Paintbrush to Tilt Brush and Beyond

From a colourful data visualisation of fake news sites to the tiny 3D pen creations visitors have created for the Wunderkammer, artistic expression is woven into the Digital Futures Lab.

When it comes to technology and art, two items in particular reveal the distance we’ve traveled – our humble 1992 Dell personal computer, and the 3-dimensional art-making tool, Tilt Brush.

Among other games such as Solitaire and Minesweeper, the humble Dell houses a simple graphics editing software program called PC Paintbrush. Created in 1984, this modest drawing program includes the now familiar basic set of colour and drawing options, and uses a mouse to draw.

Using PC Paintbrush on the Dell computer

Volunteer Peter uses PC Paintbrush in the Digital Futures Lab

At the back of the Lab in a corner space dedicated to moving in the virtual world, the 2016 HTC Vive virtual reality headset is available to explore Tilt Brush. In many ways, visitors might find it isn’t that different from Paintbrush. Both use a controller to paint and light as the medium. But with Tilt Brush, the artist enters the world of the artistic creation. You draw to the left, to the right, above and below you. You step around your work and look at it from all angles. You move your whole body to create.  Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, the experience is amazing and warrants a smiley face.

Using Tiltbrush with the Virtual Reality headset in the Digital Futures Lab

Volunteer Peter using Tiltbrush with the Virtual Reality headset in the Digital Futures Lab

Artists have always grabbed hold of new mediums and tools, exploring new ways to see and express. Technology as an artistic tool is no exception. If you’re curious about the potentials of this new technology, here are some top artists at play in the virtual world.

During Wednesday Play Day volunteers are on hand to help you create with Paintbrush, Tilt Brush and lots more. Come in and create something for the digital future.

Wednesday Play Day: every Wednesday 3-6pm in SLQ Gallery, level 2, free, no bookings required

More information:


Anne Pensalfini

Program Support Officer