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February 2, 2015

All you need to know about the fab Fresh Paint community

Artist Hans Hoffmann once said that “Through a painting we can see the whole world,” a statement which is more relevant than ever thanks to digital painting apps like Fresh Paint.

Not only can you create your own artistic masterpieces using Fresh Paint, but you can also enjoy the works of Fresh Paint digital artists from around the world. Into impressionism or realism? No problem, there’s bound to be someone creating jaw-droppingly beautiful digital paintings you can enjoy. What’s more, you don’t have to go far to look, with users sharing their art in places such as the Fresh Paint Facebook page and on Twitter. Naturally, we wanted to learn more about what makes Fresh Paint and its community tick, so we talked to the developer that helped create it, Kirk Lennstrom.

First off, can you tell us a little bit about the Fresh Paint community? What sets it apart from other communities?

The Fresh Paint community is comprised of prolific and inspired artists who push Fresh Paint to its creative limit, and post their masterpieces for all to see and admire. What sets the Fresh Paint community apart is primarily the interest level on visual and creative painted art, rather than other digital media. We are awed and humbled by the size and enthusiasm of the community and amazed at the digital art that they have created and shared.


Fresh Paint seems to have a very social community of users. What role does this community play in using the app and how important is it to the experience?

Fresh Paint is a powerful tool in the hands of those who know their way around it. I think it’s most interesting to see how artists have taken the tools provided to create some truly inspired artwork. I believe it is the interest in seeing what is possible which excites the community to try new techniques and push the limits.

The realistic look in many Fresh Paint artworks is amazing. Can you tell us a little about the development process?

One of the ways we achieve such realism, is through modeling the various physical structures present when someone paints with real paint. For instance, the paper you paint upon is not a flat featureless mathematical plane, but rather a surface with texture, fibers, peaks and valleys. The paintbrush is not merely a circle, but an actual 3D model with bristles which move depending on the direction of the stroke. These bristles interact with the paper, and other paint to attempt to simulate how real paint behaves. The paint itself has dimension, with peaks and valleys of its own, provided by the layers of bristles in the brush. All these factors contribute to a unique and visceral experience only found in Fresh Paint.

Can you share some top tips for creating a work of art with Fresh Paint?

The first tip is to start with a sketch in pencil. Use this sketch to outline your work and get the proportions right. Once you feel you have the frame of your work, fill in with colors.

Next is to use blending, particularly with oil. When you deposit a line, particularly for a highlight, it will start to mix with the underlying paint as you draw a stroke. Instead of a stroke, create dabs of color where you want the highlight to appear, then use either the blending tool, or a clean paintbrush to mix your dabs into the surrounding color. This gives a nicer transition for your highlight.

What’s in store for Fresh Paint and, in your opinion, mobile art as a whole?

Fresh Paint will continue to innovate and push the envelope of what is possible with mobile devices and artwork. I think as devices become more powerful, more realistic simulations will be possible in the future, allowing even more creative expression, whenever and wherever you want.

Big thanks to Kirk for sharing his insights with us. Now we’d love to hear what you have to say. Let us know in the comments below what you think of Fresh Paint, and if you haven’t given it a try yet, what’s stopping you? Let that creativity shine!

Image credit: Anna Wilhelm

Fresh Paint