Pencil not Paintbrush?
  • Does anyone else know why there if there is a paintbrush icon and tool in RoboPaint?  I'm using this with kids and it seems odd to tell them to use a pencil tool to operate their paintbrush that will not create pencil-like lines on their painting?  Am I missing something?  Thanks!
  • The main icons shown are a pencil and a printer, which are meant to represent editing a document and printing it-- they were not intended to reflect the actual shape of the tool used, nor the shape of the printer. 

    Earlier versions had other depictions there, such as a pencil and paintbrush for the two modes, but it was confusingbecause it looked like a choice between the type of marking instrument that would be used, not between modes of the program.  Although you can use either a pen or pencil or paintbrush for output, I think that it's more helpful *in that particular context* to indicate the difference between the "create" and "painting" modes. 

     We have tried to make the language inclusive of the different ways that the machine can be used-- when we say "Painting mode: print your drawing," we are intentionally using words that usually refer to different techniques-- those words hint at both painting (as with a brush), drawing (as with a pencil), and printing (as with a computer printer).

    The pencil tool in the drawing context of RoboPaint is the tool that performs the action of a "pencil tool" in a drawing program: that of creating a vector line of arbitrary shape. We could potentially switch it out for a paintbrush shape, but again, it is indicative of the tool's function in the program, not of the physical implement. Similarly, the "rectangle" tool makes rectangles on your screen, but does not use a rectangle-shaped tool.  

    Two other approaches that you might want to consider:
    1. Design your graphics in Inkscape, which is a full-featured SVG editor. (The "edit" context within RoboPaint is really only meant to provide some simple ability to open, resize, and edit graphics.) We've generally had excellent luck getting kids up and running with Inkscape for making drawings.

    2. Have you played with RoboPaint RT? It has many fewer options, and makes it a bit simpler to get painting *immediately* without a separate design stage.