May 04, 2016

Recreating a Starry Night

For some artists, there is always that one artwork; that one masterpiece that sticks with you all your life. Wether it is a story, a painting, statue, song, building or hairstyle; abstract or realistic, it just speaks volumes on a personal level.

For me, it was Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Why this painting?

There is something about it that struck a chord with me. The artist’s style is rough but organic, like a flowing river. The colors are vibrant and seem to jump out of the canvas. The skies themselves feel alive and the wind seems almost like a physical being. Many paintings made by Van Gogh are similar to Starry Night but, in my opinion, none have that raw emotion.

Since going to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is almost impossible for my bro and myself, I said “Well, if I can’t go see the painting, I will bring the painting here!” (Metaphorically speaking, of course) and so I decided to recreate my favorite painting as accurately as I could.

Starry Night Van Gogh SilverWolfPet Mihai Painting How to canvas

The process

My mom bought the canvas and a family friend gave me an easel. Oil paints I had for some time but never used them that much (not having a canvas or ideas for paintings). I also had a very delicate brush that was completely ruined by the end of the project. Who knew paint brushes actually have durability like in Minecraft?

I printed on an A4 page the original painting and, putting it side by side with the canvas, started from there. I had some experience copying drawings so I kind of knew what I was doing.

My background music was “2 Hours of Celtic Music by Adrian von Ziegler” and “Celtic Music Relaxing and Beautiful Mix show”. I put them on loop so not to bother me when working. The average time was 3-4 hours per day; usually starting at 10 PM. Working at night is very relaxing but not recommended. Rest is important after all.

Painting with feeling

When I work on something that I love, that I give my all, my emotions are what end up on paper. I never create something mechanical. After a 2-3 hour painting session, I feel exhausted for the next couple of days. It took me about 2 years to finish recreating Starry Night but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The finished result gave me so much joy. I spent a couple of minutes just looking at it from every angle, even from a couple of feet away. At that moment, I felt the thrill of finishing a project.

Starry Night Van Gogh SilverWolfPet Mihai Painting How to paint colors

What’s next?

I have no idea.

Maybe I will try something original, like a tree. I’d like to be a tree.


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