Created By: bulmabriefs144 on March 7, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 21, 2016

Painting The Sun

Being able to alter reality with ink and brush

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
It's a beautiful day, the flowers are in the field, the streams are flowing, and... what's this? No sun in the sky? But it's almost the afternoon. Hey Ammy, why don't you try Painting The Sun?

This is an Imagination-Based Superpower based on painting. Fridge Logic dictates that in order to even use this, despite having the ability to alter thing the ink touches, you'd need some way of creating a canvas in midair, and possibly being able to change the color of ink. Naturally, this makes one a Reality Warper, but unlike most, it takes a certain amount of skill to get things done instead of having raw cosmic power.

Contrast with Art Initiates Life, where art is instead used to summon living things. Painting the Frost on Windows is a subtrope, concerned with using this to explain natural/supernatural events.

Expect this to likely be a Mad Artist.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Also in Naruto (in the anime), there was a girl who had illusory paint powers. While she couldn't alter reality itself, she could alter perception of reality, creating full scale illusions.

Film
  • Bruce Almighty: Has Bruce draw stars into the sky with his fingers to create a romantic moment with his girlfriend, after receiving God's powers.

Literature
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon is a series of children's books about Harold creating his surroundings by drawing all of reality with the purple crayon of the title.

Video Games
  • In Epic Mickey, all levels have various objects with cartoon-vibrant shades of color that you can "thin" out (make disappear) or silhouettes of missing objects you can "paint" in (make appear). Some of it is just cosmetic, but in many places this can be used to create or remove platforms to stand on.
  • Ōkami had thirteen brushstrokes based on the Eastern Zodiac (plus cat). These are basically able to summon various elements or redirect them from a source.

Western Animation
  • Two Looney Tunes go to town with this trope: "Duck Amuck" where Bugs Bunny wields the brush, and "Rabbit Rampage" where Elmer Fudd takes control.
    • Also in Looney Tunes, Wile E. Coyote paints things like tunnels, which Road Runner uses to escape. The fact that the make can't use it (and runs into the wall it's painted on trying), makes this an inversion.
  • In one episode of Reboot, Hexidecimal gains access to Mainframe's paint program, which lets her do whatever she wants to the city, enlarging/shrinking/copying/pasting and all around doing whatever she wants.
  • In a Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons Bart & Lisa are Trapped in TV Land, specifically in an episode of "The Itchy & Scratchy Show." Itchy & Scratchy have them trapped in the backseat of a taxi and are about to kill them, so Lisa draws an "eject" button on the inside door to escape.

Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • March 7, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    You need to add the context for the Epic Mickey and Okami examples (i.e. how can they actually alter reality with their paintings). The name of the Naruto character you're looking for is Sai (you could have just checked it from the Art Initiates Life page, by the way).
  • March 7, 2013
    ArkadyDarell
    • Harold And The Purple Crayon is a series of children's books about Harold creating his surroundings by drawing all of reality with the purple crayon of the title.

    (Summoning, though if memory serves he's really both.)
  • March 7, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Summoning is just covered by Art Initiates Life. Rather than make this a redundant multitype YKTTW (which is frowned upon already) just have it listed as a subtrope and direct examples there.

    The second one alone is a trope though. Not sure if we have it or not already. Needs a better title, though. This one is way too Okami inspired, which is Fan Myopia.

    • In one episode of Reboot, Hexidecimal gains access to Mainframe's paint program, which lets her do whatever she wants to the city, enlarging/shrinking/copying/pasting and all around doing whatever she wants.
  • March 7, 2013
    WackyMeetsPractical
    There's a trope called Painting The Frost On Windows, which might be something of a subtrope. It's not necessarily about painting, but it often is.
  • March 7, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Two Looney Tunes go to town with this trope: "Duck Amuck" where Bugs Bunny wields the brush, and "Rabbit Rampage" where Elmer Fudd takes control.

    Of course, both these cartoons fall squarely within Medium Awareness.

    Web Animation
    • The series AnimatorVersusAnimation has a stick figure battle a sadistic artist on Macromedia's Flash Animator, and later on Adobe Photoshop CS 3. The collateral damage is hilarious.
  • March 7, 2013
    Chabal2
    One SCP is a computer with a cursor that goes outside the screen, allowing one to manipulate their surroundings by copying, deleting, dragging to the trashcan...
  • March 26, 2013
    bulmabriefs144
    I've honestly never played Epic Mickey. I just know from descriptions that he has paint thinner in addition to paint. Also, I don't understand SCP, so I'm skipping it.
  • March 28, 2013
    Stratadrake
    How is this sufficiently distinct from Art Initiates Life ?

    ^ In Epic Mickey, all levels have various objects with cartoon-vibrant shades of color that you can "thin" out (make disappear) or silhouettes of missing objects you can "paint" in (make appear). Some of it is just cosmetic, but in many places this can be used to create or remove platforms to stand on.
  • April 16, 2013
    bulmabriefs144
    Art Initiates Life is bringing things to life on the page (such as summoning creatures). Painting The Sun is Rewriting Reality, except using art instead of writing.

    For instance, drawing a line from a river to a empty pool to transfer water over there. This doesn't involve bringing anything to life, it's about using paint (and the entire world as a canvas) to make changes to one's surroundings.
  • April 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Speaking of Looney Tunes, would the numerous instances where Wile E. Coyote paints a tunnel entrance on a rock face (so as to trick the Roadrunner into slamming against it) count? Where the tunnel actually comes to exist (unintended for the Coyote) so that the Roadrunner runs through it, but then when the Coyote tries to run through it he slams against the rock?

    (It's sort of playing with the trope anyway.)
  • April 16, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a Treehouse Of Horror episode of The Simpsons Bart & Lisa are Trapped In TV Land, specifically in an episode of "The Itchy And Scratchy Show." Itchy & Scratchy have them trapped in the backseat of a taxi and are about to kill them, so Lisa draws an "eject" button on the inside door to escape.
  • April 16, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Film
    • Bruce Almighty: Has Bruce draw stars into the sky with his fingers to create a romantic moment with his girlfriend, after receiving god's powers.
  • April 16, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @bulmabriefs: If this is a painting equivalent to Rewriting Reality, how about Redrawing / Repainting Reality?
  • April 16, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I think Painting The Air makes more sense to me than Painting The Sun. Repainting Reality is good too.
  • April 17, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^^^ @We Are All Kosh: We have that as Painted Tunnel Real Train.
  • April 18, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons had the magic item Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments. Using them to draw a picture of an object caused the object to become real.
  • April 25, 2013
    bwburke94
    Repainting Reality works, and not just because it's a neutral name rather than having Okami as a pseudo-namer.
  • August 20, 2016
    DAN004
    We need a vote for:
  • August 20, 2016
    MiinU
    Anime and Manga
  • August 20, 2016
    MetaFour
    The trope description ought to mention the relationship to Rewriting Reality.
  • August 20, 2016
    Orbiting
    ^^ Painting Reality seems good to me.

    Anime
    • In an episode of Magical Pokaan, Yuuma gets a piece of magical chalk that she (as a witch) can use bring her drawings (such as a space-faring train capable of going to the Andromeda Galaxy and back) into reality... though unfortunately, Yuuma is not a very skilled artist.
  • August 20, 2016
    DAN004
    Well anyone? Merge or keep?
  • August 21, 2016
    Snicka
    • The Darkwing Duck villain Splatter Phoenix has paint-based superpowers. She mostly uses it to paint surreal monsters that come to life as her Mooks.
  • August 21, 2016
    Orbiting
    ^ That sounds like Art Initiates Life
  • August 21, 2016
    MiinU
    ^^@DAN004: I think this one's distinct enough to be a keeper, since it isn't necessarily about painting something to life. Instead, they're either altering what's already there, or they're painting an object (rather than another being) into existence.

    On that note, I suggest a rename for clarity: Inkbrush Reality Editor
  • August 21, 2016
    Orbiting
    ^ Agree that it needs a rename, but Painting Reality is shorter and more intuitive than Inkbrush Reality Editor
  • August 21, 2016
    MiinU
    ^Painting Reality makes me think of someone doing still-life paintings.

    So maybe something along the lines of Magic Inkbrush, or whatever.
  • August 21, 2016
    DAN004
    Yeah, Painting Reality might get confused with Art Initiates Life (that title encompasses both that and this).

    Paint To Edit Reality, maybe
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=apoxaw1fxeng0yq2sdua73qj