Thursday, March 31, 2011
Today I'm back to doing digital collage. I selected a grunge texture from Mayang's Textures while browsing in Picasa 3. I opened it in PhotoPaint and began. Using the guitars as a theme I added them by copying and pasting then applying Little Ink Pot's Thredgeholder for line art. I used the property Texturize for transparency on most of the pieces.
I also used some Dover Clip Art for interest and a profiled face from DaVinci with an out stretched lower jaw. The facial muscles image is from Dover Publications as is the bird on a sprig of a flowering plant. All for variety in the image.
For the larger guitar I used Thredgeholder and Color Burn for transparency. I merged all objects (layers) together and saved the large image.
I resampled in PhotoPaint for display here. I added a 30 pixel blue border to finish. I thus ended up with a deep blue grunge image showing damaged painted metal plating and the guitar theme.
Now playing: Acoustic Junction - Strange Days
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Here is a photograph taken by my son, Keir M. Gatzka. It's an angular view of a crowded sunlit atrium. It has much appeal in it's geometric appearance and the busy crowd bustling about. I opened the image in Paint.NET and applied the Ink Sketch filter, boosting the color all the way up.
I also used the Curves adjustment to the Luminosity for a brighter appearance with an increase in color saturation as well. I saved that large file and opened it in PhotoPaint and applied Filter Forge's Photo Effect Vibrance for more enhancement.
I also added a 30 pixel black border to the piece then I resampled for display here. A simple digital manipulation for this angular piece. I tried to add some texture to the piece in Painter but found it distracted from the overall image so I left it alone and saved it.
Now playing: Beatles - Good Day Sunshine
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Many people have pets and we are no exception. Ours is a cat we raised from a kitten that was found out of doors. It appears that a family of cats was dropped off near our house and they had kittens. We found placement for most of the family and kept two cats. One of them ran away when we had visitors who had a large dog, guess it did not like that at all.
Linus is now our only pet. I took this photograph of him and cropped it in PhotoPaint. I added the frame in Filter Forge's frames and then decided to digitally "paint" it.
I reopened the image in Paint.NET and applied Kuwahara Modified filter to it, which simplified the image with brushstroke like precision. I altered the Curves Luminosity for a brighter image and upped the saturation to boost the colors.
Paint.NET's filters can be found online and there are many, if you use Paint.NET I highly recommend downloading the filters. [click here for one location]
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Cats In The Cradle Cover
Monday, March 28, 2011
This image started as a photograph of a grouping of Ovation Guitars at Motor City Guitar. Ovation Guitars are unique with many differing soundholes and configurations. These are just a few.
I opened the photograph in Painter 11 and using the quick clone with an ocher background I selected Camel Oils brushes to paint them. I used various sizing's but kept the opacity the same. I applied the Image Luminance texture to the brushstrokes.
I saved the large file and opened it in PhotoPaint and used the Tone Curve to add depth. I applied Filter Forge's frames watercolor frame for a painterly border and added a 20 pixel black border using Image> Papersize> to finish. I resampled for display here at a reasonable size.
Now playing: Ian Anderson - A Raft Of Penguins
Friday, March 25, 2011
More Grunge guitars, Fenders and others Electric Acoustic guitars from Motor City Guitar. I took this photograph myself at Motor City, and I opened it in Painter 8 and used the Flaming Pear tool Chromasolarize on it. This boosted the golden color of the background.
Saving that I opened it in PhotoPaint and used the Effects> Art Strokes> Crayon> on it. Blending much of the line and color in a crayon like image. I saved again with a different name and opened it in Paint.NET to apply the Ink Sketch tool without any color and a light pen and ink look in black and white.
I selected all and copied to the clipboard, closed Paint.NET and pasted the image on top of my crayon image in PhotoPaint. Using the object (layer) property Color Burn I made the white transparent and this allowed the ink lines to show through. I merged these together.
I opened Filter Forge's Photo Effects and used a grunge filter to add texture and a grunge feel to the image. Also using Filter Forge's frames I added a film frame to the piece. In PhotoPaint, still, I used the Tone Curve to give some depth and brighten the image a bit.
Now playing: My Morning Jacket - Golden
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A simple digital manipulation for today's post. I opened with PhotoPaint while browsing in Picasa 3 this photograph taken by myself. I also browsed to a texture from Mayang's Texture folder and copied and pasted a textured image.
I went to the guitar photograph and ran the Image> Adjust> Local Equalization> tool for high contrast. I copied that to the clipboard and pasted into the texture. Then using the property opacity I adjusted that to allow just a bit of the background texture to show through.
I merged both images to one layer. I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrancy on the image trying out differing variants and settled on one. The I applied Filter Forge's frame tool to create a vignetted film frame for the piece. I applied the Tone Curve adding some depth. I cloned out an unwanted small wall vent.
On the Seagull 12-string, you can see the etching I did on the pickguard, which I did to personalize that guitar. Now It's one of a kind.
Listening - BTO - Looking out for number One
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
My Grandson, photograph taken by me. I opened the file in PhotoPaint and cropped to focus on his facial expression. Saving that file, I applied the Local Equalization tool to it for sharp contrasts, saved a secondary file.
Opening it in Painter 11 I chose the quick clone with an ocher background. Then I picked the Textured Acrylics brushes for a muck up. I blocked in the face and shirt, did a touch of the background.
I used Digital Watercolors and Erasers to take some of the dark spots out and to add to the background. I shifted to the cloners and used the splattery cloner and the soft cloner for some of the details of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
I saved that iteration and opened it in PhotoPaint. There I applied Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrancy which gave the image a reddish cast. I then used Filter Forge's frames and added a reddish brown frame. I resampled the image for display here.
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Someday You'll Find
Monday, March 21, 2011
Browsing in Picasa 3 I selected another Dover Publications Ink Print to paint in Painter 11. I first opened the image in PhotoPaint and resampled to 96 dpi for a larger work file. I then proceeded to open that file in Painter 11.
Using Karen's Watercolors I chose the colors and began painting the greenery. I varied the size of the brush and the hue of the colors for the foliage. I then began painting the people in the scene. I endeavored to make it colorful yet understated, as this is a wonderful pastoral scene.
I painted the background river and surrounding country side in muted colors and used a grainy brush for the sky. I saved that file.
In PhotoPaint I used the wand tool to selected the outside frame. After I applied the mask I selected a sky background for the frame. If you look closely you can see the clouds on the right hand side.
Now playing: Indigo Girls - Perfect World
Sunday, March 20, 2011
A short post today, another Dover Publications woodcut painted in Painter 11. I opened in PhotoPaint and increased the working size of the image and saved it.
I reopened in Painter 11 and used some of Skip's Watercolors and then Karen's Watercolors from the Painter Talk forum. I tried to keep with a earth-tone color scheme and only vacillated from that a little for contrasts.
Now playing: Neil Young - Falling Off The Face Of The Earth
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Using Painter 11 I gathered up some images and created a digital collage. I used a theme of circles for this image. I started with a rust texture from Mayang's Textures. Then using selections I copied and pasted new layers into the background.
As you can see I used the well known DaVinci drawing for one circle. An old rusty wheel for another, the watch is another and the soundhole of the guitar is the last. I did add a hand to the outstretched arm of the man holding a weighing mechanism for a bit of humor.
I used various layer attributes on each selection for transparency. Then I dropped all layers and saved the large file. Opening it in PhotoPaint I added a Filter Forge film frame. I resampled for the internet in PhotoPaint as well, saving that iteration for display here.
Now playing: Billy Preston - Will It Go Round In Circles
Friday, March 18, 2011
I browsed in Picasa 3 today and found my guitar photograph shown here. I opened it in Paint.NET and adjusted the Luminosity in Curves which lightened it a bit. Then I applied the Ink Sketch tool to it for the line work, ink turned down and color all the way up.
Saving that file I reopened it in PhotoPaint. Here I applied Local Equalization for the contrasting tones. I also adjusted the saturation by 9 for a boost to color.
I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects for more luminosity yet. Then I added a film frame from Filter Forge. I adjusted the Tone Curve RGB for some depth, as it's a very flat image of the two guitars.
You can see the "gull" portion of the "Seagull," label in the inside of the one 12-String guitar. The other 6-String is a Lyon guitar that belongs to my son.
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Where the Wind Blows
Thursday, March 17, 2011
A simple digital collage today of my Grandson, learning to walk. The floral frame is from Dover Publications as well as the Art Nouveau fill. The tree bark texture seen in the frame and my Grandson is from Mayang's Textures.
I opened the frame in PhotoPaint and resampled it to 96 dpi for a working size. Then I opened a photograph of my Grandson leaning on the coffee table in Painter 11 and applied the woodcut tool to the image. Back in PhotoPaint I cut him out with the freehand lasso tool. I then pasted him into the frame image.
I browsed in Picasa 3 to my Mayang's Textures and selected a tree bark texture and copied and pasted as new image in PhotoPaint. There I cropped it to size keeping the texture bold.
I took the image of my Grandson framed and copied and pasted it into the tree bark texture and made it transparent for the bark to show through. I set all the objects (layers) with Ctrl-Shift-Down Arrow. This left me with a white background.
In PhotoPaint I opened the fill window and edited the fill, and selected the Art Nouveau piece. After I pressed OK, I used the fill bucket to add it to the masked in white space. I added the words with the text tool and selected the text as an object to stretch it to fill the space.
Now playing: Go Betweens - Born To A Family
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Damsel and Knight," is based on a Dover Publications ink print from the sampler collection that I have. I opened the image in PhotoPaint and increased it by resampling at 96dpi. I saved that as a work file.
Opening in Painter 11 I used Karen's Watercolors brush to paint the majority of the details. I did use the tinting brushes for the background and a cloud brush for the sky. I did append more colors to the base color palette for a wider selection of them.
Again I did not draw this scene - it comes from Dover Publications email samplers. Go to their site and sign up for them.
I took the image into PhotoPaint again to use the wand tool on the white frame and filed it with a sky picture. I had the rest of the image masked off, so I applied Effects> Texture> Plaster> to the sky I had added as a frame. Then I made a black 40 pixel border for the entire image.
Now playing: Beatles - And I Love Her
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Black on Blue Paisley Print from Zazzle.com
This is one of the most popular pages that my statistics
show gets many hits. I have made it into a poster and other products on Zazzle,
for those who are interested. If you find such an endeavor to be offensive,
Please leave a comment on this listing on gatzkART! Thank you!
Here is an Ink Print of a Renaissance type Knight from my Dover Publications samplers. I selected this from the same group the Troubadours, came from.
I opened it in PhotoPaint and resampled it to 96dpi to enlarge it for painting. Saving that file I opened with Painter 11 and selected a Gouache brush to begin on the horse. I switched to Karen's Watercolors and changed the opacity of the brush and used varying sizes to paint the rest of the piece.
Lots of detail in this ink print so it took some time to finish, but I enjoyed every minute. I saved the file of the painted horse and it's rider and reopened in PhotoPaint. There I used the wand tool to create a mask, masking out the Knight and horse and ground. I selected a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope for the fill. It placed the star, quite by accident on the knuckle of the fore leg of the horse. Which gives it some pizazz.
Now playing: America - A Horse With No Name
Monday, March 14, 2011
"Five Guitars" from a photograph taken at Motor City Guitar, in their Acoustic Guitar Room. I opened this in Painter 11 and did a quick clone with an ocher background. Then I selected the Camel Oils brushes and began to paint the individual guitars, one by one.
I painted the background with Karen's Watercolors from the Painter Talk forum. You can see a slight impasto effect from Apply Surface Texture> Image Luminance>. I also added the Retro paper texture to the large image before I resampled it for display here.
I wanted the focus to be on the guitars so I kept the background ambiguous in watercolors. I usually use Filter Forge for a frame. But tried a couple of those and it just did not do the image justice, so I left the painted edges as they are.
Now playing: Kasholo - Tonight (Acoustic)
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I opened it in PhotoPaint and resampled it to 128 dpi for size. Saving that I opened it in Painter 11 and selected some Digital Watercolors to paint it with colorful patterns.
I did not do the drawing here at all, so don't give me credit for the woodcut. I only painted it selecting some royal colors for their vibrancy.
It was tedious work but very enjoyable to do, like a coloring book picture only using watercolors.
Now playing: The Beatles - Hard Days Night
Friday, March 11, 2011
A self-portrait by my son Keir M. Gatzka gives him a "Citizen Kane" appearance. I took the photograph opening it in PhotoPaint and created a tritone which I converted back to an RGB image.
I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrance on it, and added a photograph frame to it. I did very little to this portrait because it says a lot without much manipulation. A very dark and serious subject.
He really is not like this personality wise. He is more easygoing and full of laughter kind of guy. But he was playing with the camera for effect and I've always thought of Orson Wells when I see it. So it goes with my motif of "laughing and serious," images I have done lately.
Now playing: Citizen Cope - Sun's Gonna Rise
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I selected this photograph taken by my son Keir M. Gatzka, of one of our friends. Opening it in Painter 11, I cropped to the smiling face and pasted to a new image. I applied the woodcut tool to the black and white image and saved it.
I reopened it in PhotoPaint where I resampled it to 128dpi. I then selected the wand tool and took as much as the gray areas out making the image a new object of only what was left.
Using Picasa 3 I browsed to Mayang's Textures and selected a rusty texture. I copied and pasted the new object, the young lady's face, into the texture and merged it. I cropped that to the smiling face and pasted to a new image.
With that piece was still in PhotoPaint and I went to Filter Forge's Photo Effects and applied a light grunge filter to it. Also using Filter Forge's frames I selected a film frame. Then I used Effects> Texture> Elephant Skin> in PhotoPaint, for more texture to the image.
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Smile Again
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Additional dreaming about guitars is today's subject for an image. I took this photograph at Motor City Guitar of a rack filled with electric and hollow body guitars. I opened it in PhotoPaint and applied the Effects> Art Strokes> Charcoal> to it. This gave me a grayscale image that appeared to have been drawn.
I browsed in Picasa 3 for my Mayang's Textures and found this one for the texture. I copied to the clipboard and used File> New from Clipboard> to bring it into PhotoPaint. Next I copied the charcoal guitar image to the clipboard and pasted it into the texture.
I applied the object property Texturize to it, which gave it the transparency I wanted. I merged the two images. I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects on the image which gave it some Vibrancy. With Filter Forge's frames I picked a variant of a halftone frame. Then I added a 10 pixel black border still in PhotoPaint.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Yesterday, I did a woodcut of a laughing smile, today I chose a serious expression for an image. The photograph is of my son Keir M. Gatzka, a self-portrait. I browsed in Picasa 3 and found it and liked his seriousness. I opened it in Painter 11 and applied the woodcut tool with some adjustments to not make it heavy.
I saved that and using Picasa 3 I located the Mayang's Textures that I have and selected one of what appears to be sandstone. I copy and pasted the woodcut image using the texturize object property, in PhotoPaint. I applied the Auto Equalize tool to lighten it up a bit. Then I adjusted the Color Balance.
Using Filter Forge I added a film frame, after trying out some of their Photo Effects, which did nothing for the image but obscure details I wanted. So I stuck with the image as is.
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - Close To Perfect
Monday, March 7, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
This image began as two different photographs. One from Mayang's Textures of flaking paint, the other from WetCanvas galleries. I opened both in PhotoPaint and worked on them separately before I combined them.
On the young lady's face I applied the Charcoal filter and adjusted it with the Tone Curve for more depth. I then copied it to the clipboard and pasted it into the texture image.
I used the object property Multiple to create transparency of the face to allow the flaking paint to show through. With some sizing adjustments I fit the face to the flaking paint.
Using Filter Forge frames I added a film frame and then decided that was too dark. I added a photography frame in the end. I resampled the image for the web in PhotoPaint.
Now playing: Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl
Friday, March 4, 2011
I started this experiment with a floral grunge wallpaper background opened in Painter 11. I selected a portion of the background to work with and pasted it as a new image. I found some faces of some young ladies and opened the files in Painter and used the selection lasso to cut out and paste into new layers, each face.
One of the faces is by Da Vinci from my collection of his drawings - Leda. The others are from WetCanvas forums galleries of photographs. I placed each face where I wanted them and used the Gel layer setting to add them to the grunge piece.
I decided it needed some poetry or lyrics done in my hand printing so I scanned in, using TWAIN Acquire, two pages of my song, "One Time I Am Laughing." It's a song about having conflicting feelings and is done in a Double Drop D tuning. If you look closely I even have chord charts drawn out for this song. I used the Gel layer setting again to allow the words and chords to show but not too much of the paper.
I merged all layers, Applied Surface Texture> Paper> (Italian Watercolor Paper adjusted to a light texture) and saved to a jpg file for placing on the web here. I then opened it in PhotoPaint to add a Filter Forge film frame. Resampling it to a workable size I saved it anew with less compression than usual.
While you are here please check out my new Zazzle Panel of my artworks turned into cards and posters and products for you to purchase if you would like to own a piece of my digital visual art. It is towards the bottom of the page and it scrolls the products for you to look at with no obligation! Thank You! If you have a particular piece you don't see in my store at Zazzle, write me and I can add it for you to purchase.
Now playing: Kirk Mathew Gatzka - One time I Am Laughing
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I have an interesting image in Pen and Ink that I drew. I started with a vintage photograph from Dover Publications of two young boys riding an old-fashioned tricycle. Opening it in PhotoPaint I resampled the photograph to 96dpi increasing it's size for use in Painter 11.
Saving that file I opened in Painter 11 and created a quick clone with an ocher background. Using the Pens I selected the Ballpoint pen and the Single Pixel pen in black and drew the young boys and their tricycle. I did not go for realism as I wanted a rough sketch of their features and the trike.
For the watercolor pen stroke I selected the Soft cloner to add shading to their clothing and to lightly add the background. I added using Filter Forge a film frame. It was tedious drawing the details but I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise.
In PhotoPaint I adjusted the Tone Curve to add depth to the image.
Now playing: Kenny Loggins - Playing With The Boys
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Thanks so much for asking us, Kirk!
I'd like to know more about the beginnings of Motor City Guitar, when did the store first open, What were your goals and how long have you been serving such a broad scope of musicians?
We opened in June of 1988, which seems like yesterday. Our goal as a store was to create a place where people could go a just feel welcome to try out cool music gear and get a good deal without a hassle or pressure. We've always had the goal of trying to take care of people as individuals with individual tastes, which is one of the reasons why we carry so many different varieties of products. It's not all about what we like, it's about what you like. As far as personal goals, my girlfriend Melissa and I were trying to get steady jobs so we could get married, which we did a year after we opened Motor City .
Who were the ones who began the store? And what is the size of your staff now?
Melissa and I pretty much did everything ourselves for the first few years, except for lessons. We've always had a pretty minimal staff, where everybody wears a lot of hats. Right now there are 9 of us plus 14 teachers and our repairman Scott.
When you began did you think that you would be as successful as you are now?
We've never really thought about success in any sort of tangible, financial, or other measurable way, we just keep doing what we’ve always done and being grateful for being able to do it at all. What makes me feel successful is anytime a customer leaves with a big smile on their face, or when they comment that one of our guys really helped them out, or when they hand me a CD of music that they created that we played any small part in helping them with.
I really enjoy the atmosphere of the store, it lends itself to trying out the instruments and the personal growth of your clientele. What do you attribute this to?
Thanks! These are great questions. I remember the days when a lot of music stores kept everything out of reach and practically required you to prove you were going to buy something before they would even let you touch anything. I never understood that backwards way of thinking – how in the world is somebody supposed to even know if they like something unless they can check it out without pressure? We’ve always considered ourselves lucky when people come in and check out our store, and we don’t want anybody to feel under any kind of pressure to buy anything. We want to give them a chance to check out some cool gear, have some fun, and hopefully consider us when they do decide it’s time to pick up some new toys.
Tell me a bit about the expertise of your staff and instructors.
We are extremely proud of the Motor City crew, they are our extended family. We couldn’t ask for a greater bunch of people to work with, and the place would be nothing without them. The majority of people who work here and have ever worked here over the years are customers of the store who have an obvious passion for music and music equipment – in other words, certified “gearheads”. And people that we feel will treat customers with kindness, appreciation, respect and honesty. Those are the types of things we look for, the types of things that a person can’t really learn in training. As for our instructors, we have different people from different backgrounds who specialize in different styles of music. They are all absolutely incredible musicians. We try to match each student with a teacher that is right for them and will help them move in the direction that they want to go in. We also have a really talented guitar repairman named Scott Kenerson who really takes a lot of old-school pride in his work.
I understand that you do your best to offer great pricing on all instruments, how has that made you different from other guitar establishments?
I can honestly say that we sincerely want to give people that come to our store the best deals possible. If we didn’t, why should we expect them to come back? We’ve always been more concerned with long term relationships and hopefully making people happy so they come back and tell their friends. In the early days of our store it was not common at many other music stores to offer discounts unless they were having a sale, everything would be tagged at the manufacturers’ list price and you had to negotiate for a better deal. As a customer myself I never liked that, I don't feel like people should have to haggle for a discount. So we discounted everything as much as we could right off the bat. We figured that by offering lower prices we wouldn’t have to advertise, that word-of-mouth and hopefully repeat business would keep us around. Luckily, when things like mail-order and the internet came around, it wasn’t a shock to us as it was for many other places, we were already discounting heavily so it wasn’t a big deal. We stay on top of what other stores are doing and always try to make sure we are offering the best prices, that’s the least we can do.
What were the greatest challenges you've had along the way?
The biggest challenge by far is finding the time to get everything done that we need to. Our website is the most obvious example, we’ve been trying to get a great website going for years but it is taking much longer than we’d hoped. What we have planned is going to be sweet though, hopefully it will be worth the wait. Another hurdle was a recent expansion of the store that we went through, we had quite an ordeal with a shady contractor but thankfully that is over now and we can finally start enjoying and making use of the extra space.
Things go in waves, sometimes electrics are more popular, sometimes acoustics are. Ukeleles are even big right now all of a sudden! And then there are days when there are more drummers or bass players in the store than guitar players.
We deal with all types of artists everyday that we are privileged to serve. Everybody from little kids taking lessons to internationally touring bands. Michigan is and always has been a hotbed of incredible music and there are unsigned artists here that in my opinion blow away a lot of the stuff you hear on the radio these days. One week we had 2 very elderly WWII veterans come in that both wanted to start playing guitar again, it was a special honor to serve them. As far as famous people go, we've served some Detroit legends like Bob Seger, Kid Rock, and members of The Silver Bullet Band, The Romantics, The Rockets, The Mitch Ryder Band, Sponge, and The Black Dalia Murder. We had to provide a wall of amps for Ted Nugent to play on New Years Eve one year. We also serve a lot of artists that come through town on tour - one of my favorites was selling a couple of cowbells to Blue Oyster Cult so they could do the "more cowbell" routine onstage at DTE. One time we provided guitars for Steve Vai when his gear truck broke down, and we provided all the instruments for the Deftones when their gear truck was stolen from their hotel parking lot. Our repairman Scott sometimes goes out on the road as a guitar tech for some major artists. We’ve also been privileged to have worked closely with some landmark Michigan clubs like St Andrews Hall and the Crofoot Ballroom who ordered their PA systems through us.
What do you personally like about Motor City Guitar and your clientele? And why would you recommend this store to others?
It’s a fun place to work and hopefully a fun place to visit. There are tons of cool people that come here that keep things interesting on a daily basis. Our customers are more like friends, and a lot of them are literally like family to us. People often say that we should have a TV show up here because there is usually something interesting or funny going on. Personally I also take a lot of pride in knowing that simple principles like treating other people like you would like to be treated yourself are enough to keep a company in business. As far as recommending our store to others, all I can say is that I promise you that you will be treated with honesty and appreciation, and that we will always do everything we can to bring you the biggest selection of the best gear we can find.
Thanks again for taking time from your busy schedule for us and doing this interview.
Thanks so much for having an interest in Motor City Guitar, Kirk! It's been an honor!
Now playing: Aerosmith - Living On The Edge