‘Loving Vincent’ To Feature Vincent Van Gogh Masterpieces Animated With 100 Artists Recreating Artist’s Oil Paintings

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo — there are many iconic artistic masters throughout history who are remembered for their masterpieces that have survived the test of time. However, there is one artistic master who stands out because his work had far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. Not to mention, he would only be popular after he passed on at the age of 37. This artist was Vincent van Gogh, the man behind such masterpieces as Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background, Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, and What Field with Cypresses.

Vincent van Gogh is known for his highly expressive and spontaneous use of colors, broad oil brushstrokes, and emotive subject matters. What that means is one could understand how van Gogh was feeling at the time of his painting. For example, van Gogh’s most popular painting The Starry Night expressed his anger and pain as seen in the subject (the view from his east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence) and his brush strokes (strong and long strokes). No wonder it is believed Vincent van Gogh shot himself after he made this painting.

Vincent van Gogh
"The Starry Night" is often recognized as Vincent van Gogh's most well-known painting. [Image via Wikipedia Commons/Vincent van Gogh/Google Cultural Institute]

Now, Vincent van Gogh is in the limelight of the art world yet again thanks to those loyal to him. A group of filmmakers, artists, and van Gogh devotees are creating a biopic of van Gogh’s life and death known as Loving Vincent. What makes the film stand out is the fact it is entirely animated using oil paintings.

According to the official website for Loving Vincent, it is the first fully painted feature film in the world. Polish painter and director, Dorota Kobiela, along with the Oscar-winning producer of Peter and the Wolf, Hugh Welchman, bring the film to life. Breakthru Films and Trademark Films will produce.

Since the film is made entirely of oil paintings, there needs to be a dedicated team of oil painters assisting in its creation. Presently, they are recruiting high-level oil painters with an interest in using their oil painting skills to animate a film. They will have to relocate to Gdansk, Poland – the location of the art studio for Loving Vincent – and be available for training and employment between January and August of 2016. For those who are interested, all one has to do is send their portfolio to work@breakthrufilms.pl. It will go through a revision time, after which successful candidates will be contacted. Next, those selected will be either invited to their main studio or one of their subsidiary studios for a three-day test. For those who pass the test, they will go on to a three-week intensive training. By the end of the training, they will make their final decision for one to become part of the team.

At this moment, the team behind Loving Vincent has over 100 artists in their employ, but it may not be enough for their time schedule. According to the Huffington Post, there are over 120 of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings utilized in the film. Translating van Gogh’s paintings into animation requires 12 paintings per second. If we were to say the team of only painters is only 100 and the film is two hours long, each painter would need to paint 864 paintings within eight months. Anyone who paints can tell you that is a monumental task.

Despite the endeavor seeming to be a daunting impossibility, more and more painters are signing up to be a part of art and film history. And to be frank, nobody can deny the phenomenal results animating with oil paintings produce, as shown in the first trailer of Loving Vincent shown below.

[Image via Loving Vincent Trailer]