Pat’s Old-school Art with Microsoft Paint

Let’s throw it back to 1995 when Microsoft 95 was the newest technology in the market, and new computer users were fascinated with Microsoft Paint. Though far less complicated than today’s high-tech art programs, Paint provided many with hours of entertainment.

Artist, Pat Hines

Artist, Pat Hines

Pat Hines, a Boston-based artist, has stayed true to Microsoft’s roots, creating custom works of art with only Microsoft Paint. Until recently, his artwork has consisted of cityscapes and portraits, but he’s currently working on pieces that have more of a narrative. Stay tuned and you’ll see his most recent project, a horror-themed comic book.

Boston Cityscape - One of Hines' first pieces

Boston Cityscape – One of Hines’ first pieces

So how does one get started in something like this? For Pat, a bit of boredom while working as an overnight security guard coupled with a lack of interest in Solitaire and Free Cell led to his fascination. He began using Paint about 10 years ago during his off-time as a security guard. After much experimentation, he developed his own style and technique and learned the ins and outs of the program. He also learned that a single pixel can make a notable difference in his artwork. Averaging about 3 hours a day per piece, it takes him around 3 weeks to create a realistic piece and about a week to create a more cartoony-looking piece.

Hines' Paint rendition of Bill Gates

Hines’ Paint rendition of Bill Gates

Though the art world has become quite advanced, it’s the simplicity of Paint that continues to draw him to it. “Paint’s simplicity and limitations are what I enjoy the most about it. I like the idea that you don’t need an expensive program or materials to create something that’s nice to look at,” explained Pat. In fact, Pat has tried his hand at other programs like Photoshop and Illustrator; he’s even used Fresh Paint on the Surface tablet and bought a stylus. However, he always gravitates back to the old-school mouse and Paint.

The cover for Hines' upcoming comic book

The cover for Hines’ upcoming comic book

So what does this 31-year-old local artist hope to do with his unique talent? While he’d love to turn his hobby into a paying side job, he dreams of teaching art in an elementary setting. He also continues to put his Emerson College film degree to use by writing screenplays and creating storyboards for commercials and short films in his spare time. If you would like to learn more or receive a quote for a custom painting, contact Pat at You can also show your support by liking Pat’s new Facebook page and viewing more of his art on his website.

Another one of Hines' Paint masterpieces

Another one of Hines’ Paint masterpieces

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3 Responses to Pat’s Old-school Art with Microsoft Paint

  1. Barrie says:

    What an EXTRAORDINARY story!!! I would like to better understand why you wrote that a single pixel can make a notable difference in his artwork? THANKS for sharing this story! Can you also share Pat’s Facebook page? Thanks!

  2. Pat Hines says:

    Hi Barrie,

    Sometimes it’s a single point of light on a reflective surface (usually eyes) that makes a world of difference with Paint. More often, however it’s keeping a straight line from looking jagged.

    One of MS Paint’s limitations is that straight lines which aren’t perfectly vertical or horizontal appear slightly jagged. A lot of care goes into taking the edge off those lines so to speak, and one misplaced pixel can ruin it.

    You can see more of my work at or

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