tom moody

tom moody's weblog
(2001 - 2007) (2004 - )

2001-2007 archive

main site


digital media tree (or "home" below)

RSS / validator

BLOG in gallery / AFC / artCal / furtherfield on BLOG

room sized animated GIFs / pics

geeks in the gallery / 2 / 3

fuzzy logic

and/or gallery / pics / 2

rhizome interview / illustrated

ny arts interview / illustrated

visit my cubicle

blogging & the arts panel

my dorkbot talk / notes

infinite fill show




coalition casualties

civilian casualties

iraq today / older

mccain defends bush's iraq strategy

eyebeam reBlog


tyndall report

aron namenwirth

bloggy / artCal

james wagner

what really happened


cory arcangel / at

juan cole

a a attanasio

three rivers online

unknown news



edward b. rackley

travelers diagram at

atomic cinema


cpb::softinfo :: blog


paper rad / info

nastynets now

the memory hole

de palma a la mod

aaron in japan


chris ashley




9/11 timeline

tedg on film

art is for the people


jim woodring

stephen hendee

steve gilliard

mellon writes again


adrien75 / 757


WFMU's Beware of the Blog

travis hallenbeck

paul slocum

guthrie lonergan / at

tom moody

View current page
...more recent posts

Paintbrush vs. Paint

MSPaintbrush is a 165K graphics program that shipped with Windows prior to 1995. Bill Gates & crew did not create it; as with many of their products they acquired it, in this case by buying a company called ZSoft. When Windows 95 came along, Microsoft supposedly "improved" the product and changed the name to MSPaint: it's still part of the Windows accessory package. As an artist I greatly prefer Paintbrush to Paint, and was lucky to track down an abandonware version so I can keep using it (to draw portraits, molecules, and the like).

What are the differences? In Paintbrush the zoom requires less steps to activate. You can also zoom out to see the entire image, which for some reason you can't do in Paint. Paintbrush has more brush, spray, and eraser sizes. A newly-pasted image in Paintbrush has a clear background, so you can immediately see how it layers over an existing image; in Paint the default is opaque. Paintbrush colors are customized with simple, easy-to-use RGB sliders, as opposed to Paint's "color picker" spectrum, which, again, requires more steps.

But the most crucial difference, for me, is the output of the "spraycan" tool. In Paintbrush (see sphere at left) it's like crosshatching; the effect is much more volumetric and seductive, once you get the hang of using it. Paint (sphere at right) has a fast, user-friendly, point-and-spray dot-dispersion pattern, but to me it looks like bad 70s airbrush art.

It's more of struggle to blend from dark to light in Paintbrush using those crosshatch dots (each is a spritz of the spraycan). I can see where the Microsoft techies thought they were improving the program, and for most people they probably were, but I like the grittier, clumsier feel of the crosshatching compared to the smoother pointillism, and even more important, the ability to create rich, intermediate grays. By eliminating the struggle they greatly reduced the potential beauty of the finished image.

- tom moody 1-24-2003 6:48 pm [link] [5 comments]