Loving Vincent Is the First Feature Film to Be Animated With Paintings

by Tod Perry

March 2, 2016

With the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI), there’s no longer much place in film for handcrafted beauty. Animated films made with paper, pencils, and paintbrushes are a thing of the past, and every weekend there’s a new blockbuster with impossibly sized CGI monsters and robots. That’s why a new project based on the life of Vincent van Gogh is attracting a lot of attention.

Loving Vincent, a biopic directed by Polish painter Dorota Kobiela and British filmmaker Hugh Welchman, will be the first feature film completely painted by hand. The film is an investigation into the life and mysterious death of the 19th-century Dutch painter, told through 120 of his paintings and based on 800 of his letters. 

Kobiela was inspired to make the film after reading a letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother. “He said we can only speak through our paintings,” Kobiela told Voice of America. “And these words were very important for me and they were actually the reason we are making this film like that.”

The filmmakers estimate the 80-minute film will require nearly 57,000 painted frames. If you’re a painter who’s interested in traveling to Poland to contribute to this historic film, sign up here.




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Loving Vincent Is the First Feature Film to Be Animated With Paintings