An electronic paintbrush and electronic palette which allow a user to generate images on a CRT screen in a manner which imitates traditional painting with paints on a canvas. The electronic brush has fiber optic bristles which channel light from a CRT screen to optical detectors. A microprocessor in the brush utilizes pulses generated by the incidence of the raster scan on photodiodes to determine the position of the brush, the pressure of the brush against the CRT screen, and its angular orientation about the longitudinal axis of the brush. The microprocessor utilizes color information generated by a CCD array to determine the area of contact of the brush with color swatches on the palette, and the angle between the longitudinal axis of the brush and the normal vector to the CRT screen. In an alternate embodiment the palette is also displayed on the CRT screen.