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On the iPad, finger painting goes digital

Videos of artists finger painting on the iPad and iPhone have become popular on YouTube.
Videos of artists finger painting on the iPad and iPhone have become popular on YouTube.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • People can paint on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
  • Brushes, a fairly cheap finger painting app, enables artists to create
  • Artist David Kassan has the internet going nuts with his new iPad art video
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Editor's note: Damon Brown is a northern California-based freelance writer and author of books including "Damon Brown's Simple Guide to the iPad" and "Porn & Pong: How Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture."

(CNN) -- At 3 million sold, the Apple iPad seems to be swallowing traditional books, magazines and now finger painting. Actually, it's less a takeover than an evolution of our kindergarten practices.

Artist David Kassan has the internet going nuts with his new iPad art video. Recorded over the course of three hours, Kassan does an amazing painting of an older, bearded model using his thumb and forefinger. The session is compressed into eight minutes, and the results are fabulous. It's racked up about 580,000 views in a week.

Mainstream artists have been getting touchy-feely with their tech devices lately. For instance, a year ago The New Yorker commissioned Jorge Colombo to make its June 1, 2009, issue on the Apple iPhone. The result was an iconic New York hot dog vendor scene, and it proved popular enough for Colombo to do more New Yorker covers with the iPhone later in the summer.

Besides Apple, the commonality here is Brushes, a fairly cheap finger painting program for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Created by Steve Sprang, the iPhone/iPod Touch Brushes ran for a few dollars and became a bestseller. Apple gave Sprang early access to the iPad so the program could be featured as one of the device's launch titles. In fact, he became one of the main presenters at the big iPad announcement in March. The iPad version of Brushes costs a bit more now, $7.99, but it offers additional tools, a wider palette and, of course, a much larger screen.

What is fascinating is how earlier popular videos, like using iPhone Brushes to draw a sumptuous eye or a bulbous cameo, look as impressive as the iPad Brushes with a beautiful cartoon octopus or, well, doodles.

And now, in perhaps a natural evolution, Ten One Design announced a "pressure-sensitive" iPad app that will allow artists to use a wand to draw and sketch like a real pencil. The question is, How long will it be before kids are replacing watercolors and crayons with tablets and wands?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Damon Brown.

[TECH: NEWSPULSE]

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