I’m a big fan of homebrew applications, especially for portable gaming consoles, so I was really excited when a friend sent me a link to the Nintendo DS homebrew program Colors!—now available for the iPod Touch and iPhone, as well. The program will run on any DS flash card (I use an R4) and lets you use the stylus to paint right on the screen. I first tried it out last winter, then really got into the program in the spring while I was doing designs for the typebot. My DS isn’t ever going to be able to replace a moleskine, or any other sketchbook, but Colors! has a great user interface (very intuitive) and I love one feature in particular: it will let you “replay” your painting. Colors! saves the order of your strokes as you work, so you can watch the painting get built up right before your eyes. These video replays can then be uploaded to the Colors! Gallery, shedding some light on different artists’ working processes.
Here’s an example: I was excited to see that a concept artist named Joseba Alexander, whose blog I follow, has done some work recently using Colors. If you go to his user page on Colors!’ website, you can watch how the preparatory sketches for one of his recent paintings were built up.