's Freepack 3 for a film frame on the piece and also had recorded how I use my signature file, inverting it to black and white. Placing it as an object in PhotoPaint I used the object property of If Lighter to make the black transparent for a white signature.

I like using CamStudio for Screen Casting but in the future I will cut up my clips to fit the 15 minute guidelines. So I may have more than one in a series.

If you like the Tutorial feel free to let me know. One thing I've learned it is time consuming, Screen Casting, uploading quality video and it is also fun. I hope to make more as time allows.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Wedding Photographer - Steps to a Digital Watercolor

I began today's image with a photograph of a wedding photographer sitting down with his camera at the ready. I scanned in the image as 300dpi and opened it in PhotoPaint. There I cropped the image to focus on the photographer.

I used the eraser on white to roughly erase all the extraneous photograph and saved that picture as a file. I opened the file in Paint.NET to apply the Pencil Sketch filter to it. What I got was a nice sketch of him with a white background.

Saving that file I opened it next in Painter 8 and selected the Watercolor Brushes. I used a camel hair brush at varying sizes, and also for the background I used the Digital Watercolor brushes on the beginning layer.

I used two differing colors for the background an ocher and a red, brushing them around and horizontal to the seated photographer.

I reopened in PhotoPaint to create a border to the image and apply Filter Forge's Freepack 3 watercolor frame first. Then I applied a film frame to it as well. To finish it I drew a freehand black line around the image just inside of the outward most frame.

I have shared three images to give the general idea of how this piece progressed.

Now playing: Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan Three Tunes
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Playful Digital Collage - PhotoPaint - Paint.NET

A piece of Mayangs' Bubbled Paint / Rust Texture, Dover Publica-
tions Clip Art, a portrait in pen and ink, make up today's image. I enjoy digital collage very much and it is a satisfying creative act.

I choose Flora's Feast clip art by Walter Crane of a woman playing two flutes and dancing, Another piece was a chart of a man's body with proportions. A border design on the right hand side, which I narrowed and lengthened it before placing it. To this I added an pen and ink portrait to give a central focal point.

To create the portrait I used Paint.NET and the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter with the color set to it's lowest and also lowering the ink thickness. I cut the face out and pasted it as a new image to add it.

I did all the rest of this in PhotoPaint, and used Alien Skin's Exposure 3 vignette only Round Soft filter on the whole image. In Exposure I adjusted the saturation and tone curve for color and depth. Adding a finish of Filter Forge's Freepack 3 light film frame to the image.

Now playing: NPR - CMJ: Looking Back to a Whirlwind of Music
via FoxyTunes

Friday, November 26, 2010

Speaking Out - PostWorkShop DEMO - and Other Stories

Today's image started out as a scanned in, 300dpi, photograph of a friend of mine. He is a good friend and is very outspoken thus the title, "Speaking Out." I used various steps to produce the final image.

I first applied a Gauguin filter from PostWorkShop's DEMO version [click here] which left me with a nice image but covered with watermarks announcing the DEMO. I liked the beginning piece so I did more digital work on it.

In PhotoPaint I copied the original photograph to the clipboard, and resized the DEMO output, I pasted the original into the Gauguin image. Using the object properties I adjusted the opacity to allow the paint like portion to show through but this effectively did away with the DEMO watermarks and I merged it. As the background was sufficiently white I used the magic wand selector and added a blue violet gradient to the background.

I had some white lines around the head and face so I selected the clone tool and used that around the outline getting rid of the white. Saving that file I reopened it in Painter.

While in Painter I used a Cort pen brush and drew around the main parts of the face and head and some details of the clothing. This gave the piece a pen and ink and painted look and feel.

Back in PhotoPaint I added a small black border to the image. Then I used Filter Forge's Freepack 3 to add a black film frame which darkened some of the background, which gave it a finished appearance. I then applied the Tone Curve for added depth to the piece.

As you can see the finished piece has a nice look and feel of traditional media.

Now playing: A.I.C. - Don't Follow
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Digital Collage - Guitar Player - Picasa 3 - Vision Board - Flaming Pear - PhotoPaint

Here is another Digital Collage made with Picasa 3. I began work in the program Vision Board Builder and formed a collage of the "Guitar Player Chording D" and other guitar photographs.

I opened this file in Painter and used the Flaming Pear filters on it to create differing styles of the beginning collage. I saved each image separately and went back to Picasa 3 to select them for another collage. I created the collage and saved it. Then I opened it in PhotoPaint to add a film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3.

I did some curves using the Tone Curves in PhotoPaint to give depth to this collage. I inverted my signature file and added it in white to the finished collage.

Now playing: NPR - Bob Dylan Bootlegs, Tom Tom Club, Marah
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Narrow Overpass - Paint.NET - Painter - PhotoPaint

I wanted to take a look at some older film photo-
graphs from many years of family photo-
graphy so I pulled out the ones that didn't make it into an album.

I found a few that captured my interest and here is the Narrow Overpass photograph after I scanned it in and did some digital work on it.

First I used Paint.NET to make it painterly and then used the Ink Sketch filter on that. I brought that file into PhotoPaint and I masked and added a blue violet gradient sky, as the one in the photograph was overcast and white / gray. From there I took it into Painter and used a small oil brush to paint around the trees and the railing. During this process the power lines disappeared from the sky, not missing them I saved that file.

I added a film frame with Filter Forge's Freepack 3 and resampled for posting here.

Now playing: Dashboard Confessional - 1
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Song - Hook, Line and Sinker - SoundCloud

Hook Line and Sinker by Gatzka Music

Inspiration Striking - Dual Guitars

Last night I was playing my 12-string guitar and striving to work with a chord progression that used G D C D Em Em7 Em6 Am Am7 Am/G Am/F# back to G. I was able to come up with a workable base with these chords but no melody or lyric came to mind.

Sometimes the inspiration is there striking like a bolt of lightning other times it takes time for it to burst into a full-blown song. I like impulse driven inspiration the best, but it doesn't always happen. Sweat Equity comes to play, hard work and time. I'm not very patient to be honest, and like it when a song bursts into being.

That wasn't happening last night. So I did today's image - two guitars in black and white with a lightning bolt added to the piece. I used Alien Skins Exposure 3 trial to make the color photograph a black and white one with a bit of a border created in PhotoPaint.

I had an image of a lightning bolt that I added, it was made using KPT's Collection feature. It was just an experiment that today came in handy to illustrate the type of Inspiration I really enjoy. Not that I don't mind a good challenge mind you, I do. I feel that some songs just happen and creating them is a joy. Others are a challenge and are not as much fun, but still it's enjoyable to overcome with a decent finished song.

A little Sweat Equity never hurts.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - I Want It Today
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Painter Wow! Book Brushes - Watercolor - Chalk - Liquid Ink - Ezekiel in Hat

I really like this photo-
graph of my Grandson Zeke with his hat on crooked. So I decided to paint it digitally. I used the following:

Painter 8
Wow! Book brushes, acrylics, building brushes
Liquid Ink
Watercolor (not necessarily in order of appearance.)

I was going for a new look and feel to doing portraits and I love the wide variety of brushes in Painter. I wanted a loose feel but striking colors and style. Chalk and Liquid Ink brushes lent to that effort.

I used PhotoPaint only to crop the photograph, and add borders to frame the piece. All the painting from the reference photograph was done in Painter.

In Painter I did a muck up with Watercolor brushes. Switched to the Wow! Book brushes and painted in details. Added color with the Chalk brushes and the Liquid Ink brushes.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this piece.

Now playing: Bto - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
via FoxyTunes

Song on SoundCloud - Miss Lillian Decides

Miss Lillian Decides by Gatzka Music

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Song on SoundCloud - Til it All Comes Together

Til It All Comes Together by Gatzka Music

Digital Collage Experiments - Vision Board Builder - PhotoPaint

I was enjoying a playful time with Vision Board Builder collage making software I introduced a post ago. I found it delightful to use along with Picasa 3 browsing my collection of images.

The first image has as a theme Stringed Instruments and I used some famous artworks along with photographs. I used a pixelization plugin on it and it slightly pixelized the image. I added a film frame to it in PhotoPaint using Filter Forge's Freepack 3.

The second image doesn't really have a theme except for the color red, which is found in most of the pieces with some exceptions. Red was my primary background color and I enhanced the image for that color. I also used a flim frame on this one.

As you can notice I joined Sound-
to post my music and place some of it on the blog with a player widget. My first song I uploaded and shared was "Collision Warning" a song about pride and it's downfalls.

I will add some more songs up to my free storage limit and share them here. I hope you enjoy them and ask for your comments as well as any you would like to make on the artwork.

Now playing: Buffalo Springfield - Smile on Your Brother
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SoundCloud - Sharing Music - Song = Collision Warning

CollisionWarning1 by Gatzka Music

More Digital Collage - Vision Board Builder - Picasa 3

I am still using my trial versions of the plugins I mentioned in yesterdays post. Doing digital collages in Picasa3 and a new free program from Day Blocks called Vision Board Builder [click here].

I am posting another two images today of this different approaches to collage. I selected multiple photographs of my Grandson for these. You might say the "Many Faces of Ezekiel," which I entitled one of them.

As you can see I used some of the same photographs for the second collage. Having a grandson is wonderful and one cna't help taking more and more photographs. I had a visit from them yesterday and got a few more of him with one of his hats on. An enjoyable visit and time well spent.

You'll notice the radial feature of Vision Board Builders collage with some lines showing through, but mostly the blending works very well.

I had no trouble with using it first time out. It opened without a hitch and the placement of the modified photographs was easily accomplished.

I should mention that Kurt, the programmer of Vision Board Builder also has a video explaining how to use the program for building your Vision boards or collages on his page that I have the link to above. Tim, an acquaintance on Painter Talk found the program and that's how I found out about it. So if you are interested in digital collage I recommend this program.

Now playing: Buffalo Springfield - Everybody Look What's Going Down
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun with Picasa 3 Collage - Alien Skin - Flaming Pear

I often use Picasa 3 for browsing and choosing photo-
graphs and / or artwork to work on digitally. I also like the Collage feature of it.

Yesterday I downloaded some trial versions of plugins for Painter and PhotoPaint. Two from Alien Skin [click here] and some freebies from Flaming Pear [click here].

I used Picasa 3 to browse and find photographs to experiment on using these plugins. The first shown is a collage of guitar photographs that I used various plugins on. Unfortunately I did not keep track of which ones I used, but as you can see I ended up with a dramatic collage.

The second collage is made up of eight differing experiments on the same portrait photograph. This is a crop of a photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. I do remember using Exposure 3 from Alien Skin for most of these differing exposures.

I used Picasa 3 to make a 16:9 collage of the eight faces using a grid with the image posted behind the faces and a drop shadow around each. All done with Picasa 3. I opened the large collage files in PhotoPaint to resample for viewing here, using a 1200 pixel width.

Both collages turned out as interesting studies and show the versatility of the plugins I am trying out. One interesting facet was inverting my signature file for the second image, making it white instead of black. I still have to experiment with replacing color on the signature for other images that need a different color. But in due time I will do that as well.

Now playing: Archie Roach - Life Is Worth Living
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 15, 2010

Driven to Abstraction - Traditional Tools - Painter 8

I was up last night and I decided to get out my tradi-
tional art tools and do an abstract piece. I used a drafting triangle for the lines and the center of it for the triangles with the curved corners.

I used a number of different Pencils, colored, watercolor, pastel, and soft pastels to do the coloring. I wanted to use intersecting lines and differing color to do this non-representational image. I kept it pretty simple.

Today I scanned in the image I created and used PhotoPaint to adjust the working size. There I selected the wand and masked out the forms while I added a brownish gradient to the background, that had been left white on the original.

Saving a interim file I opened it in Painter 8 and selected a flat blender brush and blended some of the colored areas starting with the edges. I wanted to leave some of the texture in so I did not blend every colored piece.

I saved this file and added, back in PhotoPaint, a border and a frame using Filter Forge's Freepack 3. I used my new digital signature file complete with hand drawn symbol and date.

All in all I had fun using traditional tools again and will try to do more sketching and abstractions as well as fictional portraits, in the future, to scan and use digital tools on them.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Switch Time
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Colored Produce - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

My misad-
venture with Filter Forge's Free-
pack 3
has been solved. I had saved the install program for instances like I had yesterday when it quit working for me. So today I reinstalled it. But I had to fight with my Anti-virus program to allow it's installation. I successfully reinstalled it and used it on this image.

I applied the same techniques I used on yesterdays produce image. Using both Paint.NET and PhotoPaint I adjusted this photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. I made this piece very red and did so with the framing as well.

The depth of color using these techniques are extremely satisfying in a straight forward handling of an image presentation. As I am creating such images sometimes the steps I take are ones that I have successfully used before. I tend to remember these steps and use them again and again for differing pieces. Thus I have a series of images that look similar and are in a similar motif.

Like the use of a formula of Verse, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Bridge, Chorus, that a songwriter may use for the forming of a song, I use these steps to produce digital visual art.

Now playing: Ace of Base - The Sign
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Colorfilled Produce Market - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

Today I was working on an image and when I went to finish it off with a frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3 the plugin would not open. I tried closing the program, after saving the image, and reopening it and it still did not work. So, I closed down some programs I had open to free up memory and it still did not work. Disappointed I created my own frame.

I had started with a photograph taken by my son, Keir M. Gatzka, in the Lansing, Michigan area of some produce in the market we were visiting.

I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied my favorite painterly filter to it. I resized the image to a working size for the internet. I then applied the Ink Sketch artistic feature to it pushing the color up all the way and reducing the ink lines to allow more color.

I used Curves> Luminosity> and gave the piece depth. I saved this file and opened it in PhotoPaint. Here I upped the saturation by 15 and tried to frame it. Since Filter Forge's frames did not work I created a black border about 90 pixels wide, then a yellow border with a 10 pixel wide black border.

I used the wand to select the yellow and applied Effects> Texture> Plastic> for a 3D look to the frame. I added my signature to the image and finished it. Saved it again for display here.

Now playing: Edward Sparks - Heartlandtest1182010
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Screen Casting with CamStudio - Vector to Painting - Ink Sketch - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

As I look at online tutorials that show how to use different computer programs, I began to wonder. If I give explanations here as to my techniques in producing my images maybe I could make up such a tutorial or two.

I did a search on screen capture and found a number of helpful listings. One lead me to a program called CamStudio. It is a free program so I downloaded it and began experimenting.

In a short time I had made a test demo of creating an image. CamStudio is simple in interface and saves your tutorial as an AVI format, which with it's accompanying program SWF Producer can convert it to a Flash playable hi res screen casting. I had a little trouble with audio but I was able to work through that while doing my tests.

I would recommend CamStudio for those with limited budget who need to do some Screen Casting. [click here]

Today's image is an older one I updated. It began as a Vector drawing of a cat from a photograph I took of Misty, who has left us, frightened by a visiting dog. We haven't seen her since.

I opened the large file in PhotoPaint and resampled it to 1024 wide. Saving that I opened it in Paint.NET and applied a painterly filter to it, then I used the Ink Sketch filter on it. I boosted the color all the way up. Back in PhotoPaint I placed a border around the image for use with Filter Forge's Frames. I then applied a photograph frame adjusting the settings for a black mat and a narrower green frame.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Bo Diddley Fun
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bob Dylan - Digital Expansion - CorelTRACE - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint

Bob Dylan was an influence on my earliest musical experience, as he was for many. He currently has some of his early work out on CD and you can read about it on his site [click here]

Mr. Dylan is also an artist and you can see his art online as well [click here]. His work is simple, colorful and extraordinary.

I found this image of him browsing in Picasa 3 and am not certain of the photographer. If you recognize it please let me know so I can credit them here.

I first opened the file in PhotoPaint and resampled the image to 1200 pixels wide. I saved that file and opened it in CorelTRACE and turned it into a traced vector image, which I saved in cmx format.

I opened that in CorelDRAW and ungrouped all the vector pieces and selected some at random and exploded them out from the center of the image. This gave me white space to use for additional color.

Using the rectangle tool I created one larger than the expanded image. I placed this behind all the other pieces and selected a purple color to fill the white spaces. I selected the white of his face and added an outline to it.

I copied this to the clipboard and pasted it into PhotoPaint where I adjusted the size and converted to a jpg file. I opened that file in Painter 8 and used Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance> for texture. I reopened it in PhotoPaint and used Filter Forge's film frame on it and added my new signature.

If you are a Dylan fan and you have yet to visit his official site don't hesitate to click on the above provided links. His art is a visual treat and his musical history goes on as bright as ever.

Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Mr Tambourine Man Cover
via FoxyTunes