How to draw great scenery on MS Paint

Microsoft's Paint tool is limited in terms of its features and capabilities, but that doesn't mean you can't create some impressive works of art with it. The key to drawing great scenery in Paint is taking your time over the painting process and understanding how the program's simple tools and limited colour palette can be used to your advantage. Light, careful brush strokes and an intelligent use of the colour palette are both an important part of producing eye-catching scenery and landscapes.

Launch Microsoft Paint from the Start screen. If the app tile isn't visible, swipe in from the right (or move the mouse to the top right corner) and choose "Search," then type in "Paint" as the query to find the application shortcut.

Choose your painting tool from the "Brushes" drop-down menu. Select "Airbrush" for a paint splatter effect, "Watercolour brush" for fainter strokes or "Oil brush" for thick strokes of colour, for example.

Select the colour you wish to paint with using the swatches on the right of the ribbon toolbar. Click or tap "Edit colours" to add new colours to the palette by mixing a colour with the tools on the right and choosing "Add to custom colours." Subtle colour differences can make a painting look more real and natural, so stock up with plenty of greens, browns, and blues (the exact colours you need depends on the scene you want to draw).

Click or tap on the "Size" drop-down from the ribbon menu to change the size of your stroke. Use a smaller brush size to make finer changes and a larger brush size to paint in large blocks of colour.

Click or tap on the screen to begin drawing. Experiment with the speed at which you paint -- faster, more fleeting strokes will leave less of a mark on the digital canvas and enable you to create a more realistic scene. Right-click using the mouse to switch quickly to Colour 2 as chosen from the palette.

Select an item from the Shapes gallery on the ribbon menu, then click and drag (or tap and drag) to draw it on screen. Fixed shapes don't lend themselves easily to scenery drawings but you could use faint shape outlines to plan out parts of your painting and then overlay brush strokes on top of them.

Click or tap the Undo button (a backwards blue arrow) to go back a step (or press "Ctrl+Z" on the keyboard). You can also use the Rubber tool from the ribbon menu to erase a particular part of the scene and return it to the background colour (Colour 2). Choose "File" and then "Save" to save your work to disk.


Producing great-looking scenery in Microsoft Paint isn't possible unless you are prepared to spend time and effort experimenting with the different brushes available in the toolbox. Try out each one in turn to see how paint is applied to the canvas and work out how you can best combine them together. Colour is also very important, and you should spend a substantial amount of time getting the right palette of colours together to match the scene that you're attempting to draw.

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About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.