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I Miss MS Paint

I love my Mac – so simple and accommodating. I’d marry it if it had a mating port. It fills my needs, except for one. From time to time, I long for the comfort of a picture slapped together on MS Paint. Those lo-fi looks warm my heart. The jagged lines and construction paper colors pull me backwards into nostalgia.

I made this for a friend. I think I was congratulating her for some reason.

In my past, when I got bored of boredom, I’d boot up the Dell and wait five agonizing minutes until the tower no longer sounded like a space shuttle launch. (This was my signal to continue. If I jumped the gun, it would crash. I pretty much paid to be annoyed all the time.) I zigged and zagged through Google images, looking for whatever strummed my strings and tickled my toes. I took to those pictures like Jason Voorhees at a campfire orgy. Then, just enough to not have talent, carefully cut like a back alley plastic surgeon to remove the traces of their previous years.

I’ll be honest. I did most of this in my underwear with a bag of Doritos and a liter of Code Red Mountain Dew, but who cares? I was an artist. I could be like Bam Margera and do whatever the fuck I wanted. I miss that. I do. Very much. Sure I could use Photoshop and Illustrator to make wicked pictures of Winona Ryder on the back of a fire-breathing dragon chasing after puppies. They lack the rough-around-the-edges look I desire though. (I also couldn’t make that. I suck with those programs. Someone make it and tweet me a link so I can post it.) Those programs deserve to be used for the greater good of advertising and fake celebrity nudes. These absolutely incredible Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back gifs are perfect examples of what I mean. Only on Paint do these come together so nicely.

Maybe this is just the sad ramblings of a man-boy who longs for the past, but I miss MS Paint dearly. If anyone knows of a great, nearly illegal copycat of Paint for the Mac, please share this information. I will go as far as typing “Thank You” in the comments just for you.

Got some MS Paint art you’re proud of? Leave a link in the comments or tweet me. I’ll RT it if you pass the test of me not being lazy at the moment I look at it.

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  1. Matthew Burnside says:

    Let’s see it, Swift!

  2. swift360 says:

    I just now realized I tweeted @nerdist instead of @matthewburnside for my pic – oops

  3. Matthias says:

    Winona has a larger than average head and knowledge of dragon riding/puppy chasing.

  4. Matthew Burnside says:

    It warms my heart to see all the love everyone else has for MS Paint too.

    It freezes back up when I realize only one person made a picture of Winona on a dragon chasing after adorable puppies.

    Do me this favor though: Keep it real. Thanks.

  5. Heather says:

    my ms paint skills are sorely lacking. but i am at least as good as john madden with my circles and squiggly hand writing. i am going to assume that there are some football loving nerds, like me, who get that reference ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Tim Banning says:

    This is the Kool Aide Man taking down the Berlin Wall

  7. Trotolomus says:

    I used to make ms paint art at work for a couple of years. I just posted some on my website:

  8. Dave-O! says:

    Wow, how embarrassing… I *still* use MS Paint:

    at least, for all mt Ackbar needs.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Oh, man. When I was in high school I used to use MS Paint all the time to do the most ridiculous things. I made animated GIFs. This is the least embarrassing one:

    I made this for a contest about a year ago. It didn’t win, but I still like it. It’s a MS Paint version of the album cover of Osso’s “Run Rabbit Run” and in thumbnail you can’t tell it was even made in MS Paint.

  10. msp says:

    i’ve used ms paint or for a long time for my stuff:

  11. Missy says:

    I have a blog where I draw things I see using MS Paint! I would be thrilled if you took a peek! It is a challenging form, so challenging that I have become very behind in posting and sometimes resort to drawing on paper to save time.

    Here are some posts:

  12. Brent says:

    How to get the real MS Paint to run on your Mac:
    Works for me!

  13. Phillygirl17 says:

    not quite MS Paint, but a close imitation…

  14. thisisjohnny says:

    it’s *the* best place for ms paints… and animated ms paints โ€” especially this one:

  15. Eric says: is the best sports related/ms paint based website in existence.

  16. John Doe says:

    This is a cone snail, which lives off the coast of Australia. Their venomous sting can kill a man. That’s right… in Australia, even the snails are poisonous.

    Mario Magritte?

  17. Marley Gilliam says:

    Sorry about the third post…

    Made in MSpaint at my school.

  18. Rob says:

    My dog Howie (and his band). I was really bored one day at work.

  19. Marley Gilliam says:


    If you wan’t a good balance of simple and advanced, I’d recommend this:

    I use it for everything. It can be easily navigated and used, but with a small bit of knowledge can make things truly amazing.

  20. Christina says:

    I love using MS Paint (poorly) for that little extra something in blog posts. Mermaids from Space. Unicorns from Space.

    It’s a running theme.

  21. Matthew Burnside says:

    I tried Paintbrush once before. I remember not liking it for some reason. Maybe I was mad at the world for something then. I’ll give it another try.

    teezecrost: That blog is oh so good. I had never heard of it before. Thanks for linking that.

    Marley: If I could I’d scribble “Great Job!” on the lower corner of your life.

  22. @rockerprod says: i had 1o minutes to kill. this took half that time.

  23. tj says:

    +1 for Paintbrush. I use it occasionally when I am trying for a simple thing that I don’t need to use Photoshop for.

  24. Amerah says:

    I made a blog thing for this a few months ago:

  25. Robert Lubow says:

    MSFW (marginally safe for work)

    All original works of my buddy The Reverend Jesse Alexander Madden Harding (who’s other stuffs are at

  26. murchigras says:

    A great little webcomic of nothing but single images made in mspaint. Simpler than hyperboleandahalf. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in years… but what can you do. Some absolutely brilliant gems in here.

  27. Eric Fickes says:

    I’m with you, can’t believe OSX doesn’t have something like Paint. BTW, if you ever have to work with Windows 7, Paint received a major update and it’s pretty freaking awesome.

  28. anthony says:

    haha, awesome! i used to make mspaint portraits of my friends.

    this one is of my friend joel, and probably the best portrait i did.

  29. teezecrost says:

    I don’t know if she uses MS paint or not, but a fantastic blog to check is Hyperbole and a Half. She uses that jaggy art style very effectively in every post!

  30. Marley Gilliam says:

    I hate twitter, and I don’t know how to use it, but I will be trying to send you the link shortly. Through twitter. But for now:

  31. Dave Isakson says:

    Paintbrush is the closest thing I could find too, you can get it on cnet’s

    It’s a good substitute, but resizing pictures is a bit of a hassle.

  32. Kyle Harding says:

    I made a whole series of somewhat morbid drawings in mspaint a few years ago… thankfully still have them kicking around

  33. Sarah Clark says:

    I miss Paint too! One of my PI’s actually had me research and download a Paint clone program for something he was doing in the lab (he never told me, so I assume it was a weird sex thing)
    Paintbrush for Mac is excellent, though it still lacks that je ne sais quois of the classic MS Paint.

  34. Kiala Kazebee says:

    I made this for Felicia Day. It’s about cleaning up her apartment before an interview about the Guild. WHAT.

  35. tina says:

    cuuuute ๐Ÿ˜›