“I would like to show this world, by my work, what this nobody has in his heart!”, in vehement passion, quotes Vincent Van Gogh, as the world’s first painted feature film, Loving Vincent, begins to reel.

The Making of the World’s First Painted Feature Film, Loving Vincent

Out of 66,960 frames painted only 65,000 are utilized to create 898 shots to make a ONE remarkably unique stop-motion animated movie, Loving Vincent.

The selected 125 master oil painters from all over the world, after being trained for three weeks, rendered the beautiful frames in Van Gogh style. Moreover, to appear in tandem with the live action movie, not only the artists painted each movement of a single shot  but also created multiples of frames.

Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, the directors, had initially planned a seven minute short film. On the contrary, the film was subtended into a fully-fledged 94-minutes, world’s first painted feature film.

The painters at work in studio at Poland

Creative Recreations

The missing connecting-clips in the movie were imagined according to the style of Van Gogh oeuvre. They were re-created in correspondence to the existing artworks. As a matter of fact, to fit into the ideal horizontal frame of a film, some of the important verticals frames were extrapolated.

The live action movie was first made through a cast of talented actors. At the same time, the back drop for myriad shots comprised either Green Screens or constructed sets similar to Van Gogh’s landscapes and drapery. Eventually, the technical Design team combined the real scenes and animated shots to develop a final marvelous film.

(Left and Right image) Douglas Booth enacted the character of Armand Roulin; (Centre) A portrait by Van Gogh of Armand


Among the two Indians who formed the crew of oil-painters in the film, Hemali Vadalia, a Software Engineer-turned-full-time Artist, sharing her experience, says,

“It was my first time in Poland and the life in Gdansk had been very pleasant. I and my friends daily commuted by the sides of forest to work.

We had our own workstation, provided with supplies and had to paint each live shot in Van Gogh style, for which we had three weeks training. I painted Armand and many other frames. Some of them would take weeks while few received their final stroke in a day or two. By the end of the day the work was scrutinized daily. When I joined, the black and white paintings that depicted flashbacks in the movie had already been done.

I also had a group exhibition with the colleagues-friends, from the studio itself, in Gdansk. It was wonderful to be a part of Loving Vincent team.”

Hemali Vadalia at the studio of the world’s first painted feature film, Loving Vincent

Conscientious Revelations After Viewing Loving Vincent

The artists painted the frames with the reference of Van Gogh’s artworks. All the paintings appear like duplicates of Van Gogh. Not even single frame screams as an original one. This simply puts forth how the energy of each brush-stroke differs from the replicated one!

Each character’s first introducing visual, in the movie, is the Vincent Van Gogh’s portrait, who were his then life-models from Auvers in France.

Furthermore, the constricted timeline of six-weeks, unveiling the reason of Van Gogh’s suicidal state is carved with great precision. The protagonist, Armand Roulin, played by Douglas Booth, from meeting the postman-father to Dr. Gachet, evocatively plunges deep into the mystery of Van Gogh’s last days in Auvers. The reason is simply to find the eligible person to whom the last letter of Vincent could be delivered.

Moreover, the world’s first painted feature film, Loving Vincent, did not flinch a second from its core context. One is unperturbed on an invigorated fact of, Dutch painter, Van Gogh’s cause of suicide.

Short Biography Of Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s oeuvre is breathtaking due to its vibrant vividness. Belonging to post-impressionist period, Van Gogh (1853-1890)  began painting at a ripe age of 28. In his eight years of practice he created 800 paintings.

From facing an emotional upheaval and financial hardships in his life to suffering a mental illness, Van Gogh was highly appreciated by then contemporary artists like Claude Monet and Paul Gaugin. The latter artist was initially a close accomplice. Later, in spite of the friendship he left him due to the differences of concept they worked on.

Lust For Life, the biopic, strikingly exposes the real Vincent Van Gogh who seemed to have been under an unassuming spell of an art of Painting.

Urvi Chheda

Urvi Chheda is an Artist and Writer based in Mumbai, India. She excessively pens her thoughts, after diligent analysis and research, on the subjects of Art, History, Mythology, Travel and Culture. She is a passionate Climber and Marathoner.

2 responses to “The World’s First Painted Feature Film, Loving Vincent, Dives a Viewer Deep in Each Brush-Stroke”

  1. 5 Movies that Deftly Create an Imaginary Surreal World - IndiaMouth says:

    […] Read my movie review on Loving Vincent, here […]

  2. Google Art And Culture App - Find Your Eccentric Yet Creative Lookalike says:

    […] comprise of Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Tate Museum, VanGogh Museum, Palace of Versailles, and many […]

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