Saturday, February 06, 2010

Brushes iPhone App

I recently got the "Brushes" App for my iPhone and I've been really enjoying it. For those times when I don't have a sketchbook but I do have my iPhone it's a great alternative.

Anyone who's used Photoshop will be comfortable with it immediately. The color selection tool is just like Photoshop: is easy to use and basically you can pick any color you can think of. The brush choices are limited, and you can only use four layers at a time, but I actually like both of these limitations. It keeps your choices from being too many or too overwhelming. And the layers aren't as limited as they seem; you can "merge down" a layer onto the one beneath it, so you can keep adding layers, getting them how you want them, merging them down and then adding another. Also the size of your iPhone screen is another limitation - you can zoom in for detail work, but overall, you can't get too complicated with it, which forces you to keep it simple.

Portrait of my daughter - my first Brushes effort.

For those of you that have never used Photoshop (and therefore the previous sentence makes no sense to you), Brushes could actually serve as a good introduction to how Photoshop works, because it's got such limited choices.

On the homepage for the App there is a good pdf that you can download and read up on how to use all the tools. Also there are videos showing how it works.

I find the size perfect for doing portraits. Don't ask me why, but I started a series of animals smoking.

Brushes is $4.99. If you go to and do a search for "Brushes" you will find a lot of other examples of what people have done with the App.

There are other Apps for drawing and painting - like Sketchbook Mobile and Inkling - which are cheaper (Sketchbook Mobile is $2.99 and Inkling is just $1.99). If you've used any of these, please let us know in the comments which you prefer, and why!


Alex_Munguia said...

woah this is a cool app. Too bad you cant get too detailed with it. Im hoping apps like these will be available for the ipad.- Imagine- a digital sketchbook. That would be so cool. I can definitely see that happening within a couple of years.

Sam Levine said...

Oh dammit, gotta get an iphone now ;)

These are fun Mark :)

Pieter Hogenbirk said...

I use 'DynaInk ' on a windowsphone, it uses vectors so you can print it very big.( is that English )

Mathias said...

Another great painting tool for the iPhone and Nintendo DS is a Program called 'Colors'. You can upload your paintings easily to the colors homepage where other users can comment, rate and watch a replay of your painting progress.
You can find it here:
Colors Gallery
Keep up the good work Mark Kennedy! Best blog on the web :) and greetings from germany!

SHOo said...

Haha! Smoking animals! When I first tried Brushes (which I kept, as it really makes sense to me), I did an "Animals with Sunglasses" series =)
I really like the limitations too, & am using it to simplify my approach to colors and painting (especially painting with your fingers!)
I did try Colors on DS, but never quite got the hang of it as much as Brushes!

Brad Silby said...

I have Brushes, but just got Sketchbook Mobile. I doubt I'll use Brushes anymore, Sketchbook has a better interface, it's easier and quicker to get where/what you want. Also when you zoom in you can scrub around the image by using two fingers, very nice. I think the output image size is larger too.

samacleod said...

These are awesome, Mark. I want one of those one day.

freeFONT said...

cute design!

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I want this kind of application and you give us very nice detail to us I am very excited to see.

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