Holy Crap: I'm an Official MVP for MS Paint

There are few emails that one will receive in his lifetime that will render him completely speechless. This past weekend, I received one such email. Its subject read Congratulations on your MVP Award!

I struggle with the words to describe how elated I am to be chosen for this award. Sure, I’ve worked my butt off in microsoft.public.accessories.paint, helping both newbies and vets solve their problems. But I never expected this. For me, it’s always been about my love of the Paint, and sharing my knowledge and expertise of Paint with the world.

I don’t want to bore you with me patting my self on the back, so I’ll just use the rest of this space to share my top three tips and tricks. I’ve got plenty more, so if you ever need some help with Paint, don’t hesitate to ask this MVP!

Why are some of my edges jagged?
You’ve discovered one of the dark secrets of digital art: pixilation. Because everything in your Paint image is made of small square blocks, the only way to make a diagonal line or a curve is to arrange the pixels in “steps;” these very steps give the image that ugly, jagged appearance.

Fortunately, we can help smooth out the jagged edges with a technique called anti-aliasing. The trick is to make the jagged edge an in-between color of the two bodies of colors. For our red circle and white background, all we need is pink, applied with the spray paint can tool.

And like magic, the jagged edge is no more!

How do I do shadows?
Shadows in Paint are incredibly easy to do:
1) Draw the shape you want to draw, but instead use black
2) Draw the shape you want to draw, using the colors you really want to use, but draw it at an angle slightly away from the black shape

Look ma, a shadow!

How can I make realistic looking Hair?
This is one of the more difficult things to accomplish in Paint. But it’s certainly doable. First, you need to figure out what hair style you want to use. Once you figure that out, it’s just a matter of using the right tool.


Believe it or not, this is a simple matter of using the wonderfully handy spray can tool. Just pick the hair color, and go crazy!!!


This hairstyle is so ridiculously simple you’ll wonder why more cartoons characters aren’t bald. Simply apply the ellipse tool twice, above each ear, and you’ve got yourself a bald guy!

Side Part

When you want to make your character look neat and orderly, only the polygon tool will do. Here’s something funny: I like to part my own hair on the left, but draw it parted on the right. Funny, see, I told you!

Bed Head

Oh no, caught red handed without a comb! You can easily achieve this look with the use of the paint brush tool. Don’t go too crazy, it’s pretty easy to slip and go through an eye.

Be sure to congratulate Jason Mauss as well. He was awarded this year’s MSN Messenger MVP.


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