Saturday, July 31, 2010

Great Uncle and Aunt and Their Nephew

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vector Art - Fictional Portraits - CorelDRAW

I created these fictional portraits a while ago and came across them in Picasa 3 browsing for backgrounds. I decided to share them as they are two examples of vector based art, using simplified forms for shadow and highlights.

I used CorelDRAW 12 to draw these freehand using the freehand tool. This first one reminds me of a old Soviet image of a worker comrade. The second is less of a worker more of a stylized portrait.

I am running up against some time constraints and may be limiting my online activity in the near future. Things change for everyone and I am no exception. So I may not be posting to this blog as often as in the past, almost daily when time was available.

I am grateful to the readership I have had and all of you are welcome to continue to follow what I am able to post. I hope I will be able to create new digital visual art and music discussions in the future. But I am seeing a change on the horizon.

Multiple things are coming up and I need to better budget my time and somethings will have to lose out on my regular attention. I won't go into any detail as it does not matter in the end the whys and wherefores as to my alteration of my pattern of behavior. Suffice it to say changes are coming. And they need my attention.

My hope is that you will continue to visit periodically as I do update this blog and add more digital visual art for your pleasure and the techniques for your interest in the hows.

Listening to: Eric Clapton - After Midnight

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Henri Matisse - Master Colorist

Today's post is about Henri Matisse [click here] a contemporary of Picasso. He is one of my favorite painters, high on the list. Here you see a piece done by me freehand on gessoed packing paper with pastel pencils and soft chalks. I scanned the image in at 600 dpi and opened the tif file in Painter 8. There I cloned the image and painted it with impasto brushes.

I did not alter the tone or saturation at all as the colors came through clear in Painter. I resampled the file in PhotoPaint as it is a 101 megabyte 8" x 11" image. Here it is a smaller jpg version for display on the web. I really enjoyed working on this in pastel on the gessoed paper. Adding the impasto brush strokes was also fun to do.

Matisse is known for his painting from Impressionistic to Fauvism on to his paper cutouts later in life. He was prolific in producing marvelously colored works. His sketches are also famous for simple lines designing beautiful subject matter.

To me he is a Master colorist and I thoroughly love his decorative approach to painting. I include one of my favorite pieces here that I found on the internet, resampled for display here.

This is only one example of his use of color and line and appeals to me because of the inclusion of the guitar. Please see the above link for Biographical information and more of his Art work.

I continue to play in the DADGAD Tuning on my 12-string. I did some recording through my Toneport selecting an Archtop Jazz guitar style in the Gearbox software.

The recording came out too full of bass and not enough treble for my taste so I did not keep the recording. I am going to try using only the Shure PG58 microphone to record with a clearer vocal tone selection to see if I can capture the truer tones of the 12-string. I did try to alter the pitch a bit higher in Audacity but it sounded fake, so I decided to re-record at another time.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
115 x 115.1 cm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

LiveBrush - Watercolor - Painter 8

As I worked with LiveBrush (see previous post for link to the free Lite version) I created this plants and tree scene. I've enjoyed using LiveBrush for a few images to share. I like the lineart it makes as you try to compose an image that makes sense.

After I did the lineart work I opened it in Painter 8 and added the watercolors using a couple of different brushes at varying sizes. I added a watercolor frame from Filter Forge in PhotoPaint and reopened in Painter to Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance>.

In PhotoPaint I used the Tone Curve to increase the depth and a touch of saturation increase as well.

For fun I've also included an image from Dover Publications of a Degas painting with an overlay of lineart both from Dover. I used PhotoPaint to open both images and then copied to the clipboard the lineart and pasted and adjusted that into the painted version. It was actually a page to print out and color by hand but I merged the two together for an interesting use of Dover clip art.

I got my 12-string out late yesterday night as I could not sleep and I tuned to DADGAD and used the new chord chart I recently downloaded. I learned some new chords, found some I was already using and found out I had made up a few of my own that aren't listed on the chart!

The tones you can get playing DADGAD tuning are just marvelous and as my wife said, "very pretty."

As always I enjoy learning new things for the guitar and truly enjoyed myself playing in this tuning. I improvised as well playing notes while strumming and flat picking at varying speeds and styles. Wonderful fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

LiveBrush - Painter - Watercolor - Vector Art

I was given a link to LiveBrush by a friend on PainterTalk forums. I found the free program LiveBrush Lite to be really fascinating for creating vector driven line art. I created the image of linework shown here in LiveBrush and exported it to a png file.

I drew the bulk of the face and lineart in that program. Then I loaded it up in PhotoPaint and resaved as a jpg file. I opened that in Painter 8 and used the Watercolor brushes to add the soft colors.

Saving that file I opened it in PhotoPaint and altered the Tone Curve to add depth and upped the saturation to boost the colors up a bit.

LiveBrush allows you to use various tools or brushes to create vector linework that has its own characteristics - floral, celtic, smooth, thick, thin, fractal, etc.

I just did a sketch of a woman's face and added the surrounding "hair" and foliage. Adding the colors in Painter 8. I kept it simple and experimental for a loose fun piece.

Musically I found a great chord chart for the DADGAD tuning on my 12-string. I have an abundance of chords to select from, whereas I was making them up on the go while playing before, now I will know what chords I actually am playing. I enjoy the open tunings as a refreshing way to experiment playing the guitar. Though it is harder to write a song for me in these tunings (I've only written a couple in Drop D) I love the droning sound you get from them, almost like a sitar on my 12-string. So I look forward to playing today.

Listening --- DADGAD Theme --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Aqua Guitars - Grunge - Poetry

I combined a aqua painted, rusted metal background with an image of two guitars. I added some paint drippings and splatters for the grunge effect. And I added a snippet of a poem about Rainfall and watercolors.

I used PhotoPaint, opening up each photograph and copying the pencil sketch (done in Paint.NET) of the guitars to the clipboard and after resampling the textured piece and rotating it lengthwise, I combined them with Object Properties> Subtract> to allow the textured background to show through.

I created a large black border using the Image> Papersize> feature, centered of course. The poem does not rhyme at all, so it is not fodder for a songwriting opportunity. But it conjures up some nice imagery.

Listening --- I Want To Today II --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simple Collage - Grandson - OpArt - Framed

I was playing around with some of my Dover Publications Clip art and came up with today's image.

I used a floral-butterfly background piece with an OpArt piece and floated my Grandson on the both of them.

I used PhotoPaint for the most part, to cut and paste my Grandson from a photograph. I used the Tone Curve to give more depth to him and set the object Feathering at about 5 for the edges, softening them.

I used a Rectangle fill from the Dover clip art for the OpArt section, mixing different artistic time periods into the same piece.

I added a classic frame from Filter Forge while in PhotoPaint to finish off the image with a flourish.

I love my Grandsons smile in this photograph I used to cut him out of for immersing in the contrasting art matting. I was going to paint him but decided, while looking through my Dover clip art that I wanted to do something different today. This is different!

Listening to: Ringo Starr - With a Little Help From My Friends

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fractal Collage - 3D Fun - Apophysis

I created this digital collage using mani-
pulated images of fractals created in Apophysis and other generators. I used Picasa 3 to make the collage from these images.

A couple are duplicates looked at from different viewpoints or multiples of pieces of the original fractal creating images that are more than just generated but created as well.

I have an enjoyable time working with the generators and the outcomes are fun to manipulate to create even more interesting images. I do these as a break from other image creation.

The second image is from a 3D generator that generated this chrome reflective piece. I took the black background and filled it with a floral black and white image from Dover Publications clip art. Giving it contrast. Chrome against repetition of flat flowers.

I really like the resulting image. It is like a sculpted piece or pieces of chrome lain on a blanket of flowers.

Musically I have been watching some videos of musicians like Andy McGee (search him on YouTube.) And others on the Acoustic Guitar Community. "Needle and the Damage Done," Neil Young cover by Gil was well done, he only goes by Gil. But it was embedded from YouTube as well, so you could search for it under the song name.

Listening --- I Want It Today --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Friday, July 16, 2010

Picasa 3 Collage - Floral - WoJos Greenhouse

I used Picasa 3's Collage builder for today's image. I wanted to show a number of the photographs I took at our sojourn to Wojos Greenhouse. I have made individual images from some of these photographs which I have shared here on the blog.

I really like the colorful variety of this floral piece. I shot some fifty-plus photographs and these are among the best.

I like the way Picasa 3 allows you to pick out and remove duplicates, set a shadow, place in multiple positions. Here I chose a straight forward row and column collage setting which represents the rows and rows of beautiful flowers at their greenhouse.

Be sure to look at the larger image for details and bright colors. I did not increase the saturation of this collage as the colors are outstanding.

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

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Up Close and Personal - Dodge Truck - Rust

A short post today. Here is an image of an old rusted out Dodge Truck, up close and personal. I have many photographs of this truck as it was in one piece and even though rusted it was so full of character that I took many shots of it.

I used Painter 8 Acrylic brushes to paint this a while ago. I like the way this old truck's personality showed through in its "face." Beat up but ready to serve if it only could.

I added the texture to it using Painters Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance>. So as you look at the larger image you will see the brushstrokes and texture.

I added a film frame to it in Filter Forge and resized it for the web in PhotoPaint.

Listening --- I Walked Along the Lakes Song --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Florida Rocky Beach - Young Children

I began today's image with an older photograph of my two children. We were on a trip to Florida and on the Gulf side. I had been sent by my employer and we made it a working vacation.

Here we find them sitting on a rocky beach, all smiles and happy. The original photograph was dark and I used Paint.NET to adjust Curves to lighten it. I also made a pencil sketch using that filter and placed it on a separate layer I used the property of overlay and it allowed the color to show through. I merged the layers and saved the file.

In PhotoPaint I used the Blur Tune to soften the image and get rid of some jaggies. I took the piece into Painter 8 and used some soft cloning and some tinting on it.

I added the watercolor frame from Filter Forge and then opened it back in Painter 8 to Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance> for the texture. I added the black and white borders back in PhotoPaint.

Listening --- After Midnight Cover --- Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Texture + House + People - Digital Collage - Dover Publications

I made this Digital Collage in PhotoPaint using a textured background from Mayangs texture library of rusted metal.

I selected a number of pieces of Dover Publications clip art from my samplers and added the house, car with driver and passengers, a romantic couple, a cat, a crane, and some flowers. I topped it off with the jewelery like corners.

I used a combination of Object properties like Multiply, Difference, etc, to add the pieces one by one. I also used the erase tool on some of them to maintain their color but get rid of extraneous backgrounds.

I resampled the larger file to 1200x900 to display here on the blog. I added a light brown 10 pixel border to the image to finish it.

Yesterday late afternoon I got my 12-string guitar out and placed my Seymour Duncan Woody pickup on it and plugged in for some Blues Rock playing. I laid down a E A D track of Blues rhythm and then picking a Heavy guitar setting, using my Gearbox software selections, for the lead I played along with the track in Audacity through my Toneport from Line 6.

I just put the track on loop and kept playing for about an hour and a half improvising some Blues lead. I had a ball being loud and using feedback and lead notes through my sound system turned up.

In the end I didn't record anything but I certainly enjoyed myself.

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Muybridge - Dover Clip Art - Parking Garage

I'm receiving Dover Publications Clip Art samplers again and one of the sets of images contained Muybridges clips of a man with a cane and satchel walking. I took the clips into PhotoPaint and made an animation of it using a avi file and a gif file saving both. Here is the gif file of the resulting animation. I just tested my post and the animation is not working and it seems it is being treated as a png file, sorry for that the animation looks cool.

I also worked on a photograph from my day trip to Toledo, Ohio, this time a perspective view of the outside of a parking garage. I liked the brick work and the over hangings, plus the ramp railings in green.

I used Paint.NET to apply Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> with the color full up and some good lines and shading. In PhotoPaint I used the Tone Curve to add some depth and boosted the color saturation as is my preference. I added a film frame from Filter Forge.

I am uploading a larger file than usual for your viewing pleasure and as an experiment to see how it affects the posts speed of displaying.

I may have some time to play my guitar today, if all things work out well. I have been missing the playing of my 12-string and it's about time I get it out and play some thing, perhaps some of my favorite older tunes from CSN&Y or the Beatles, or I may learn a new song.

To be certain it will be a pleasure to do so.

Listening --- Lil' Miss Lillian Decides ---Kirk Mathew Gatzka

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Art Deco Arch - Sky in Glass - Buildings

A quick trip to Toledo, Ohio [click here] for a day garnered a few photographs of structures there. The first one is an Art Deco Arch of a bank building. I opened it in Paint.NET and used the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter. I saved that file and opened it in PhotoPaint where added the orange sky and I upped the saturation for color boost. I used the Tone Curve to add some depth.

Other than photographs of family that was with me I only got a few photographs of structures. This next photograph I noticed some barreling of my lens which is not wide angle. So I had to compensate using KPT's Collection Projector. I adjusted it as best I could with still some slight upward gazing distortion. I liked the way the sky was reflected, as well as some surrounding buildings that were also.

I used similar adjustments to the photograph as the first one showing. I did not use the Ink Sketch on this one. I did all the work in PhotoPaint. Adjusting the barreling of the lens as well as my program's offered. I upped the saturation of colors and used the Tone Curve again for some depth. Both images are framed in Filter Forge with a slight film frame.

Musically I haven't had any time to do any songwriting but I have been viewing some videos of some musicians and still listening the the Bosnian Traditional music my friend Dragan has shared with me.

"A Day In Toledo" might make for a good title but I am not sure what to write yet. I find that at times my digital visual arts satisfy the craving for creativity and my music suffers.

I have received some suggestions on how to improve one of my songs which was written at the first snowfall last year about both the sun shining and the snow falling at the same time as I was look out over the lake.

I need to analyze the suggestions and see if they will in fact improve the song before I make any adjustments. I tend to like my songs from the first draft, which is the mark of a hobbyist and not a professional songwriter. Ah, at least I have an out let for creative endeavors!

Listening --- Jadranka Stojakovic feat. Miroslav Tadic - KAD JA PODJOH NA BENTBASU

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mexican Musicians - Woodcut - Painter 8

Today I received another group of photo-
graphs from Mexico from my friend Brenda. Included among them was another group of musicians playing bongos, and guitars.

I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and upped the resolution to 128dpi which increased the size of the image. Saving that file I opened it in Painter 8 and used the Effects> Surface Control> Woodcut> filter on the image. I selected to use the full color palette and minimized the black woodcut effect taking out the heaviness of it.

After I did that I applied the Surface Texture Image Luminance for some depth. Back in PhotoPaint I added some white background and a watercolor frame in Filter Forge with a 10 pixel black outline.

I don't have any Mexican music to listen to but have received some Bosnian traditional music that I have been listening to with great pleasure.

Listening --- Jadranka Stojakovic - Natsuko Kido Duo feat. Naoki Kita - Sto te nema

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leo Kotke - Mirrored - Rust - Grunge

One of my favorite 12-string guitar players is Leo Kotke. Today I selected a corner of a photograph of him playing a 12-string and in Paint.NET I mirrored it and ran a Metallic filter on that.

Saving that file I opened a rust background in PhotoPaint and cut and pasted the Kotke image into it. I merged the tow using the Object property Color Burn, which gave me deep reddish browns and rust colors.

A favorite song of my that Leo does is titled, "Jack Gets Up." So I pasted a portion of the lyric into this grunge piece. Adding some paint splatters with drippings and a film frame from Filter Forge.

Listening --- Okreni se niz djul bascu --- Damir Imamovic TRIO

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mexico - Guitar Players - Grunge

I recently received some photographs taken by my friend Brenda in Mexico. Here are two Guitar Players in a local restaurant in Puebla.

I took some liberties with the photograph opening it in Paint.NET and resized it. I then applied the Effects> Artistic> Ink Sketch> filter for the outlining. I set the color full and the lines to less. I upped the saturation for a boost to the colors.

Saving that file I opened a painted metal with rust texture in PhotoPaint and also opened the guitar players manip. I copied them to the clipboard and pasted them into the textured image which gave me the rich reddish background. I cut and pasted as a new image and resampled it to fit an 870 pixel height for display here.

I used the Object property Divide to allow them to merge together. Still in PhotoPaint I added a film frame from Filter Forge.

I have received some Bosnian traditional music from a contact from PainterTalk's forum, Dragan. He sent both the original styles and newer versions of this wonderful music. So that is what I am listening to now.

Listening --- Bentbasa --- Sinan Alimanovic Quintet --- Ethnic Jazz

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Art for Art's Sake - Rust - Grunge

I am keeping with the Grunge Guitar motif for a few postings. I like the depth I get on these digital collages.

I opened a rusted metal background in PhotoPaint and then using Picasa 3 I selected a guitar photograph. I merged the photographs using the Object properties Multiply with a slight change in opacity as well on the guitars.

I added a lyric from my song "Art for Art's Sake" ©2010 Kirk Mathew Gatzka, and some of the chords I used for the song. I used some grunge fonts and added slanting and dripping with Effects> Distort> Wet Paint>. And I added some paint splatters with drippings.

I finished with a Filter Forge film frame to complete the grunge look and feel.

Listening to: Norah Jones - Come Away With Me

Friday, July 2, 2010

Copper Guitars - Grunge - PhotoPaint

Copper and Guitars in a Grunge style is what I picked to share today. I took this photograph and rotated it 90 degrees counter clockwise for these two guitars. I was using PhotoPaint for all the collage work done on this image.

I used Picasa 3 to find a suitable background of hammered copper sheeting, which has such a wonderful texture and color. Opening that in PhotoPaint I rotated it as well and then lengthened the guitar photograph a small amount to fit the copper background.

I applied Object Property of Multiply for some transparency of the guitars to allow the copper to show through. I merged these two together and applied the Tone Curve to lighten it a bit and add some depth. I followed through with increasing the saturation for a color boost.

I added a quickly written rhyme and some paint splatters complete with drippings. With Filter Forge's Freepack 3 - Frames I added a film frame.

Listening to: J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - Missing Person