Loving Vincent: The film made entirely of oil paintings

Loving Vincent is made entirely of oil paintings – and has just been nominated for an Oscar. Alex Stanger visited the production studio in Poland to find out how it was created.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in October 2017. Loving Vincent has just been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film in the 2018 Academy Awards.

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“I saw 50 or 60 painters painting, and someone told me: ‘Oh it’s you! I’ve been painting you for six months.’ Probably a lot of them knew my face better than I,” jokes Robert Gulaczyk, who plays Vincent van Gogh in a new animation – the world’s first fully painted feature film.

More than 100 artists from all over the world created the 65,000 paintings that make up Loving Vincent. “We were told many times by film financiers, by people in the animation industry, that this was a crazy undertaking –  and also an impossible undertaking,” says co-director Hugh Welchman in this video. Yet that didn’t deter Welchman, who co-produced the Oscar-winning animated short Peter and the Wolf. “When you start to break it down, it’s just a matter of how many painters you can find – and if you can find enough painters at the quality level we needed.”

He was convinced that “people in this media-saturated world like to see something original” – and helped co-director Dorota Kobiela to finish a project she’d begun. “It was meant to be a seven-minute short film that transformed into a feature film,” she says. “I couldn’t paint it by myself any longer because that would have taken me 80 years.”

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