Friday, April 23, 2010

Ballpoint Pen Sketch Revitialized

A ballpoint pen sketch from an afternoon at the Secretary of State's Office done quite a while ago. I doctored it up in PhotoPaint, fixing the background.

Saving that file I opened it in Painter 8 and used some Painter 8 Wow! Book acrylic brushes, for the face and hair. Creating another layer I painted with Digital watercolor brushes to add color to the background and the blouse and jumper. I saved that file.

I opened up that file in PhotoPaint and added a Lamp and a frame with a rabbit on the wall from Dover Clipart, a little Art Deco feel.

I used Filter Forges' Freepack - Frames for a film frame in black.

On the music side I finished "I'm Counting On You" with a bridge finally, you can listen to it on My Page at Acoustic Guitar Community It's the first song listed on the media player at the left hand side of the page:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Something Old - Something New - Something Red - Something Blue

This image started off from a very close crop of a young blond woman in a black and white photograph. Many of you may remember the program "Fauve's Matisse" which was an older natural media paint program complete with KPT's Tools.

I did the original in that program but decided to update it with my current programs for an enjoyable project.

Opening the 600x800 image in Paint.NET I applied some filters to 1) add a painterly look and feel 2) add line art look and feel. I did use Effects> Artistic> Oil Painting> for one filtering. Then I used Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> for the lines. Saving that file I opened it in PhotoPaint.

In PhotoPaint I resampled the piece to 1024x768 and added to the Papersize 100 pixels for a white frame. Using Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames I added a red grunge frame to that and then resampled back to 1024x768 size which you see here.

I'm still working on the song, "I'm Counting on You." I am thinking of doing a re-recording of it using my 12-string guitar. But I still need a better bridge and it just hasn't happened yet. I'll keep working on it!

Listening to: I'm Counting On You - Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Something Different - Sinatra? - Painter 8

The original photograph is from Giovanna of Painter-Talk's forums. It is a street performer emulating Sinatra, and his lady friend standing close by. The photograph is cropped (in PhotoPaint) to close in on these two figures.

I opened it in Paint.NET and used two filters, the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> which I placed as a new layer, with the property of Color Burn. And my color layer I used Effects> Artistic> Oil Painting> for a painted look. I merged the layers.

I then saved this file and opened it in Painter 8. I cloned the image and made it into Tracing Paper. Using the Ballpoint Pen at 1.1 size I sketched over the two figures as line art. Then I switched to Cloners, Soft Cloner, Spattery Brush, Straight Cloner and painted back in more details.

I also increased the saturation in PhotoPaint, as well as added the LensFlares, at the right and left sides, with KPT's Collection to add flavor and light to the image.

I want to thank Giovanna for an interesting subject matter to work with.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Return to Guitars and Song Snippet - PhotoPaint

Returning to my favorite guitar motif I created today's digital collage with a close up photograph of my two guitars.

Beginning in Paint.NET I applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter to the photograph, which gave me some good hard lines to work with. I saved that file and opened in PhotoPaint. I have another Corroded Rust background which I also opened and copied the guitars an overlaid them on the Rust with a change in opacity and the object property of Multiply. The texture came from This allowed the rust to really show through.

I then added a snippet of chords and lyrics from a new song I'm working on, "I'm Counting On You" ©2010 Kirk Mathew Gatzka. It's a song about a lonely man who had it good in a relationship but foolishly treated the woman. Now late at night he contemplates his wrong doing and wants to make up as he realizes how good he had it. Simple lyrics show he's Counting on her to return to him with forgiveness.

I then added some paint splatters and dripping effects, adjusting the opacity of them to allow the texture to show through. I finished off the piece with a light film frame in black from Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames filter.

Note: My Recent Press Release about my new children's eBook "The Three Sleeping Umbrellas"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dual Guitars - Shadows and Colors - Adobe Lightroom Trial

I am running out of time on my Adobe Lightroom Trial, 9 days after today. In keeping with my guitar motif I selected a photograph of my two, a Lyon by Washburn 6-string, and a Seagull 12-string.

I again used my SAD daylight lighting on this exposure. It gave it the wonderful shadows. Adjusting in Lightroom I brought out the shadows and darks, adding some highlights and increased saturation as well. I vignetted somewhat but added a film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames, while in PhotoPaint, to emphasize the darks and shadows in today's image.

Busy today so I will keep the posting shorter than usual. Some days are just like that.

Listening to: Ace of Base - The Sign

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dual Colors - Grunge Guitars

Another digital collage of grungy guitars on rusty painted metal. I used PhotoPaint to combine two colored rusty painted metal textures to create the background. I got the textures from

I applied the Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder to the guitar photograph for the grungy lines. Then I added a bit of lyrics and chord progression plus the paint splatters with dripping using the Effects> Distort> Wet Paint> filter.

I was working on a new song titled, "I'm Banking on You." It's a slow rock piece. with a chord progression of C/G D/F# E and Cmaj7 E. I used a heavy guitar setting in Gearbox for the lead which has a bit of feedback with it. It's only a 3 minute song shorter than my usual fare. I don't have a drum back beat for it, just 4 tracks of rhythm, lead, background vocals, lead vocal. Done in Audacity I saved it as an MP3.

Listening to - I'm Banking on You - Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guitar Works - Collage - PhotoPaint

A Digital Collage done in PhotoPaint I titled this "Guitar Works." I began with a background of some metal machinery from I selected one of my photographs taken of my two guitars placed at a precarious angle, a view I liked from my DLSR.

I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and used Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder to create the line drawings. I reproduced them more than once and applied them at differing sizes.

I also found a photograph of myself in a suit and tie, in my office, the creative area I am often in, but usually not dressed up. I applied the same filter to it and placed myself at the center of all the activity of the collage. You can't tell it's me and you may find it hard to make it out because of my techniques used on this piece.

I used the Tone Curve to lighten the image a bit and increased the saturation to 15 which brought out some color from a rather grayish image. I added a Film frame using Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames to complete it.

Listening to: Spending the Afternoon-Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two Guitars Grayscale - Adobe Lightroom Trial

Well, my trial period with Adobe's Lightroom is rapidly coming to a close. So I chose one of my guitar photographs to experiment on. The original photograph was taken using lighting from a day light SAD light source, thus giving me shadows to work with.

The original wall was a purple color with a purple rug at the bottom. But the SAD light source really made the image. The overlapping shadows created much interest for the piece.

I used the Tone Curve, Saturation, Vignetting, and a couple other adjustments with the last being Grayscale. Lightroom is a wonderful product with many tools I haven't even touched. Like the Print and Web features, which are full and robust.

The subject matter is a Lyon by Washburn 6-string guitar and a Seagull 12-string guitar. Both are fairly playable, but my favorite is the Seagull. I do a lot of my songwriting on it. It has a full bodied tone quality that the 6-string doesn't come near to.

I've been practicing a song with some flatpicking and some hammerons on the 12-string. It sounds great!

Listening to: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Mystified
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guitars Rust Diet Pop - Grunge

Rusted painted metal, splashing Diet Pop, Guitars now have something in common. They all came together to create today's image.

A rusted painted metal texture from and a scanned in photograph of different types of Diet Pops splashing together, and a photograph taken by me of crisscrossed guitars were combined in PhotoPaint to make this Grunge piece.

I had to add some lyrics and paint splatters and a few guitar chords from a song I am working on and that became what I am sharing today.

I layered two type styles with dripping added using Effect> Distort> Wet Paint> on the text and splatters objects. That give some graphic depth to the lyrics I added.

I did not use Lightroom for the Tone Curve but did in PhotoPaint to add some depth to the image as a whole and an increase in saturation to about 15 for color.

The song I am working on has lyrics like this, which is part of the composition above:

Mystified ©2010 Kirk Mathew Gatzka





Am7 G

Simply stunted

G Em

Generation of ideas

G Em

Escapes my mind

G Em

Pouring over unsteady thoughts

G Em

Without anything brought

It's about writers block, the words were written some time ago and I have been in a writing lull lately so they were appropriate for my mood. Creation of the melody and chord progression was what I've been working at to help me break out of a slow period of music creativity. Seems to be helping.

I've also done some experimenting with Instrumentals using my Gearbox software to select differing guitar styles and tones and playing lead around some chord progressions. But no words lately. So I wait and do so patiently. They will come again no doubt.

Listening to: J.J. Cale - After Midnight

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Acrylic Painting of My Grandson - Painter 8

My Grandson Ezekiel, or Zeke, is growing so fast that his features are already changing. He is losing his newborn look and taking on some baby fat. What an amazing process.

I used PhotoPaint to adjust the size of this photograph from 800x600 to 1034x776 including the black 10 pixel frame which I added at the end of creating this painting.

The original photograph was taken by my Daughter, Dresden, and sent to me via email. I opened the up-sized photograph in Painter 8 and using Acrylic brushes I adjusted the opacity and began painting from the Tracing Paper.

I stuck closely to the original palette only lighter. I left the background white so I could make changes in PhotoPaint. In PhotoPaint I lassoed the baby and masked him out to change the background. I used Effects> Custom> Alchemy> filter with an oil canvas setting.

Removing the mask I deepened the image with the Tone Curve, just a tad to keep the softness of the piece. I applied Filter Forge's Freepack Frames watercolor frame again for a soft feel.

I thought about cropping the finished painting, but I like the off center placement of Zeke.

Listening to: The Beatles - Norwegain Wood (Stereo)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Newly Published Children's Book - "The Three Sleeping Umbrellas" by Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Who is Mr. Wuu and why won't the umbrellas he sells open up when a storm threatens? All the main characters in "The Three Sleeping Umbrellas," by Kirk Mathew Gatzka, wonder if they have been sold poorly made purchases. What is "The Day" all about and what surprise will it bring to their small town?

You can find out if you go to and purchase this newly published book. Simple Illustrations depict Mr. Wuu (seen here) and his customers who purchase these "sleeping" umbrellas as you read this endearing story written for children.

For an affordable $4.99 you can get an eBook of "The Three Sleeping Umbrellas," right at No trip to the book store in the rain, you can purchase and download your own copy to read to your children within minutes.

Based upon an 8.5" by 11" size in Adobe's PDF format you can read it off the screen of your computer. It is formatted in Century Gothic type for inexpensive printing from your own printer.

Why not buy a copy of "The Three Sleeping Umbrellas" today as a gift for your children? You will enjoy a delightful tale with suspense and fun built in.

Custom Hot Rod Pick up Truck - ArtRage - Lightroom Trial

While I am testing out the Adobe Lightroom 2 Trial version (full version sells for around $299.00) I am trying it on several differing images.

This image was first of all painted in the Free ArtRage with oil brushes. I added back in just enough detail using PhotoPaint to overlay the original photograph with transparency. I added the frame using Filter Forges' Freepack Frames. Then I saved the image.

I opened the piece in Adobe's Lightroom 2 Trial version and adjusted the Tone Curve, Saturation, and gave it some depth increasing the Shadows a bit.

I really like this program and would like to own it, but it doesn't fit the budget for now, maybe somewhat later. I love the way it brings out details and deepens the coloring and effects the lighting. Makes the image really POP!

I don't have the credits for the original photographer, so if you recognize it let me know so I can give full credit to them.

Listening to: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Mischief Maker Makeshift Taker
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Falling Barn - Adobe Lightroom Trial

I combined this black and white photo-
graph, taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka, and opening in PhotoPaint I created a quadtone, altering back to RGB 24-bit, of this decrepit barn. With a full rust texture background from I combined the two using the object property of Multiply. I adjusted the Tone Curve and Saturation lightly in PhotoPaint.

I then opened the file in Adobe's Lightroom 2 Trial program. There under Develop I adjusted the Tone Curve and Saturation again bringing out the shadows and sharpening the details. I added a bit of Vignetting to darken the tone around the main focus, the barn itself.

Exporting this to my folder, I again opened it in PhotoPaint and added a frame using the Filter Forge's Freepack Frames. I adjusted the settings to make the frame smaller and added the rounded corners. I made the white outer frame black instead.

Listening to: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - GDEmAmD
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grungy Guitars - PhotoPaint 12

As my mind has been on my music of late I decided to do another collage based on guitars. I selected a dripping rust texture from as the background for my image.

I chose and resized three guitars, two Alvarez 6-strings and one Takamine 12-string. Using PhotoPaint I combined the images. I selected the guitars using the Wand tool and pasted them into the background as objects. I used the object property of Color Burn on them for transparency to allow the background to show through.

I added a snippet of a lyric and a chord progression along with some paint splatters to the image. Then I added a border to it and using Filter Forges' Grunge Frames I adjusted a frame to suit the rusty image.

Listening to: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Like I've Never Been Refused

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Grunge Floral - Painter 8

Well we have reached another peak of over 4,000 visitors to gatzkART! We want to thank all of you who regularly follow this blog, and welcome any new visitors as well. As usual we try to provide you with interesting visual digital art and explanation of techniques, with a little music talk along with it.

Today's image is another spring floral. This photograph was taken in our own gardens from a previous spring. Out blossoms are not out in full bloom yet here in our part of Southeast Michigan. But we are looking forward to more perennial flowers this year.

I opened this photograph in Painter 8 and cloned the image then cleared it and used the tracing paper function. I first used a Sumi-e brush to add line like strokes to the flowers. I then used the Soft Cloner brush to fill back in some details like the water droplets on the flowers.

I used some Painter 8 Wow! Book oil brushes to create the background, adding the yellows to help the flowers to stand out. Saving this file I reopened it in PhotoPaint and lassoed the flowers, used the Tone Curve on them to heighten the shadows and then increased the Saturation by 7. I inverted the mask and applied the Effects> Custom> Alchemy> filter to add a light texture flavor to the background.

Again I used Filter Forge's Frame applying a Grunge frame to the over all painting.

Listening to: Southwest Statistic - Tri State Area

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sumi-e Brushes - Floral - Painter 8 - from Vector Graphics

For today's image I used CorelDRAW and drew vector flowers from my imagination. I converted this to a bitmapped image to use in other painting programs and saved that file.

As I have been experimenting with Painter 8's Sumi-e brushes I opened the piece in Painter. Using differing Sumi-e brushes I repainted the flowers and then outlined them. Saving that file I opened it in PhotoPaint to add a background.

I selected the white background with the Wand tool and masked out the flowers. Using the Effects> Custom> Alchemy tool I added an Oil canvas background in lavenders.

Then using Filter Forge's Frames I added a blue watercolor frame to the piece. I added a 10pixel black frame to that and my signature.

I have been more active on the Acoustic Guitar Community website. Adding three of my songs for review in Songwriting Review Group. And I added these same songs to my page on the site.

I am getting some really good feedback from the Community members about my songwriting and ways to improve it. There are some very helpful members and always some good advice to be considered.

To go to the Acoustic Guitar Community go to the bottom of my blog and click on their Badge. I'm not certain if you have to join to listen to my songs or go to my page or not. You can find out while you visit. I am listed under my full name there.

Listening to: Alison Krauss - Rich Woman

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yellow Floral - Painter 8 Sumi-e

This image came from a desire to try out Painter 8's Sumi-e brushes. I prepped the piece from a photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. He was using our old digital camera in Macro mode to capture these flowers.

I opened the image in Paint.NET and ran a couple of filters on the image to simplify the details. I also created another layer and filled that layer with the light Spring green color. Dropping the layers they merged with some transparency due to the filter I used.

I saved this large file and opened it in PhotoPaint. I resized it and applied the Filter Forge's Watercolor Frame to it. I saved this image to a file.

Opening this in Painter 8 I cloned the file, then selected all and used Edit Clear and selected none to create a tracing paper. I used the Fine Sumi-e 30 brush to add back in details of this piece. For the background I set the Opacity to 30%, allowing the flowers to show up more clearly. This gave the painterly look and feel and some texture to the image.

Listening to: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Slow Ride