Well, the morning before I wrote this article, I happened to watch this astonishing Youtube video of someone painting a landscape (from a reference photo) using nothing more than a mouse and an old version of MS Paint.
Since I also have a mouse, an old version of MS Paint and several years of art practice, I was curious about whether I could do something similar myself.
So, in seven steps, here’s how I tackled this formidable challenge. You can click on any of the images to see a larger version, although they’re all fairly small (since I quickly worked out that painting in a small area would make it easier).
The reference photo is an old photo of the pier in Aberystwyth that I took in 2009. I also used it as the basis for a Japanese-style painting back in 2014.
Anyway, here’s how I got on with painting in MS Paint:
Step One: I shrank the source image and, unlike in the Youtube video, I decided to put it next to the space I will be painting in, since it allowed me to compare the two pictures instantly.
Step Two: I drew the basic line art using the “line” tool. At this point, the line art is still pretty rough.
Step Three: I zoomed in on the image quite a lot whilst working on it. Like with the Youtube video, I also made heavy use of the ‘pick color’ tool to get the colours exactly right.
Step Four: Using the ‘pick color’ tool and the ‘fill’ tool, I filled in most of the colours.
Step Five: I added more fine detail to the picture, as well as adding a few colours to areas that I’d missed during the previous step.
Step Six: I added more realistic shading to the picture. However, I couldn’t really get the colour gradient on the sea or the sky quite right.
Step Seven: After making a few small changes (eg: adding more shading to the pillar on the right), the picture was finally finished!
All in all, this was a rather fun exercise and it turned out better than I expected, although it’s probably not really something that I’d want to do that regularly.
Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂