Finger Painting on the iPhone Using Brushes

by Eric Pena on June 23, 2009

It’s been ages since I last posted an article on digital painting and my Wacom tablet has been gathering dust. But ever since I saw that particular cover on The New Yorker, I immediately downloaded the iPhone application that was responsible for creating it.
Now, after a few experiments on how to use this Brushes app, I finally painted my first serious work. It took me a few hours though but if not for my previous experience with digital painting using Adobe Photoshop, it would have taken me much longer. At first, I thought using the finger to paint would be difficult, but then you get the hang of it after a while. Using pen like devices wouldn’t work. If you’re new to digital painting, I suggest you watch this great video tutorial from Neil Fontaine who has given me permission to post it on my blog. It’s a Photoshop tutorial but the technique is similar to the Brushes app in iPhone.

Brushes was created by a 32 year old developer Steve Sprang. Since The New Yorker featured his work on its cover page, the application became a big hit with iPhone users. You can check out their work on YouTube, Flickr, etc., or you can check out mine now… don’t forget to put on your headphone.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 c August 3, 2009 at 8:02 am

My MAJOR disappointment with Brushes is that to use the Viewer you have to be in a wifi network.
If your cable modem is hard wired then you can't upload your creative process.
This is not made clear in selling the app.
For example, I do a sketch at work, but I can't upload the process when I get home. Home is hardwired. I have to bring my laptop to a wifi(back to work say) to use the Viewer.
I can upload and see them on any laptop at the apple store, but that doesn't cut it.

2 da_petcu21 February 17, 2010 at 12:55 am

This has nothing to do with Brushes. It's common sense. I'd like to see an iPhone hardwired to a network.

3 high heat paint June 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I can’t believe people can do stuff like this with technology. I’m not really that good at doing things like this unless it’s on paper. I guess that’s what’s good about being born in a later generation, because you grow up with all this technology. It would be hard to learn now, for me.

4 Ex Back June 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

But how does a Brushes “painting” compare with a traditional painting? Check out this video of Colombo sketching a gas station!

5 round brush December 1, 2010 at 8:15 am

Just came and read, this is wow! I was seek from many blogs, but here is the best, I love it.

6 Denver Art Galleries December 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Apps such as ToonFX and SketchMee are wonderful toys on iPhone but as computers become more powerful at deconstructing and recreating the building blocks of various artistic techniques

7 Nikond70 January 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Even with i Phone’s simple and sometimes unimpressive camera, Color Splash can work wonders. Basic and run-of-the-mill photographs can be given a second life and generate much more interest with the use of the application.

8 sleeve tattoo designs April 19, 2011 at 4:46 am

If you have a phone, you’re already a veteran user of pictures down to the size of a pin head. favicon icon . pda agenda icon What would we do without those tiny icons, readable at a glance – in any language? They’re not only indispensable. Symbols can be powerful stuff.

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