Painting with Microsoft


I bought a Microsoft Surface back in January, and one of the toys it comes with is Fresh Paint, a painting app which you can use the included stylus to paint with. I tried it out in a Microsoft Store in Bellevue almost a year ago and was resolutely unimpressed, but I’ve come to find it quite relaxing of late.

I haven’t drawn seriously for years, probably not since I did my Art GCSE in 1993, and what I’m producing now isn’t of great artistic merit. So far I’ve sketched a rather wonky house and made an oil painting of an owl that is, frankly, no oil painting, but it keeps me out of trouble.

The app allows you to choose between crayons, coloured pencils, watercolours and oil paints. I’d like there to be a felt tip pen option too, but perhaps that’s just too complicated. That, or firm bold strokes are things that are reserved for paid-for applications to make comics with. Or I’m not reading the instructions properly.

You can also use the software to vandalize existing works of art; it’s a simple matter to import photos to the application and then paint all over them. Curiously, the watercolour brushes don’t affect what you paint on at all, whereas the oil paints splatter and coat the victim (sorry, original artwork) very effectively. There is a lot of subtlety to this that I think I’m missing; you can stir paints together on the palette to get new shades, or even stir the wet paint on the picture, but in either case it’s quite an efficient way for me to scrawl a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

I did think about posting something here, but I think I need to paint a few more things before I feel ready to make them public. Then again, I’ll always take requests…


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