Saturday, February 25, 2012

Check Out These Talented Artists

Birds was this month's theme for the Art & Artists group on Facebook. Please take a look at these beautiful artwork and talented artists.

If that gallery doesn't work, you can also go here:

Thank you to Tracy Klatke at Make Do for putting these galleries together.


Mystical Sky

Sell Art Online

Just after Christmas I decided to buy a new camera. My point-and-shoot camera (an Olympus SP-590UZ) was good, but I wanted better control, the ability to change lenses, and larger megapixels for taking photos of my artwork for prints. After looking at the specs. between a Canon Rebel T3i 600D and a Nikon D5100, I decided on the Canon Rebel.

While it's true that it's not the camera, but the photographer, that determines a photos outcome, it sure doesn't hurt to have a good one from the start. I love it and am thrilled to find many tutorials online that help me discover the photographer in me. Can't wait to use it when we go to Florida again this Spring. It already was worth the price for how clear the photos came out for some of my fantasy paintings.

Look at this photo art of my darling granddaughter, Emma.

I did this with a 18-55mm lens with settings to focus on her and make everything else around her slightly blurred. The room was dark with one lamp on. The only change I made in my software was to shrink the size. Not too bad for one of my first tries with the camera. Of course, it helps to have a good subject to photograph.

A couple days ago I stumbled across a forum discussion about HDR (High Dynamic Range). Another thing I bought around last Christmas was Paintshop Pro X4. I've been a big fan of Paintshop since version 5 while it was still created by Jasc. Yet, I didn't realize there was HDR on some of the other versions I owned until running across the discussion. It piqued my interest.

So, I just had to go outside, in the 30 degree weather, and test out my camera's functions for this. As what seems to be the usual now for this time of year in upstate New York, we had grey skies. My fingers were freezing, but I was able to get a few nice photos of the clouds with a hint of sun using the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) setting. [Note: It's not a good idea to aim your camera directly at the sun. For the safety of the camera and your own eyes.] AEB on the T3i takes three photos of the same shot, but with different exposures ranging from underexposed, normal, and overexposed. One will be full of detail, but not enough light. Another will have plenty of light/brightness, but not much in the way of detail. Then there is the normal shot in between that is a mixture of both.

Once I had the photos I wanted, I transferred them to my computer and opened up PSP. Without going into full details since there are tutorials for this all over the internet, I opened the photos under HDR, merged them, and played with the different settings until I found an image I liked. I also added a little bit more color to it to make it more painterly... Artsy.

The result is the "Mystical Sky" clouds digital art you see at the beginning of this post. It's probably a bit simple and not what HDR experts would be excited about, but I like it and am planning to get a print of experimental photography art to put on my wall.

My first love is traditional pencil, watercolor and acrylic art, but I also enjoy photography and see it as an add on to my artistic creativity.

- Trace

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Haze Painting

Photography Prints

My newest abstract art painting. Acrylic on 16" x 20" gallery wrapped canvas. Textured with colors of yellow, red, orange and brown. The original is also for sale through the Fine Art America link. $150.00

Thursday, February 16, 2012

At the Dock - Prints

Copyright © 2009 Tracey R Gates
Fine art prints are now available for my painting, "At the Dock", at: Tracey R Gates Fine Art (

Fine Art Prints

© 2012 Tracey R Gates
In an artist group that I'm part of I recently asked about printers. Specifically, home printers that can handle heavier paper than photo, such as inkjet canvas, or fine art paper. My reason for this is that I'd like to have more control over prints of my artwork. To make sure that the colors in the print matches to the colors in my original artwork before selling to a client. Not only that, but sometimes I put my art on fabric and add it to some of my sewing designs, but the printer I have now tends to jam.

Before I knew it, my original post turned into a long discussion from fellow artists about whether, or not it is cost worthy to do the printing yourself, or to have someone else do it for you. Not exactly what I was asking. I seem to run into this more than not when I think I have a simple question. So, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect professional printer that will do what I want without breaking the bank.

In the meantime, I've set up some of my art for prints through professional printers. (Thank you, Abril Andrade Griffith).  You'll find art prints, acrylic prints, framed and canvas prints of some of my artwork and nature photos at Tracey R Gates Fine Art  ( Including the bird bath photo above.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Dragon and Chickadee

© 2012 Tracey R Gates

I just finished this fantasy art drawing of a dragon and chickadee. Still haven't thought of a name yet. This is one of a set of drawing/paintings I'm working on. So, look for the painted version to show up sometime soon.

Those who know me, know that I love chickadees. The ones that come to our backyard are just as friendly as they are curious. I couldn't imagine anyone harming the little beauties. Not even a dragon!

Drawing was done with woodless graphite on acid-free recycled sketch paper (with more detail than shows up on the computer).