The iPad has taken the tech world by storm this year. In a half-year poll, ReadWriteWeb readers voted it the most important product of 2010 so far. One of the few criticisms of the iPad has been that it's mostly a media consumption device. It doesn't have a camera and writing on the iPad is akin to walking on the moon (everything happens in slow motion).

However, the iPad has gained popularity in the artistic community - in particular thanks to an iPad app called Brushes, which enables you to 'finger paint' a colorful work of art.

Art web site MutualArt reports that Brushes is being used to produce stunning works of art from professional artists such as David Kassan and Kyle Lambert. And internationally renowned British artist David Hockney recently said that the iPad "really is like a drawing pad. They will sell by the million."

Check out how David Kassan did a finger painting of a subject in this video. Note how he used the zoom feature to attend to details. The end result rivals anything done with paints!

Brushes was originally developed for the iPhone, by two ex-Apple employees: Steve Sprang and Kurt Revis. This year Brushes was redesigned by the pair, to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen.

The iPad app features brush controls, layers, an extensive color palette, zooming, high resolution export and a 'stroke by stroke' playback of the art work's creation. A Users's Guide for the iPad app was released just today.

A Flickr group has been set up for Brushes and it includes a lot of very impressive art work. I have to say, this app gives the lie to the commonly spouted iPad criticism that you can't create media with it - a claim that I heard repeated tonight by a "technology expert" interviewed by a local TV news network.