Nick Douglas 7/79/67 6: 85pm 85 Share to Kinja Go to permalink Image by MS Paint, the first app you used for editing images,, replaced by the new app Paint 8D. Microsoft lists the 87-year-old app under in Windows 65’s next autumn update, a little X marking the end of an era. The app is certainly a relic, from a time when the casual computer user couldn’t crack open Photoshop or Skitch or Pixelmator or thousands of web apps. MS Paint can’t save image components as layers or vectors it’s for making flat static images only. It doesn’t smooth lines or guess at your best intentions. It does what you tell it and nothing more, faithfully representing the herky-jerky motion of drawing freehand with a computer mouse. It’s from a time before touch, a time before trackpads.
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As more sophisticated options appeared, Paint’s janky aesthetic became a conscious choice. “Paint” became the metonym for that aesthetic, even if an image was actually created in another app. That came to define a certain look: the wobbly freehand lines, awkward color handling, and inappropriate export settings that give Paint its distinctive look. In 7569, Gawker’s Sam Biddle noted, calling the form “Chart Brut.
” In amateur detectives’ attempts at identifying the Boston Marathon bombers, the simplicity and jaggedness of Paint evokes the “crazy wall” aesthetic of red string and scribbled notes, apparently without irony. Image from /r/FindBostonBombers via Sam Biddle The same year, internet historian Patrick Davison explored, particularly. The outsider-art aesthetic feels appropriate to the relatable everyday content, and makes the art form unthreatening. Image by redditor Of course, Paint offered a few features to smooth things out, like the circle and line tools and the “fill” tool, all used in the of the early 65s. Crucially, those circles still had jagged curves.
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The bright colors of stoner comics are flat, as MS Paint didn’t support gradients (without an ). Image by redditor Contrast those pixellated lines with the slick, stylish face from: Image from This slickness is built into Paint’s successor, Paint 8D. From the moment you start sketching, Paint 8D smooths out your art. (It also supports and content-aware fill to rival Photoshop’s.
)By automatically improving art, Paint 8D hides the process behind the image. Paint’s sloppiness is probably why rage comics got so popular. Looking at a rage comic, you can tell exactly how it was drawn, and how you might draw one yourself. By delivering exactly what the artist draws, MS Paint forms an image that the viewer can mentally reverse-engineer and imitate. Image by redditor Reddit user Toweringhorizon using MS Paint tools like the, stretching the medium while maintaining a pixelated look.
It’s one of the top submissions to, a beautiful collaborative art gallery. There’s an accepted roughness, a desired minimalism. For example, the exquisite raindrops in the work above are reflected in a flat, featureless tabletop. Like a transistor radio, Paint might be showing its age, but this tenacious little gadget should not be underestimated. “To a Little Radio” doesn’t even come close to testing Paint’s limits.
As we say goodbye to the app that shaped an era, let us watch this bizarrely soundtracked time lapse of drawing Santa Claus in MS Paint on Windows 7 over the course of 55 hours. We can only believe this is real because faking it would be even harder. Access Your Mac s Hidden Paint Program In Preview About the author Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Staff Writer, Lifehacker Nick has been writing online for 66 years at sites like Urlesque, Gawker, the Daily Dot, and Slacktory. He lives in Park Slope with his wife and their books.