Limit Yourself: Art Pad

I always have mixed feelings about posting sites that are trying to sell you something. Be aware, dear reader, that the little app (that's geek speak for 'application') that I'm posting about today is, in fact, an advertisement. Art Pad is a cute little flash-based online painting program. However, it is a very clever one, and may actually be of some use to you. Be warned though- if you elect to send your masterpieces to your friends via email, they will receive solicitations to buy from art.com. Now, I can't speak for your friends, but I know I get enough advertisements for all kinds of stuff in my email as it is.

That being said, I had a lot of fun making this little painting with artpad. You can also "play" the painting like a video, watching it evolve as you made it, stroke by stroke from a blank canvas. I enjoyed watching that because I immediately remembered my own thought process for the choices I made.

The options are limited;

You can use a brush or paint bucket.
You can change the size of your tools.
You can change colors.
You can change opacity.

That's about it.

The limitations are wonderful. When my students ask me about why certain projects have limitations, I will often break out my "Star Wars Speech". It goes something like this: When George Lucas had no money and limited special effects, he had to pour all of his creative mental resource into figuring out how to create a totally different, yet believable universe. He did- and the original series changed moviemaking forever. However, his new series- generally considered a critical failure, was made by the same man with now limitless resources and the ability to put anything on the screen at all. Are there other reasons that the original series is a classic, but the new one fails? I'm sure there are. But when you have the option of doing whatever you want, its hard to focus on doing well with what you have.

Can I end with a really bad analogy? Thanks. Sometimes when I use Photoshop, I feel like the modern George Lucas. I can do anything. Where do I start? When I opened up artpad last night. I realized quickly that there wasn't a lot to do, and I spent about an hour doing it. There's probably not a full lesson in this program, but it might be an interesting "Do Now" or exercise for the students in working with limitations.

Oh- and then if you click "View Gallery", you can see your artwork hanging amongst all the lovely things that art.com is actually trying to sell you.

Link via Art Junction.


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