Apr 01, 2017

How to Create Beautiful Portraits in MS Paint

With so many robust features like Zoom and Erase, for 32 years Microsoft paint has challenged artists to dream bigger. It’s told them to not accept limits on their digital creations and demand the ability to copy and paste, to crop and resize, to fill in a color, to imagine a better world…

Much like Photoshop, opening Microsoft Paint for the first time can be an intimidating experience. You just want to create your Grumpy Cat meme, why does this program have to be some complicated!?!?

Have no fear, Aaron Nace and the Phlearn team are here to help you with our brand new tutorial, Phlearn’s Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Paint.

NOTE: If you are on Mac, you can use a tool like Paintbrush to practice your Paint skills. The Phlearn staff has downloaded and verified its Paint-like functionality.

Enter the #AprilPhools Contest

Ok, here’s the deal. We want to see your Microsoft Paint masterpieces and we want to reward you for your amazing talent. To enter the #AprilPhools contest, all you need to do is the following:

  1. Download the contest images below.
  2. Your submission can only use the six images Phlearn has provided in the download below to create your submission. You can use one of them, two, three, four, five, or all six. It’s up to you!
  3. Create your masterpiece using only Microsoft Paint (or Paintbrush for Mac).
  4. Submit your entry by posting to either Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #AprilPhools. If you post via Facebook you must make sure your post is published as a Public post, otherwise we will not be able to see it.
  5. Your entry will be judged on the following criteria: humor, editing talent, and overall creativity. Make us laugh while showing off your talent!
  6. The contest deadline is Weds April 5th, 2017 at 12:00pm (noon) Central Standard Time. All entries must be submitted prior to that deadline.
  7. Winners will be announced via email and on this page on Thursday, April 6th.

#AprilPhools Prizes

  • One Grand Prize Winner: $250 Phlearn Gift Card
  • Five Runners Up: $50 Phlearn Gift Cards

Download the Contest Images


By submitting an entry to this contest you agree to the Phlearn #AprilPhools Contest Terms & Conditions


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image
    John Tucker


  • user image
    Duncan Cubitt

    Good to see your retouching skill as dropped down to my level…good work!

  • user image
    Jose M. Rivera

    Hi Aron,

    I though that was this was all about. jajajajajajaj

    You are awesome!

    Thank !

  • user image

    You are the best :D. I really need to work on my MS-Paint skills. Will there be a MS-Paint 101??

    • user image
      Seth Kravitz

      Yes, we have decided to release a MS Paint 101-301 sometime in the next ten years or so! So stay tuned.

  • user image

    And to think, Adobe has the nerve to charge all that money per month for Photoshop when paint is free. Honestly, I don’t know how you got as far through the video as you did without losing it, I almost thought you were going to make it to the end. Happy April 1.

    • user image
      Seth Kravitz

      In the bloopers at the end, you can see Aaron did indeed lose it a few times 🙂

  • user image

    Wow I just watched all of that and it was Great! Thanks for the laughs, Aaron glad your back. I am one of the million or so people that enjoy your tutorials. Thanks for all that you do. (if you could make the pen tool easer to see that would be great.)
    I Learn when I Phlearn…

  • user image
    Ronald Keller

    Love this tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
    For more than 25 years Photoshop has been my favorite editing application but I did not realise MS Paint was capable of producing such stunning results!

    Greetings from Belgium,


    • user image
      Seth Kravitz

      Yes, the power of MS Paint is simply mind blowing. It’s a real game changer.

  • user image

    I had no idea that Paint was so useful. I plan on selling my Mac and buying a PC. Thanks for showing me the light.

  • user image
    Kimberly DeVos

    This advanced level tutorial was so inspiring. I had no idea MS Paint was so diverse… it really mimics Photoshop…it might even put Adobe out of business…. NOT! LOL. Great video! Put a smile on my face.

  • user image
    Ashley Roach

    Brilliant tutorial!!
    To think all these years wasted stuck in photoshop, when will MS release paint for Mac OS !!!!

  • user image

    I knew when you did the eyes.
    Took me so long…..
    You’re so convincing though
    Going to watch you from now on

  • user image

    If we use an original clay roller ball mouse, does our submission automatically qualify for semi-final judging round?

    Just curous

  • user image
    Eldric Connors

    Best. Prank. Tutorial. Ever. Aaron was so serious! Good job!

  • fitzpami

    really had me going at first but the eyes always tell the truth!

  • user image

    ‘…cameras are pretty good, but they’re never going to match the quality of hand drawn art.’

    Makes me laugh every time I think about it.

  • user image
    Bill Anderson

    Man, you had me going WTF? then at some point I knew it had to be a joke. You are crazy brother.

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Create Beautiful Portraits in MS Paint

  • user image
    Karl Shreeves

    The scary thing is that I’ve seen some PS “retouches” that weren’t much better than this!

  • user image

    I delayed watching this a) cos I had a busy weekend and b) cos I couldn’t, quite, believe that you used MSP in you workflow!!!!

    Thank you for cheering me up what was a very dull Monday afternoon!


  • user image
    Robert Campsmith

    Aaron, when I first started watching, I thought “What is this guy smoking?” Then I couldn’t believe it. Then I looked at the datestamp. Ahhhh, I got phooled. Good one, thanks.

  • user image

    I don’t Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. But I do have a Paint login…

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Create Beautiful Portraits in MS Paint

  • user image
    PLL Photography

    I’ve been so seeing too. I made a submission and have been anxious to find out the winners. Perhaps the contest itself was an April Fools joke.

    • user image

      Few people asked about it and Phlearn wrote back that it isn’t a fake contest :/