Loving Vincent | Ottawa Artist Helps Bring Story to Life

Ottawa-born artist Val Fulford spent countless hours in front of her canvas painting hundreds of oil paintings as quickly as she could, all in an effort to bring the world of Vincent Van Gogh to life for just a few seconds.

Fulford was part of the massive team of artists behind "Loving Vincent," an animated feature-length film about the life and death of the famous artist in which every frame is entirely hand painted.

Fulford painted more than 200 canvases for the film, all in the style of Van Gogh.

"It feels like so few compared to what the actual film took," Fulford told CBC's Ottawa Morning.

She said in total, her contribution probably amounted to about 24 seconds of screen time.

Loving Vincent Trailer

Fulford first heard about the call for artists to contribute to the film in a Facebook post that featured a short trailer.

"My heart started to beat faster the moment I looked at it," Fulford said. "I thought, 'Oh my God, what a genius idea.'"

Before she could start working on the film Fulford went through a grueling try out. Three days long, nine hours a day, artists had to work as quickly as they could and demonstrate their aptitude for painting and ability to learn to use the animation software.

"We barely tore ourselves away from the canvases for the three full days," she said.

Once she got the job, Fulford moved to a studio in the countryside in Greece with 20 other artists, working long hours to churn out frames for the film.

The method, which had never been tried before, involved projecting frames onto canvas as the artists painted the portrait over top.

Despite the long hours, Fulford said she had a "fantastic time."

"It was just that we loved the project and we were committed to it, that we kept doing it," she said.

Fulford will be speaking about her experience on the film at the ByTowne Cinema in Ottawa on Oct. 14.