Brushes is an art creation app that lets you craft multi-layered paintings or drawings on your iphone. Everything from quick diagrams to print-ready art — and even a blog illustration — is possible on the Brushes canvas. Brushes has even been used to draw the cover art for an edition of The New Yorker

I’m finding Brushes useful for sketching out a quick storyboard…and for trying to improve my artistic eye…and for doodling in meetings.

Art Klutz Fun

If you’re an art klutz like me, you’ll have fun using Brushes to make blobs of color on your iphone. The interface is simple and in drawing mode, menus and settings disappear to leave full access to the drawing area.

The creative possibilities are endless with several brushes, a desktop-quality color wheel, and full transparency control. Brushes allows up to six layers and layers can be merged for more complex work.

Sharing is simple with Brushes. When you’re finished with your masterpiece, you can save it to the camera roll or send it via email. Better yet, use the built-in sever to access your Brushes gallery over wifi and save directly to your computer.

Pairing is Caring

Why save to  your computer, you ask? Because, with Brushes, pairing is caring. You’ll want take advantage of the feature that sets Brushes apart from the other iphone drawing apps: The simple and powerful desktop software you can download for free from brushesapp.com.

The desktop software greatly expands what you can do with your final art piece. You can up-sample your image to higher resolution — up to 6x the original size — and export a high quality tiff.

My favorite is the drawing playback feature that lets you watch your drawing take shape stroke by stroke and export it as a quick time movie. That’s an interesting way to teach drawing techniques — or to use a drawing as a storytelling tool. Here’s my example:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/24356120]

For the best in drawing fun, pair Brushes with a good quality stylus and you’ll be amazed at how well the iphone doubles as a sketch pad. It’s work a look in the Apple App Store.

What’s Wild

  • Simple interface gives screen real estate to drawing
  • Multiple layers allow blending and merging
  • Realistic brushes offer creative flexibility
  • Download images via wifi
  • Free desktop software
    • up-rez images upto 6x iphone resolution
    • play back the drawing as a movie
    • export high quality quicktime movie up to 1920×2880
  • Works great with a stylus

What’s Mild

  • Price: $4.99 is a big commitment for a phone app. However, with the pro features provided by the desktop software included with the app, Brushes does give you the ability to make print-quality art.
  • No blending tool: Other drawing apps that sell for less give a blending tool or a “dry brush” setting for blending colors. You can achieve the same effect here with color blending, but for the price, I’d like to see Brushes add this feature.

Bottom Line

The price tag may give some users sticker shock, but the features added by the desktop companion software make Brushes with the extra coin. Who knows, you might even sell some art to The New Yorker and recoup your investment.

For solid performance and the ability to elevate iphone sketches into hi-res works of art, Brushes for iphone gets:

Five roaring kittens out of five.

Advertisements

Posted by Wildman

Husband. Dad. Pastor. I like to capture moments, pull their threads, and see what unravels. Lead well, read well, think well. And grace. Lots of grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s