a new way to paint: the chromatic typewriter


the Chromatic Typewriter was created by washington-based painter Tyree Callahan – he replaced all the keys of a 1937 Underwood Standard typewriter with ink color pads, creating a new way to paint!  this DIY tool turns “keystrokes into brushstrokes!”

the idea was born when Callahan wanted to add type to one of his already in-progress paintings.  he saw his art in the carriage of the typewriter and thought how cool it would be to simply “type-up” a painting.  he conducted a search over the period of a few months to find the perfect typewriter.  these machines are difficult to work with because on many models, the keys cannot be replaced.

his work is heavily influenced by the pacific-northwest air and light, which explains the gradients and light hues in pieces.  he and his friends are advocates of the typewriter, believing it’s relevance still stands today even though it has been replaced by computers.

all images via Tyree Callahan

– smiley


  1. this is the coolest thing!!!

    1. Christian Walker says:

      No, baby-girl… YOU’RE the coolest thing! Very beautiful!

  2. Msanhle says:

    Beautiful! I was like this O.O

  3. Acia says:

    Very cool!

  4. Mandi says:

    Oh my gosh, this is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. 
    And the ‘paintings’ actually look good, who’d of thunk it??

  5. Sidharth01 says:

    Great work. Am working on research about typewriters. would love to know more

  6. azefgzdg says:


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