Fresh Paint(ing) tips from Phil Galloway

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Published in two parts by the Conversations blog, there's a great set of tips by Phil Galloway, looking at getting more from Microsoft's free painting opus, Fresh Paint. It's a great article and well worth looking into if you like emulating brush and paints on your smartphone screen...

Phil Galloway, man and painting! 8-)

From the two part article, some of my favourite tips:

5. Tracing ain’t cheating…

Think about cave painters using their hands as stencils through to Vermeer and his cheeky camera obscura, making sure the Girl with the Pearl Earring’s earring was perfectly in proportion and perspective… every artist throughout the ages has used some kind of tracing help to aid their painting and drawing. It is not cheating but rather a method to be embraced, just like tracing paper is embraced by children learning to draw.

In Fresh Paint, you have this lovely, well executed tool, which allows you to turn a photo or imported image into digital paint or as an image to begin tracing over with the various in app brushes. Choose a high-resolution image (check out the Inspire Me options provided in the app by Bing) or take a photo with the camera so it sits bigger on the canvas, turn the dial to the brush symbol with the two drops and click the tick. You can then watch in awe as your photo or imported drawing becomes wet paint with the stroke of your finger. Pushing around skin tones and hair as paint is absolutely magic, really showing the power of the app and Lumia phones.

 fresh paint final strokes

6. Brush up

Not having a real life brush in your hand and seeing how the paint is covering it, or how much of one colour is loaded on one side, for example, means that you could be limited by not knowing how the app will react when you make your strokes. This is where you can really tell the difference between Fresh Paint and other painting apps, for both mindless fun and professional creations alike. While other apps on other platforms have created a series of stroke shapes that are seemingly picked at random, Fresh Paint watches how you are mixing your colours and interprets how this will manifest on the brush.

Keep an eye on the brush thickness selector when mixing your paint or watercolours and watch how it will change colour in stages, making interesting patterns. Mixing the paint in the palette will also change the characteristics of your brush strokes from thick rounded ends to sharp edges and wisps depending on your finger flicks as you mix. Experiment and mess about and you will quickly see how you can use this to your advantage, for instance when painting fine details or looking for a certain bold stroke.

You can read the whole set of tips here and here.

There are pros and cons of painting digitally, of course. There is, undoubtedly, less 'feel' and less fine control, plus everything usually takes longer than real life canvas work, at least to get to the same level of detail. But the lack of expense, hassle or mess, plus the ease of saving and sharing possibly help level the playing field.

You can download Fresh Paint for free in the Windows Phone Store here.

Source / Credit: Conversations