Modern art for the masses: A look at the new Fresh Paint

A preview version of the new Fresh Paint app for Windows 8.1 is available now in the Windows Store.

When Windows 8 arrived last fall, it also introduced the Fresh Paint app to the world. I wrote then about just how different it was from any other painting app I’d seen. Originally a Microsoft Research prototype installed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fresh Paint makes it easy for anyone to express their creativity by creating digital works of art that look and feel like real paint.

Since then, the Fresh Paint team has been overwhelmed by the positive response to the app – in fact it’s now one of the top apps in the Windows Store. And, as with any v. 1, as more people used it, we heard some very smart suggestions to make the Fresh Paint experience even better. The Fresh Paint team has incorporated that feedback into an updated Fresh Paint app for Windows 8.1 as well as an entirely new version for Windows Phone 8. I’ve been putting in some serious quality time with both, and am inspired all over again – Fresh Paint really is painting for the modern age.

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The new Fresh Paint app for Windows Phone 8.

The new mobile app brings the realistic Fresh Paint experience to Windows Phone 8. It takes advantage of unique Windows Phone 8 features like the artistic camera filters found in Lenses, Live Tiles and resizable tiles. And Windows Phone’s rich sharing capabilities via SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter, SkyDrive and other sharing applications make it easy to share your projects with the world.

The new Fresh Paint app for Windows 8.1 has watercolor paints, a new set of pencils, new high-end brushes and more realistic “art supplies” for your digital art studio. One of the things that makes the app so distinctive is how true to real life it is, and this update has brought that home even more. There are now paint and pencil models that mirror the way real paints, pencils and brushes work with canvas and paper. A new color wheel makes it easier to find and blend the perfect colors. And, if you don’t want to start with a blank canvas, you can insert a photo and go to town with filters and mediums to make it your own original work of art.

It’s also easier to share your artistic creations, thanks to the new Gallery and sharing functionality that lets you broadcast your genius via SMS, email, Facebook, SkyDrive and other services.

Fresh Paint brings out the artist in me, working the way you’d expect real paint to work. Now with the new Fresh Paint, everything that comes naturally about making art gets that much better.

You can download the new Fresh Paint for Windows Phone 8 here. If are running the Windows 8.1 Preview, you’ll find the Fresh Paint 8.1 Preview in the Windows Store under “Entertainment > New Apps.” (The app was released just a few moments ago, so if you don’t see it now, check back soon.)