In the mid 90s, when Microsoft Windows 95 was launched, MS Paint was one of the operating system’s most fascinating tools. But creating truly impressive artworks with it required a lot of time and mountains of patience, so it came as no surprise that digital artists migrated to more advanced software like Adobe Photoshop as soon as they came out. Not all of them, though. Take amateur illustrator Pat Hines, who has been using MS Paint for over a decade, because he just couldn’t get the hang of modern editing software.
34-year-old Pat Hines discovered Microsoft Paint about 12 years ago, while working long overnights at a hospital reception desk, as a security guard. He didn’t really like Windows games like Solitaire or Free Cell, so he would kill time by practicing his artistic talents in the rudimentary digital editor. His early works weren’t more than simple doodles, but as time passed and he learned the ins and outs of the software, his illustrations got better, and he developed his own style. Hines claims that one of the most important things he learned while honing his MS Paint skills in his off time on the job was that a single pixel can make a notable difference in his artwork.
But digital editing has come a long way in the past decade, and MS Paint is now considered archaic, with most illustrators turning to advanced tools like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. Hines says he gave them a try as well at one point, but always found himself being drawn back to Paint. As Pat puts it, he “sucked at Photoshop”, but he also missed the simplicity and limitations of Microsoft’s tool.
“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,” the self-taught artist told Microsoft New England.
As you can imagine, creating detailed illustrations in a rudimentary program like MS Paint requires quite a lot of time and patience, and Pat Hines admits that it takes him around 3 weeks to create a realistic piece and about a week to create a cartoon-like artwork.
Looking at the most recent MS Paint illustrations he created for his first ever e-book, Camp Redblood And The Essential Revenge, it’s hard to believe that such detail can even be achieved in the Microsoft free software, but Pat Hines suggests zooming in for a closer look, or checking out more of his artworks on DeviantArt, where he documents the process step by step.
Interestingly, Pat Hines isn’t the only illustrator to use Microsoft Paint. Back in 2013, we wrote about Hal Lasko, a 97-year-old partisally-blind man who also used the old tool to create amazing pieces.
And if you thought Microsoft Paint was a weird tool to create detailed digital art with, take a look at what this Japanese artist can do with Microsoft Excel.
Photos: Pat Hines Illustrations/Facebook