Free app promises to make everyone an artist

"You are a great artist," says Psykopaint developer Psykosoft. "You just don't know it yet. Cause you never had the right tools to express your creativity."

How does that assertion make you feel? We're not convinced. Having the right tools is definitely a plus, but if you don't know what you’re doing with them then you’re still going to create an ugly mess.

So then! Psykopaint! It's hard to dislike its basic premise: you load a photograph and then, by scribbling all over it with a selection of stylised brushes, you can remix it into an impressionist masterpiece or a pointillist pastiche. Or if you're feeling more ambitious you can start from with a blank canvas, and once you're done you can upload your work to the Psykopaint gallery to earn the acclamation of your peers.

It's a free app but as tends to be the case these days it's loaded with a world of in-app purchases. Want extra brushes beyond the basic set? You can buy them with special 'Psykocoins' (which you can either earn in a gamified kind of way, or just buy with real money). And if you want everything now you can upgrade to the full version for $29 or 400 Psykocoins, which seems fairly reasonable.

For something that runs in a browser Psykopaint's not bad at all; definitely more fun than applying Photoshop's artistic filters. It feels a bit laggy on less powerful computers but it's still perfectly usable, and while it's unlikely to feature in anyone's professional workflow it's perfect for some browser-based dabbling.

Words: Jim McCauley

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