Monday, May 31, 2010

Congratulations Visitors We Hit over 5,000!

Today we hit over 5,000 visitors to gatzkART! Another milestone for this simple blog! Congratulations to all who visit on a regular basis and welcome to all new visitors.

Thanks to all readers and Digital Visual Art and Music aficionados!

We will continue to provide the best art and music discussions we can in the coming months.

Enjoy the Basket of Begonias Award!

Yellow Orange Lilies - Painter 8 - PhotoPaint

A simple post for a busy day. This floral watercolor image began as a photograph from our local greenhouse, "WoJo's." I took about 48 photographs the other day during our buying for our vegetable garden. Plenty of colorful flowers to paint.

I used a similar workflow on this image as I did for yesterdays with the exception I painted with watercolors in Painter 8. I used light opacity and a diffuse brush of varying sizes. I added back in some details with the soft cloner and used a Digital watercolor brush for the background.

It looked a bit sloppy so I took the original photograph and in Paint.NET I applied a painterly filter to it. In PhotoPaint I opened both the image and the filtered photograph. I copied the photograph to the clipboard and pasted it as an object into the painted image.

I adjusted it with the object property Multiply and lightened the opacity. I merged the results together. Applying Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames Watercolor frame I finished with my signature and the 10 pixel black line frame.

Listening to: Eric Clapton - Let it Rain

Sunday, May 30, 2010

White Floral - Paint.NET - PhotoPaint

Continuing with the Photo-
graphs of flowers at the local greenhouse I selected another one to display.

I opened the white floral with the yellow pistils in Paint.NET and applied a painterly filter to it. I also adjusted the Tone and saturation there. Saving that file I opened it in PhotoPaint.

In PhotoPaint I selected the brush tools for Dodging and Burning. I used those brushes to add and subtract highlights and shadows to the piece.

This took a bit of time to do. I then selected a watercolor frame in Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames for the image. I added a 10 pixel black line and also another white frame after that using the Image> Papersize> function. I finished with adding my signature and copyright.

Listening --- Strange Days --- Acoustic Junction

Saturday, May 29, 2010

White Lilies - Watercolor - Painter 8

We went on an outing to the local greenhouse here called, "WoJo's." I though I'd take my camera along and get some new photographs of flowers, though we went mostly for our vegetable garden. I found plenty of color and variety there.

These white lilies were among the photographs I really liked for doing a watercolor painting.

I first prepared the photograph by adjusting the Tone Curve in PhotoPaint. The shadows needed to be lightened. I saved that file.

Opening it in Paint.NET I applied one of the paint filter plugins which simplified the details somewhat and gave it a painterly appearance. I then saved again and opened it in Painter 8.

Once there I cloned the image and cleared it and turned on the Tracing Paper. From there I selected the Watercolor brushes and adjusted my opacity, diffusion, and varied the size of the Camel brush. I painted each petal individually and the white watercolor grayed somewhat, which was fine with me as I liked the result. I also painted the pistils and the one bud waiting to bloom.

I created a New Watercolor Layer and proceeded to paint the background keeping it light as much as I could for transparency and grain. I then went back to the original layer and selected the Digital Watercolors and added the yellow to the petals. I applied the soft cloner to the pistils for more detail, and blended with it as well. I saved that file.

Back in PhotoPaint I added the Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames watercolor frame and also added some additional framing using Papersize with varying pixel width.

Last night I was working on a new song. Another broken relationship tune. I am not certain I like it as yet but am still working on it. I am using the chord progression of Em A for the verses, D G D A for the chorus, with a bridge of Dm7 Fmaj7 G7 Dm7 Fmaj7 G and turnaround back to Em A for the last verse. I recorded my first version in Audacity and saved it for my mp3 player.

Listening to: Eric Clapton - After Midnight

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tiger Lily - Watercolor - Painter 8

Tiger lilies are not in season here yet but soon will be. I took this cropped photograph of a single lily to paint today.

I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and enlarged it by setting the dpi from 72 to 96 then to 128. I used the Tone Curve to deepen the shadows and color and upped the saturation by 7. I saved that file and proceeded to use other tools.

I simplified the photograph with a filter in Paint.NET which softened it and gave it an oil painting like appearance, without loosing much detail. Saving that file I opened in Painter 8 and cloned it and clearing the clone I applied the Tracing Paper.

Using the Digital Watercolor brushes, at varying sizes, I blocked in the general form and the dark background. I then took the Cloner Soft Brush to add back in some of the details of the pistils and the frilled edges of the flower.

I finished it off with a watercolor frame in Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames.

My 7 day Trial of ends today. I would like to recommend them to any beginning guitar player to advanced player. They have many lessons there in video and live chat sessions, many of which I just touched on. It was a thoroughly enjoyable week with them. [click here] for

Listening --- Open Book --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Red Peacock - Fractal Based - Textures

I love to play around with Fractals and many times come up with unusual images. Here is a fractal based image that ended up looking like a Red Peacock.

After generating this fractal, probably in Apophysis, I used Painter 8 to apply the texture using image luminance.

I then used PhotoPaint's Effects> Custom> Alchemy> to enhance the texture once more.

I love the accidental quality of playing with fractals, you never are certain what you may get.

I applied Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames film frame to the image to give it that finished look.

Listening --- I'm Raw --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yellow Red Orchid - Watercolor - Painter 8

This image began as a pastel and pen sketch in one of my sketchbooks. I scanned it in at 300dpi for a fair size file. In PhotoPaint I selected the piece leaving out the fold of the sketchbook page. I saved that file and opening in Painter 8 I cloned it and cleared it and using the Tracing Paper I began to paint it using the Camel watercolor brush.

I used varying sizes of the brush and also the Flat brush for much of the background, focusing on the Orchid. Completing that I used the soft cloner to add back some detail of the pen lines and to boost color in places.

I saved the file again and reopened it in PhotoPaint where I added a watercolor frame using the Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames. I added a small yellow mat to this using Image> Papersize> centering it and using 30 pixels setting.

I was recently invited to join for a 7 day trial period. [click here] to go to their site. I looked up some Blues guitar lessons and learned a bit of blues - chords - shuffle - turnaround, etc. It is a good site for learning guitar playing. I also participated in a chat with Mark Lincoln of the site which was informative and enjoyable. The sites monthly subscription starts at $19.95 a month. Which for what is made available in video lessons is reasonable.

My trial is just about up so I will try to get some more Blues lessons perhaps today. I may not be able to afford the subscription right now but I will book mark that site for future reference.

Listening to: Tim McGraw - When the Stars Go Blue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fictional Faces Portrait - Freehand - Pastels - Painter 8

I have a drawing book titled, "Drawing the Human Head," by Burne Hogarth that I study periodically. He has a very definite approach to drawing and it influenced this image that I am posting today.

I drew this freehand on white gesso covered packing paper, which gave it tooth and texture. I used both pastel pencils and pastel chalks. It is a fictional face from my imagination based largely on the above mentioned books guidance.

I called him "Harold," for some unknown reason, just to name him. He doesn't resemble any Harold I know personally.

The image is larger than what you see here and I scanned into the computer what my flatbed scanner would allow. I then took the very large image into Painter 8 and painted it with, if I remember right, the acrylic brushes as a clone.

I have a 102MB file of this in tif format. I opened that in PhotoPaint to resample for the web and resize it for display here. The original picture on the gessoed packing paper is in storage now.

I resurrected it for display after doing another "face" search in Picasa 3. I had a great time creating this portrait of a fictional character and I hope you enjoy it.

NOTE: This appears to be a duplicate posting of this image. To see the original posting go to the bottom of the blog and search the blog for "Harold" and you will find it. Sorry if you have been following this blog long enough to know I make mistakes!

Listening --- She Let Me In --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Monday, May 24, 2010

Young Woman Portrait - Painter 8

I used the "Faces" search in Picasa 3 to find a suitable portrait to paint, and discovered this photograph. I don't know who to credit for this photograph, if recognized I would like to credit the photographer, please email me or comment on this post.

I opened the large file in Painter 8 and used Painter 8 Wow! Book acrylics to begin. I used varying sizes and brushes for the underpainting and then the details.

Her hair has a wonderful flow to it and I tried to add to that with some lines and a coarse brush. I used the standard colors palette for the oranges and yellows and pinks. I used oil brushes, chalk, crayon and blenders.

After I finished painting the face and hair and clothing I saved the file and opened it in PhotoPaint. The original background was completely black, which I left white intentionally. I selected the white with the wand tool then used PhotoPaint's Effects> Custom> Alchemy> filter on it to make the background more colorful with orange and yellow paint daubs. I added some orange pen brushstrokes to the portrait to couple it with the background better.

I also added a few broad strokes to the background for interest. I saved the file then I resized it for posting here. I added a film frame from Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames.

Listening --- Art for Arts Sake --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Return to Grunge Guitar Digital Collage

I was going over my files listed in Picasa 3 and came across this guitar image I did some time ago. In the very center is a photograph of my 12-string Seagull guitar, and it is surrounded with other guitar images.

I hadn't done a Grunge image in a while so I decided to revert back to that subject matter for this piece.

Using PhotoPaint I opened the guitar image first then found a floral wallpaper grunge texture file which I loaded into PhotoPaint as well. I went to the guitar image and copied it to the clipboard then I pasted and enlarged it to fit, into the grunge texture. I increased the saturation by 7 and that boosted the colors a bit.

I opened a chord progression text file in Notepad and copied a portion of that to the clipboard and pasted it as a text object into the image. I added some of the usual paint splatters to grunge it up somemore, I really like to do that as it adds that quality to the image.

I added a Grunge Frame from Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames to complete the effect.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Downtown Detroit, Michigan - Paint.NET - Painter 8

Downtown Detroit, Michigan is a picturesque Metropolitan area. It has many older buildings and great perspectives. This photograph was taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka.

I did little to the original photograph. I opened it in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter with the color turned all the way up and the ink slightly down, for the ink sketch feel.

In Painter 8 I colored the gray sky with the Digital Watercolor coarse dry brush, a sky blue. And I added a bit of texture to the image.

In PhotoPaint I upped the saturation by 7 to increase the colors, and using the Tone Curve I deepened the shadows. I then applied Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames film frame to finish the image.

Musically I worked on another song yesterday. I am trying out a new program Verse Perfect [click here] which helps the writer with available rhyming and Thesaurus built right into the program. It's great for writing lyrics but does not give you any music ideas as far as chord progression or melody lines. I am still evaluating the software but it is a free download and I like what it does so far, I would recommend it for help with lyrics or poetry writing.

The new song rhymes well, sounds nice, to me anyway, but I fear it is another of my songwriting attempts that is elusive as to clear meanings. I tend to write poetry for lyrics, and they don't always tell a story or make a lot of sense. This one may fall into that category, you can be the judge.

Here is the new song: "Art for Arts Sake" ©2010 Kirk Mathew Gatzka

E F#m A
Art for arts sake
E F#m A
Isn't all it takes
E F#m A
It takes a nursery rhyme
E F#m A
An accomplice in crime

C#m Bm
Trembling at what lay ahead
C#m Bm
We trip over each other
C#m Bm
Scared by what's behind
C#m Bm
We trip over each other

C#m Dm7
Falling down we tread
C#m Dm7
It's only what we dread
C#m Dm7 hold
Was it something that I said?

E hold

E F#m A
Art for arts sake
E F#m A
Isn't all it takes
E F#m A
It takes a nursery rhyme
E F#m A
An accomplice in crime

C#m Bm
Trembling at what lay ahead
C#m Bm
We trip over each other
C#m Bm
Shaped by what's behind
C#m Bm
We trip over each other

C#m Dm7
Falling down we tread
C#m Dm7
It's only what we dread
C#m Dm7 hold
Was it something that I said?

E hold

E F#m A
Art for arts sake
E F#m A
Art for arts sake
E F#m A
It's all I can take
E F#m A
Art for arts sake
E F#m A
Art for arts sake

E F#m A
E F#m A

Listening --- Art For Arts Sake --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Contemporary Building - Chalk - Painter 8

This image is from a photograph by my son Keir M. Gatzka, in the Detroit Metro area. It's a more contemporary building stylistically than the decayed buildings I have posted earlier.

Using Picasa 3 I searched for "build" in the search bar and found a number of photographs taken by my son. I right clicked on it and opened it in Painter 8. I cloned the image and selected all and cleared the digital canvas, then selected none.

I used Ctrl T to turn on the tracing paper and chose the chalk cloner brush to begin painting this piece. I followed the lines of the architecture with varying sizes in the brush to allow for the perspective to show through.

It is basically a clone but all the brushstrokes are mine.

Listening to: Eric Clapton - Let it Rain

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

John R and Woodward Ave - Pencil - Watercolor - Painter 8

Downtown Detroit, Michigan at the corner of John R and Woodward Ave in the evening. This photograph was taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka.

I opened the black and white photograph in Paint.NET to apply the Effects> Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter for a pencil based image.

I then opened the file in Painter 8 and used the same Watercolor runny bleach brush as previous posts, in varying sizes. I selected the colors to show the bright lights in the windows and the darkened buildings.

I saved the large file and reopened in PhotoPaint to resize and adjust the Tone Curves to darken and deepen the shadows. These buildings are not decaying but are used everyday Downtown.

Last night I played the 12-string plugged into my Toneport and using the Gearbox software applied a Clean Guitar tone called "Like Heaven" to the following chord progression:

E F#m A C#m repeat 4

C#m F#m repeat 3

A7 on 5th and 6th frets
D E hold

E F#m A C#m repeat 4

C#m F#m repeat 3

A7 on 5th and 6th frets
D E hold

I recorded it in Audacity and added a bass like lead to the tune, making an instrumental. I added a third track using the Gearbox setting for Arch-top Guitar with the bass turned up as a second rhythm.

Listening --- Triad Emaj --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Monday, May 17, 2010

Local Barn - Pen and Ink - Watercolor - Painter 8

More pen and ink and watercolor in Painter 8 for today's image. This is another photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. I like the current motif of decaying buildings and this fits that category well.

I followed much the same techniques as in the last couple of entries. Using Paint.NET for the pen and ink filter. This time color tuned all the way up and the ink pattern tuned up slightly.

Taking this image into Painter 8 I selected the runny bleach brush and used varying sizes for the watercolors.

These old buildings at one time had a usefulness that was needed and it is a shame that many of them are no longer used. It shows a move from a more agricultural based economy to the current information era economy, with factory work in between.

It is odd that as they stand now they have a charm to them a nostalgic charm that appeals to the eye. Put out to pasture as it were they hold interest and your attention. One can imagine them bustling with workers and hay and animals. Times long gone now.

Decaying barns imply
Times not so long ago
Workers at their tasks
Then resting in the snow

Now no one goes there
Only cameras capture
Moments of contentment
Simple lovely rapture

Paint and painting gone
The planks falling apart
Shadows build an air
Of a majesty of art

Listening to World Cafe Podcast --- The Clientele

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Decayed Barn and Silo - Pen and Ink - Watercolor - Painter 8

Keeping with a building motif, along with the Pen and Ink and Watercolor style, I selected another photograph by my son Keir M. Gatzka. As you can see it is of an old decaying Barn and Silo.

I used the same techniques as yesterdays image with the exception of using the Painter 8 Watercolor brushes instead of the Digital Watercolor brushes.

I began with the larger photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter with color turned up but the ink slightly turned down to make some of the details clearer.

In Painter 8 I selected a Runny brush for the wash in the sky, using the color selection from the enhanced photograph, a purple sky. I colored the barn with a dark rusty red and the silo with a dark brown red. I added some light blue to the snow for depth. The Hawk was added with a Liquid Ink dry brush on it's own layer. All layers were merged and I saved the image in jpg format for the Web.

In PhotoPaint I added my signature and resized for display here.

Listening --- The Last Good Cowboy --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Candy Store - Pen and Ink - Watercolor - Painter 8

The image posting today is from another photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. It was taken up in the Traverse City area of Michigan. A candy store closed for the season.

I opened the photograph in Paint.NET and applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter to it with the color turned up and the ink upped a bit for the details.

I wanted to add more color and opened the file in Painter 8. I used a Runny Bleach Watercolor brush at varying sizes for painting. I selected the colors myself. I really thought the barn red doors and trim appropriate to this plank built building. I added color to the sky and a touch of blue to the snow for depth.

In PhotoPaint I resized the image for the web and added my signature.

In music I have added another song, "I Need You My Friend" to My Page at the Acoustic Guitar Community [click here and scroll down to the player on the left of the page to play the song.]

I am also presenting a new song "Pages Without Numbers" to the Songwriting Review group there for comment. After I have some feedback I will post it to My Page as well.

Listening --- Pages Without Numbers --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trio - Digital Watercolor - Painter 8

Today' image is from a photograph of a trio of young people. I used Paint.NET for the Effects> Artistic> Pencil Sketch> filter to create the beginning sketch to work with. I like the control that this program has for Pencil Sketches better than Painter 8's sketching filter - I was able to get clearer lines for this pencil and watercolor image.

I opened that in Painter 8 and used various Digital Watercolor brushes to paint this image. I adjusted sizes and left the standard settings alone. I did no cloning in the process I selected the colors I wanted and used the eyedropper at times to reselect certain colors.

The piece is of my son Keir M. Gatzka and two of his friends taken outside of a BigBoy's restaurant quite a few summers ago. This was of course before he was married.

I applied a watercolor frame filter in PhotoPaint and a 10 pixel light brown line frame to finish the piece.

Listening to: I Need You My Friend -- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Portrait - Painter 8 Wow! Book Brushes

I am posting a portrait painting I did using the Painter 8 Wow! Book brushes. I really like these brushes and the results I am getting with them.

I had first opened this photograph, the photographer is unknown so if you recognize them please let me know so I can give due credit, in Paint.NET. I applied the Effects> Artistic> Oil Painting filter to it for an underpainting.

I opened it next in Painter 8, cloned it and cleared the new image for the tracing paper. I then used the brushes from the Wow! Book and laid down a second underpainting. Using the stamp tool I applied the oil brush to bring out the details and add line-work to the piece. I used two shades of light gray to add highlights to the eyes and lips.

In PhotoPaint I applied the Tone Curves to deepen the colors and used Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames to add a film frame. I also added my signature to the image.

Listening to --- That's Just the Way the World Is --- Nick Basecki

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Young Ladies - Painter 8 Wow! Book Brushes

This painting is done in Painter 8 based on a work I did some time ago reworked in Painter. I titled it "Pucker" because the lips are slightly puckered.

I used Painter 8 Wow Book's acrylic brushes and grainy brushes for this piece. I took the eyes, eyebrows and lips from the original image using the soft cloner brush for details. As I also highlighted the buttons that frame the image with the soft cloner.

I wanted to do some more painting with Painter 8 so I approached this image from that perspective. I did used PhotoPaint to increase the dpi to 96 and sharpen the original. Then used the stamp tool with the selected brushes described above. It is more painterly than some of my other pieces of work, but that was the goal.

The second image is from a photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka. I opened the image in Paint.NET to apply the oil painting filter for my underpainting. I saved it as a tif file format. And I applied the Curves to it to deepen the color and shadows.

I reopened it in Painter 8, using the Wow! Book brushes I painted the piece with another broad based underpainting and then added details with finer oil brushes. I love the realism in this image as I usually go for a looser feel. I really like the smile of this young lady.

I saved the tif file and opened it in PhotoPaint. I only added the grunge frame using Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames again along with my signature. Converting it to jpg for display here.

I worked on a song titled, "Pages Without Numbers" yesterday. I recorded a simple vocal and 12-string guitar with a background vocal as well in Audacity. I used two vocal settings for my PG58 Shure microphone in the Gearbox software from Line 6. One was a Detroit R&B vocal for the guitar and background, and the other one for the main vocal - Bright and Clean. I'm not truly satisfied with the recording as I listen to it today. It is kind of muddy sounding on the background vocal. I need to re-record it for clarity.

Listening --- Pages Without Numbers --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vector Graphics - CorelTRACE - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint

Vector work can add to an image clean lines and radial gradients, as well as other cool effects.

I used CorelTRACE on this photograph of a young lady to alter it to a vector graphic. I added some freehand drawn curves to her hair and radial gradients to the eyes and lips in CorelDRAW. I also exploded some of the vectored pieces and added a background and some solid color to the face.

In PhotoPaint I copied the image to a bitmapped format. I used the Effects> Artistic> Crayon on an early iteration of the bitmapped image. This was prior to adding the freehand curves and other vector pieces. I also used Painter 8 acrylics for color around the eyes as the lines made the eyes too black.

I did use the Little Inkpot's Thredgeholder for the black lines adding the copy of the image with the object property of Multiply. I finished the image with some filtering and adding a background of a plant's skin for interest, which I had gotten from PainterTalk's forums.

Listening to: 06popcast.mp3 - New York Times

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hemi - All Dressed Up - Paint.NET - Photoshop 7 - PhotoPaint

A photograph taken by my brother Kent M. Gatzka at the Franken-
muth Auto Fest
is today's first subject.

I cropped this image to focus on the Hemi being displayed. I cloned out a date on the image and two figures at the top of the trunk in PhotoPaint. Saving that file I opened in Paint.NET 2.5.5 version.

Once there I used the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch filter with the color turned all the way up, which gave the white car a aqua tint and deepened the shadows. I saved it again and reopened it in PhotoPaint. Here I used the Tone Curves to add depth and increased the saturation by 7. I added a frame using Filter Forge's Freepack - Frames.

Listening to: After Midnight Cover - Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Friday, May 7, 2010

Grunge Guitar Collage - Songwriting Musings

Today I am sharing two new guitar based images complete with chord progres-
sions and lyric snippets and drippings. I created them using PhotoPaint and the available features that allow me to add each piece into the digital guitar collages.

I have been working on two new songs and I added some of the lyric snippets and chords from them cutting and pasting from MS Word documents. I place the Text tool into the image and paste the snippets and selecting them all I add font, color, angles and drippings.

I do most of my songwriting on the computer now, I don't keep a journal, I write lyrics in Notepad or MS Word. Sometimes the chord progressions comes first then a melody then lyrics, other times I write lyrics and the chords and melody come afterward.

I structure the song as I go, rhyming, verses, hopefully a bridge, and a good melody. I use various chord progression tools I have found online and printed out to help come up with a progression that works well together.

The two songs, "I'm Counting On You," and "I Need You My Friend," were written differently. I started with "I'm banking on you," first of all with the first song, changing it to "Counting" later as I worked on it.

The second song began as a poem written at my daughter's house, then I altered it as I added a chord progression from my tools I have adjusting the chords, lyrics, melody after the lyric was in written form.

Songwriting is a work of flow and concentration, coming as it does intuitively. It is funny how many revisions can take place during the process. For "Counting," I wrote and recorded about 5 different versions before I was satisfied with the song. "My Friend," took less time and was recorded only twice before I had what I think is a pretty good tune. And with that one I cut a chunk of lyric out to the beginning poem to make a manageable song.

Lately I have been encouraged to write and record using a simple, clean approach to my presentation of the song. Vocal and Guitar only, recorded without any leads or background vocals or drum beats. I think this simplification has helped as I had been too concerned about production technique that it was hurting the songwriting.

Musically I have been enjoying the process immensely as I work on new songs and chord progressions and look for the elusive "bridge."

Listening to ---- "I Need You My Friend" ---- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Warm Guitar Complete with Blanket - Photoshop

I just got an extension cord for my Wacom Tablet that allows me to disconnect it from my PC and then connect it to my Mac G4. Why would I want to do that? Because I wanted to explore Photoshop version 7 better.

This photograph, taken by myself, was put through some paces in both PhotoPaint and in Photoshop 7. I made a quadtone of it in PhotoPaint and then saved it to my Zip 100 disk so I could port it to the Mac.

In Photoshop 7 I used some of the Artistic filters on it to give it some grain and paint daubs. I adjusted the Curves to deepen the shadows. I was using the jpg file format to move between the programs with ease of use.

The title is somewhat an oxymoron as Blue is not the warmest color there is, but it is a comment on the blanket in the photograph, draped around the guitar.

I brought is back into PhotoPaint and added Filter Forges Freepack - Frames watercolor frame to the piece. I resized it there for the web.

The second image is from Peter Frampton's, "Alive" cassette cover. I had scanned in the image and saved it in tiff format. Using the Zip 100 disk called Ferryboat2 I moved it over to the Mac G4 and used Photoshop on it for a painterly look and feel. The filters are different than what I have in other programs and I like the look of a variety of them. So I applied one here as well. It softened the image, I used Curves on it and adjusted the saturation of it in Photoshop.

Ferrying it back to the PC I added the watercolor frame to it in PhotoPaint.

The third image is one of a sketch I did of my son, when very young, sleeping on a pillow. I scanned in the sketch and using Painter 8 painted it with watercolor brushes.

I also Ferried this to Photoshop and added a Gaussian blur with some texture as well as doctoring up some of the lines of the sketch with a black 2pixel brush. I again used a watercolor frame for it with a 10pixel black frame to finish it off.

I am still learning how to use Photoshop 7 and would love to have CS5 but it is cost prohibitive at this time so I use what I have to the best of my current knowledge and abilities.

Three very different images all done using Photoshop 7 and PhotoPaint.

Listening to --- Move in Time --- by Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Fuse Box - Grunge and Dynamic Auto-Painter Trial

Family emer-
gencies can keep one away from posting especially when you aren't anywhere where there is internet access. Let's just say that other things can become more important than a blog post.

This is an image I created on my laptop using Paint.NET, textures from and some Paint.NET plugins.

It's a fuse box, a really old one I turned on it's side. I used Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch on the image and also Curves to deepen the shadows. A bit of increased saturation brought out the rust and the yellow color and I added a layer of a red paint splash.

The original photograph was almost square and I did resize it for the web.

The second image is of a building photograph I used the Felt Tip filter on in MediaChance's Dynamic Auto-Painter Trial version (Click on the program name to go to their site.) The DAP automatically applies your chosen style to the Photograph and places a trial marking on it which I cropped out as it is very unsightly and spoils the effects you get from the auto painting features.

It was very interesting to watch the program auto paint using broad strokes and then moving into smaller strokes for details. You stop it where you like the results. It is not for everyone but the results are amazing as you can see.

While I was away I did have a chance to jam with a Nam Veteran. He played his 12-string and I accompanied him on his 6-string. He knew a lot of old tunes and said that I did a good job of "filling in the cracks" with my improvised leads. A lot of C G D songs and E A B7 songs too. It was obvious that he had seen a lot of action in Nam and had paid a price for his efforts. A very intense sort of guy with a lot of heart. The jam was good.

Listening to --- Blues Fun One by Kirk Mathew Gatzka