Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Acoustic Magazine" Fake Cover - Corel PhotoPaint

Acoustic Magazine Fake Cover

I chose a magazine motif for a creative activity this evening. I created a digital collage in Corel PhotoPaint. I found some images in old magazines and, after cutting them out,  scanned them in using my Canon MP495 All in one.

On the main face I added the eyes of a female singer and her lips on the Blues player wearing the hat, which were both cutouts as well. I applied the Image, Threshold bi-level, on the entire collage prior to adding any text.

I used the names of myself and two Guitar singer songwriters I met on the Acoustic Guitar Community. I also used the band name of the first band I was in in our senior year at high school for the exclusive interview. I added a blurb about using the free recording program Audacity. And using a bit of humor added the six-fingered Blues lesson.

The Fonts I used for the various text phrases were, Arial Narrow, Bleeding Cowboys, Abadi MT Condensed  Extra Bold and Berlin Sans FB. for a realistic touch I added the UPC code from a magazine blotting out the numbers on the code.

I saved the large file with my signature and resampled for display here.

Listening --- Cowboy Junkies --- Blue Guitar

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Last Issue!" - Corel PhotoPaint - Digital Collage

Last Issue!

Today I took some time and created a digital collage. I found various images and pieces that I fit together by scanning the cut outs into PhotoPaint. It's entitled, "Last Issue!" Based upon the blurbs ONLY ONE MORE ISSUE  and  LAST ISSUE! that you get when your magazine subscription is or has run out.

I took the various pieces and placed them using a variety of properties like Multiply and If Lighter, If Darker. I joined disparate parts together especially the faces to create a giant smile and large eyes on them. I used more than one source magazine. I used the Tone Curve for depth of color and to make the words stand out.

I added the guitar motif as you all know I love to play the guitar, a 12-String Seagull. I have not been playing too much lately. Not enough time in the day sometimes. But I am thinking that "Last Issue!" might be a great theme for a song!

I saved the 300dpi large file and resampled adding my signature to complete the collage. I resaved for display here.

Listening --- Doves --- Caught by the River

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Miles Davis" - Corel Painter 11 Pen and Ink, Watercolor

Miles Davis and Friends

I took out some time from other activities to work on this tonight. I was listening to some "Miles Davis," jazz the other night and was inspired to do this image.

I opened Corel Painter 11, as I have yet to upgrade to 12, and penned Miles and the drummer and bass player using the Ball point pen brush. I then used some of Skip Allen's watercolor brushes on a new watercolor layer. I kept my approach as simple as possible for a basic look and feel to the piece.

I saved the file and reopened in PhotoPaint to use the Tone Curve for a slight increase in depth of color. And I added my signature. I kept the file at it's original size, for display.

Comments are always welcome. I do moderate the comments, though.

Listening --- The Steve Miller Band --- Your Saving Grace

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Ingenuity of Youth" - Corel PhotoPaint - PSP Pro X3 - Filter Forge

Ingenuity of Youth

Here is an image of my Grandson playing with his family's iPod. He is only about 18 months old and he knows how to turn it on, find the games and play some of them. I'll admit that I don't have one and he knows more than me!

I took this photograph with my Canon Rebel XTi and opened it in PhotoPaint. I cropped it some to make him the focal point, especially his hand above the iPod. I applied the Local Equalization to it and used the Tone Curve for depth. Then using Filter Forge Photo Effects Vibrance twice I saturated the colors. I also used the Frames for a light film frame.

I saved this large file and opened it with PSP Pro X3 to add the Picture Frame Cyanotype and a ten pixel black border. I did an iterative save and reopened in PhotoPaint. There I added my signature and resampled for display.

Listening --- C S N & Y --- Teach Your Children

Friday, September 23, 2011

"And It Was Mine" - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

And It Was Mine

I browsed in Picasa 3 folders to my Dover Publications Clip Art and searched for an Art Nouveau piece. Copying that to the clipboard I then opened CorelDRAW and pasted it into DRAW. I resized the floral clip art and turned to my Journals for some phrase. "And It Was Mine," is what I found.

I incorporated that full phrase using Dauphin font as the typography, which has a pleasant feel to it. I center justified both text excerpts, placing them on the digital page. I added using the rectangle tool two layers of enhancing colors.

I opened PhotoPaint and copied and pasted using File New From Clipboard at 75% the original file size, at 300dpi. I applied Filter Forge's Photo Effect Vibrance on it and then switched to the Grunge effects and added stain and a light frame.

Listening --- Pearl Jam --- I Am Mine

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Zeke Amazed" - Corel PSP Pro X3 - PhotoPaint

Zeke Amazed

Another photograph of my Grandson and his current favorite book. The thick pages allow him to turn them and the buttons on the right hand side make noises related to the Disney "Cars" theme.

Here you see him making a delightful expression full of fun and amazement. I opened the photograph in PSP Pro X3 and made adjustments. I used many of the Noise reduction tools as it was taken at 1600 ISO and it had much noise in the original.

I also cropped the image and focused on my Grandson as much as possible. It is rather asymmetrical in balance. with the floor of the kitchen in the upper right hand area balancing it out.

I used the Adjust, Hue and Saturation Vibrancy tool on it a couple of times for a punch to the colors. I tried other tools to soften it a bit and the blur tools which made it too soft. I applied the Unsharp Mask tool instead.

I added the Image Picture Cyanotype frame and a ten pixel black border as I did with yesterdays image. I saved the large file and reopened with PhotoPaint where I added my signature in white and adjusted the Tone Curve a small amount for depth.

I resampled the file for sharing here and resaved it with a differing name.

Listening --- The Beatles --- Baby You Can Drive My Car

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Reading to Zeke" - Corel PhotoPaint - PSP Pro X3 - Filter Forge

Reading to Zeke

My Daughter and Grandson visited the other day, and my camera, the Canon XTi Rebel, came out. I took many photographs and selected this one for today's subject.

I opened the photograph in PhotoPaint and used my High Contrast workflow on it. I first applied the Local Equalization and then used the Tone Curve for depth. I applied Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrance on it for brighter color. I added my signature in white.

I saved the resulting large image and opened it in PSP Pro X3 to used the Noise reduction tools on it. I Deinterlaced it and removed jpeg artifacts. I used the Image Picture Frame for the Cyanotype frame and added a ten pixel black border to the piece.

I tried out various softening tools but did not like the results, as I did not with brushstrokes applied. So I left the image as is and saved it again.

Once again in PhotoPaint I resampled for display here and saved the finished piece.

Listening --- Gordon Lightfoot --- If You Could Read My Mind

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Young Lady and Her Cat - PSP Pro X3 - PhotoPaint

Young Lady and Her Cat

I found this 2" x 1.5" black and white scanned photograph in my folder of magazine cuttings. It is full of imperfections (read pixelations) as it was scanned long ago on an old black and white scanner. I really like the memories this image brought back and decided to play a bit with it. I re-scanned it with my Canon MP495 and got a 300 dpi scan to work on.

This new scan still had many imperfections so I opened it PSP Pro X3 and used every tool I could to produce a better representation of the subjects. In the end I have a passable softened halftone sepia photograph with a daguerreotype frame.

The subject is recognizable and it has the quality of an old style vintage photograph. I discovered that the old scan was from a Polaroid photograph from the 1970's. So it is dated material for a certainty.

I used PhotoPaint to resample the file for sharing here and add my signature.

Listening --- Chris Deburgh --- Lady in Red

Friday, September 16, 2011

Red Grunge Guitar Collage - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Paint.NET

Seagull 12 String Guitar Collage

I found through Twitter a group of textural backgrounds and downloaded some from DeviantART. I selected this bright red wood with flaking paint as my background. I opened CorelDRAW and pasted the texture into it. I have a font called Screaming Guitar that are images of differing types of guitars I laid out two lines of that.

I opened a photograph of my Seagull 12-string Guitar and used the Effects, Artistic, Ink Sketch on it with no color. I copied and pasted that onto the red background using the property Color Burn for transparency. I did that in PhotoPaint. I also added the word Seagull on the upper rim of the sound hole.

I combined all elements in PhotoPaint and saved the large file and resampled for sharing here.

If you look at the larger image (clicking on it) you can see where I hand etched some flowers and a hummingbird on to the pickguard. In this way I customized my acoustic guitar making it unique.

I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrance and the Frames film frame to finish off the image along with my signature.

Listening --- Steve Earle --- Guitar Town

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"My New Heroes Are" - Art Nouveau - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint


Again in my Journals I found this quote that was written by me in 1994. I opened CorelDRAW and using my Canon MP495 All in One, I scanned in a piece of Art Nouveau design, cropping it from other designs in the scan. The design came from the over-sized book Art Nouveau Patterns and Designs by R. Beauclair. I resized it to fit the page, and used NexusFont to find the Metro Nouveau font for the quote.

I centered the text phrase and added the date to the large file, I grouped the text and background and copied to the clipboard. Opening PhotoPaint I added my signature. I used the Tone Curve for some depth and increased the color saturation just a bit. I resampled for sharing here.

Listening --- Foo Fighters --- My Hero

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"1992 Sketches Collage" - PhotoPaint - CorelDRAW - PSP Pro X3

1992 Sketches

Today I found two sketches of women's faces in one of my Journals from 1992. I scanned them in with my Canon MP495 All in One using PhotoPaint to begin with. I also found pieces of images I have had for years waiting for use in a collage. So I scanned in the red suspenders and the stone like images.

I copied them to the clipboard and opened CorelDRAW and pasted them into a 8.5x11 page size, eventually using up all the space. I used the suspenders as both right and left borders and the stone like torn pieces on the top and bottom. This placed the faces in the center.

I grouped the pieces together and copied to the clipboard. I opened in PhotoPaint again at 75% the original size for working on, adding my signature. I saved the large file and reopened in PSP Pro X3 and adjusted the image Vibrancy and added the classical ornate frame. Saving the larger image I resampled it in PhotoPaint for display here.

I had used the Tone Curve for depth and increased the saturation for a boost to the color.

The 1992 sketches were done freehand pencil and paper on Journal pages. If you look closely you can make out the second face as shading in the main portrait face.

Listening --- The Beatles --- Hide Your Love Away

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Duress" - Art Deco - Chivalry - Digital Collage - Corel PhotoPaint


I created a digital collage from some Dover Clip Art samplers for "Duress." I browsed my Dover Publications folder in Picasa 3 and found an Art Deco background I liked. I increased the size of the Art Deco piece by 96dpi. Then I selected the armor placing it and borders top and bottom with Victorian like scrolling. I liked the simple design.

The armor reminded me of the threat of force and and Chivalry, along with "Duress," coming to my mind. I used a font style named Berlin Sans FB Demi for the text and placed it right in the middle of the collage. I made sure I had the right definition and selected the text and copied and pasted it upon the larger word, using the same font.

I used the Tone Curve to add depth and also upped the saturation before adding the text and definition. I did all this in PhotoPaint, adding for a finish my signature and a twenty pixel border of black.

Listening --- Pat Benatar --- Invincible

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Sensitivity" - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge - Paint.NET


Winter in Traverse

Guitar Duo

A short post today. Here are three images for your enjoyment. I used the following programs:

  • CorelDRAW
  • PhotoPaint
  • Filter Forge Frames
  • PSP Pro X3
  • Paint.NET

Not necessarily in that order, but I used these programs and their features to create them.

Listening --- JJ Cale & Eric Clapton --- Danger

Friday, September 9, 2011

"I Am More!" - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

And I Am More!

Another bit of poetry from the same time period in 1996 during a period of illness. It was originally titled "I Are," I updated it a bit to make it as current today as then. It's principle is that one cannot be fully known judged by our outer actions. We essentially are more than that. Larger than life.

"I Am More!" now looks like a stick figure on a grunge background. Done in CorelDRAW I used a font called Calibri Bold. I applied the Fit Text to a Path using curves made from the ellipse tool. And I turned on the grid and snap to the gird for balancing the text phrases.

I grouped all in CorelDRAW and copied to the clipboard and opened PhotoPaint and pasted as File New From Clipboard again at 75% of the large original size for working on it.

I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects Grunge for a light grunge look and feel. I saved the large file with my signature and resampled for display.

Listening --- Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here No More

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Self Worth" - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

Self Worth

I've been scouring some of my Journals of writings for Poetry to publish here as grunge posters. I ran across this one from March 24th, 1996 entitled "Self Worth." 

I opened CorelDRAW and NexusFont, a font finding program and found this one called Century Schoolbook Bold Italic. In my Journal the poem was written with the verses angling down the page. So I duplicated the style here with type.

I went and found a grunge background from my folders in Picasa 3 and copied and pasted it, then rotated it for a portrait display. I placed it behind the text.

Next I wanted a shadow behind the main text phrases so I grouped the text in it's angled state and duplicated it, using a yellow on brown. Grouping the background and the text I copied to the clipboard and opened with File New From Clipboard in PhotoPaint at 75% it's original size for working purposes.

I applied Filter Forge's Photo Effects Grunge to the image to make it stained and framed. I added my signature, saving the large file then resampling to display size.

Listening --- Archie Roach --- Life is Worth Living

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Beautiful Face" - Corel PSP Pro X3 - Painter 11 - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

Beautiful Face

This is a repaint of a painting I did some time ago. I opened it from it's folder in Picasa 3 with PSP Pro X3. I altered it's Vibrancy and saturation. I also applied the Brushstrokes feature for some texture.  I saved that large file and opened with Painter 11, cloning it to paint.

There I applied some more coarse texture using the Chalk brush at varying sizes. I highlighted the hair and facial features. I used Apply Surface Texture Image Luminance. This gave me even more texture.

I then saved that iteration and opened with PhotoPaint. I applied a slight touch of Tone Curve. Using Filter Forge frames I used a simple frame. I applied the wand tool to the larger portion of the frame and used the 3D Bevel effect with a blue texture, enhancing the frame. I added my signature to complete the image.

I saved the large file, then resampled for the web.

Listening --- The Beatles --- Julia

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Begin The Dream" - CorelDRAW - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

Begin The Dream

Back in May of this year I wrote a poem about "Begin The Dream." I was looking through my song lyrics and poetry and found it again. The poem focuses on the Dream and Reality and which is which, or both the same. In any event I made a grunge typographic image of it.

I opened CorelDRAW and also the poem (in Notepad) I pasted the poem on an imported grunge background I got from a Twitter message link (a zip file of a handful of backgrounds.) I took the title and the last two verses of the poem and enlarged them and duplicated them for a dark on light effect.

I grouped the text and the graphic and copied to the clipboard and opened PhotoPaint, using File New From Clipboard I pasted the file at 75% of it's original size which was large.

I used Filter Forge's Photo Effects Vibrance on the image for an increase in tone. I then used the same Photo Effects Grunge for the additional texturing and framing. I then used the Tone Curve to add a bit of depth. I saved the large file, resampling for display, adding my signature to complete the piece.

Listening --- The Cranberries --- Dreams

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Pain of Parkinson's" - Corel PSP Pro X3 - Painter 11 - PhotoPaint - Filter Forge

Pain of Parkinson's

Browsing in Picasa 3 folders I came across this photograph of my Father in Law at their 50th wedding anniversary. He was afflicted with Parkinson's Disease. Once a very handsome man over 6 foot tall with curly hair. He worked for many years as an Journeyman Electrician. His illness ravaged the man and left him thin and gaunt.

I took this rather small close up photograph and opened with PSP Pro X3 and resized the image to a larger file and more dpi. I applied the Effects; Art Media; Brushstrokes. This gave me a painterly image. I saved this image and opened with Painter 11, where I used a coarse paper texture and Chalk Brushstrokes for painting the rest of the piece.

I opened that file with PhotoPaint and added a film frame in Filter Forge's Freepack. A touch of the Tone Curve gave the color more depth. I resampled for display here and added my signature and saved that file.

Listening --- Alan Parsons Project --- Old and Wise

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Multiple Exposure Self Portrait" - Picasa 3 - PSP Pro X3 - Painter 11 - PhotoPaint


I began this image in Picasa 3 where I selected numerous thumbnails in the Faces folder of myself. I used the Ctrl Click to select them, then I used the Collage feature of Picasa 3 and superimposed all of them to one image. It was like making a multiple exposure photograph. I selected Create Collage 8.5x11 and let the program work. Saving that large file I continued.

I next took the Collage into PSP Pro X3 and applied the Smart Photo fix tool and the Hue/Saturation tool Vibrancy. Then I Posterized it, saving that iteration. I opened with Painter 11 from Picasa 3 and began painting a clone with Camel Oil brushes varying the size. I only took some of the detail and painted the line work.

After I was pretty satisfied with the painting, I selected a guitar texture and painted with the Chalk brush, which gives the background a touch of texture.

In PhotoPaint I selected the Tone curve for some depth to the already full colors. And then I resampled it to a 150dpi image sized for display here. I added my signature and saved that file.

Listening --- Led Zeppelin --- Good Times, Bad Times

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Beauty and Decay II" - PSP Pro X3 - PhotoPaint

Beauty II

Decay II

Browsing in Picasa 3 I found these two photographs, the first one taken by myself and the second by my Son, Keir M. Gatzka. I opened the sunrise over Bald Eagle Lake with PSP Pro X3 and used the Brushstroke effect for a painterly look. I also applied the Vibrancy tool and upped the saturation a bit.

I browsed through the Picture Frame section and selected a frame, which I later added a border to while adding my signature in PhotoPaint.

This second one received much the same treatment in PSP Pro X3, the only difference is that it was posterized prior to my enhancing it more. I used the same frame and border tools as I did with the first image. With this one I applied Local Equalization and the Tone Curve for depth in PhotoPaint, then used PSP.

I saved the larger files and then resampled for sharing here and saved those iterations.

Listening --- The Beach Boys --- Good Vibrations