The Virtual Canvas

Back in 2008, Apple dramatically changed our fingerpainting options by offering a painting application called Brushes for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. No more drop sheets, no more gooey paint, no more cleanup. Its popularity has surged, particularly since Jorge Colombo’s painting landed on the cover of The New Yorker magazine.

That same year, David Hockney got his first iPhone, began working with this App, and the rest is history. His current exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, called Fresh Flowers, shows what he created using Brushes. Needless to say, I left the show very excited about trying out this medium for myself.

While I found Brushes a bit pricey compared to other drawing Apps, it was cheaper than a bottle of wine, and got the most favourable reviews. Purchase made. It’s been a lot of fun to use even if you can’t draw for toffee. And if you head to YouTube, you’ll find an amazing selection of paintings to inspire you.

The coolest thing about this App? Watching your drawing being created in playback mode, the fact that you can use it anywhere, and of course seeing how much kids enjoy it.

You have to, HAVE TO look at this video of artist David Kassan painting a portrait using the Brushes App on an iPad:

Here’s a good place to see what people have been creating with this App:

If you’re thinking of getting an art App, here’s a great review and comparison of three popular ones:

A few images of what David Hockney was up to at his recent show in Toronto. These images were projected on large screens, but the majority of his work was shown on iPhones/iPod Touches and iPads, with many in playback mode:


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Filed under Artists, David Hockney, virtual art

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