By now it might be safe to consider myself an accomplished painter. How did I get my start? It was the early 90s and I tuned in to watch the legendary Bob Ross on a black-and-white TV with bad reception. While I don’t have a luxurious afro and nor do I wear my shirts unbuttoned to mid-chest, one Bob Ross-ism stuck with me forever; the notion of happy accidents. I still make them and it’s exhilarating every single time! That’s why I was thrilled to see this new LEGO creation by Jim Jo titled The Joy of Painting inspired by Bob Ross’s show. It features an array of paintbrushes, pallette, paint tubes, a pallette knife to scrape in those heavenly mountains and a water jar already tainted with a lovely sky-blue color.
Inspired by his travel experience with beautiful Japan, Alanboar Cheung shares with us this wonderful LEGO painting. It’s built in the style of Japan’s kakemono (hanging thing), more commonly known as kakejiku (hanging scroll). This form of art typically contains paintings and calligraphy inscriptions on a flexible backing to allow for rolling for storage. Alanboar’s creation follows suit, depicting a pagoda, cherry blossoms, and the great Mount Fuji. There’s even a golden phoenix flying overhead! The scene stands out in its 3D glory, bringing it life for us the way that LEGO does. I love how Alanboar is able to recreate the kanji for Japan (Nihon) in LEGO styled calligraphy.
Here we can take a look at the whole scroll to fully appreciate the level of detail found in this build. The painting really pops against the neutral colors of the scroll! There’s no doubt this would be the center piece of any wall.
The first thing that caught my eye when I saw this pair of birds was the use of the multiple Technic pin/axle combos. That’s a piece that doesn’t get a lot of use on the outside of a build. But closer inspection reveals that builder Seth Peacock has used all kinds of interesting pieces and techniques for the plumage of these two birds. Those are baby minifigure heads, for crying out loud. Seth says these birds were inspired by the work of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and Sunflowers series, and he’s definitely captured the swirl and motion of the line work in those pieces. To quote one famous critic, “I don’t know if it’s art, but I like it.”
Have you ever gone to an art museum with a notebook, ready to try how artists started creating their masterpieces? Have you also drawn a rough sketch with a pencil to get the fastest idea of the artist’s process? Tobias Munzert has done exactly that, but by using LEGO pieces. In this triptych, he recreated the motifs of three paintings by German Expressionist painter Franz Marc – Red Deers, Blue Horse, and Red Horses in black and white to emulate pencil drawings. Talk about blending LEGO and art!
Each drawing is laid out on a field of white bricks acting as a blank canvas. The minimalist black “sketches” are made up of various thin parts in black held by clips. Tobias really utilised his NPU skills, and has given us a good idea on which parts to make curves with. See if you can spot each unique minifig utensil and animals appendages used to create the intricate shapes of Franz Marc’s animals.
Check out more LEGO creations depicting horses!
This beautiful painting by Hoang H. Dang shows a pleasant street scene with ancient architecture and a gnarled tree, along with a few small street vendor stalls. But there’s much more to it than first meets the eye. Although it’s ostensibly a painting, it’s actually a low-relief sculpture masterfully executed with LEGO bricks, lending it an amazing sense of depth.
And look closer–this painting is much bigger than you probably realize. There’s detail packed into every square inch because the entire piece is enormous–more than 3 feet wide. It’s so big that a Duplo fire hydrant looks right at home. Let’s take a look at some of the other details.
Ever since I saw the Hogwarts moving stairs model by Jonas Kramm I have this thing for LEGO paintings with elaborate golden frames. This creation by Kitkat1414 reminds me of that. In this creation, he used the minifigure torso in a brilliant way, representing the sails of the ship. The printing of the torso even adds some movement to the creation. However, the best used part in this creation has to be the Metalbeard part used as a miniature cliff. The painting in the middle of the frame is not the only true work of art — the paintings surrounding it also contain a lot of details.
Keep your eyes on the prize, the prize painting to be exact. It’s alive! Corvus Auriac keeps true to his recurring morbid theme and shows us an angry, green-haired figure being pulled out of the picture frame. The diorama sets the scene of an archaic manor, home to the artwork, hanging on a peeling burgundy wall, next to a statue nightstand. Still, there’s nothing to fear because a trap is set to capture the spirit by none other than the Ghostbusters.
The eighty hours Corvus spent crafting this build shows in the details and the myriad of different LEGO pieces. The pattern of sausage elements, frog, leaf, and cheese wedges in the ornate gold frame is hypnotic. The figure’s claws are also reminiscent of a previous Corvus Halloween-themed project. Then the three-dimensional perspective between the spirit and the moon in the background appears to be a nod to impressionism. It’s like one work of art within another. Check out more creepy Corvus builds here.
It takes a talented builder to take a very specialized LEGO part, like a train switch, and turn it into something totally different. Of course, we all know Jonas Kramm is a talented builder, so it should come as no surprise that he managed to make a train switch into a painting of a peacock. It is unquestionably the best peacock head I have ever seen done in LEGO form, and perhaps the best bird head, too. The bumps on the switch make perfect nostrils, and it also works well as the eyes on the tail. But Jonas did not stop there: he also used the part for the lantern flame, and the drawer pulls. Not to mention the Jurassic World gyrosphere for the lantern glass and the green snake for paint. It’s a great composition of a great composition, for sure!
Instagram user legotruman renders a LEGO version of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and we’re all pretty impressed. See what I did there? Impressed. Because Impressionist. Get it? This is why I make the big bucks here, people. Anyway, we can all appreciate good LEGO art here. I particularly enjoy the plates set at all those crazy rakish angles representing those crazy rakish clouds. The moon with its halo glow is also quite charming.
Up next from TBB Auctionhouse, we have this magnificent piece, “Canvas Warrior”, ABS on canvas, by the brilliant artist Markus Rollbühler, circa 2020. Bidding will start at $1M. Do I hear one? You, with the itchy nose. Please note the American Western style, with the Native American astride a horse, riding out of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Do I hear two? Ah, you, scratching your eyebrow. Note the rippling pectorals, made from a LEGO minifigure torso. This could be the cover of the latest Nora Roberts novel. Do I see a hand for three? You there, lady with the cough, yes. Three million. This is a fine example of stereotypical Wild West art, folks. There’s buckskin fringe, a rifle, even some scrub bushes. Four million, from you, Mr. Itchy Nose. Wonderful. Five? Do I hear five? The impressionistic landscape even includes some plesiosaur flippers. And that horse! It will leap out and impress all your guests? Five! Yes, you on your smartphone. Five million! Going once, going twice, sold!
When talented stars collide, masterpieces arise. I hate to be so cliche, but it is what it is. This artwork is the result of a collaborative effort between Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, and Micah Biedeman. It was the product of hanging out in Grant’s home last year, 3 weeks worth of cumulative effort, and somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 LEGO bricks (who’s got time to count when you’re oozing with inspiration and art?). Both Grant and Eli should need no introduction, as neither are new to the world of making large scale builds and focusing on a single aspect of wonder. In 2018, they walked away with The Brothers Brick Creation of the Year award, and now they’re back with another stunning creation.
Sometimes the best inspiration for a LEGO creation comes from someone else’s failure, or at least from their frustrated abandonment of a complex idea. Pau Padrós‘s brother attempted to build Raphael’s masterpiece “The School of Athens”, but was about to give up; Pau took the build, changed the scale, and ran with it to create this amazing digital model. The painting, and thus the plastic version, focuses on the two most important philosophers of the Greek world, and thus of Western civilization: Plato and Aristotle. Naturally, some details of the original painting have been lost—I don’t recall Euclid’s face being a hollow square in Raphael’s version—but it is still a masterwork in forms; Plato would be proud. (That’s a philosophy pun, if you missed it.) I love how Pau has kept the detail of the two philosophers’ hands, with Plato’s pointing to the sky (where the ideal forms of all things reside) and Aristotle’s flat over the ground (which is the natural world, the observation of which is the source of our knowledge).
Besides the philosophers shown, which is exciting enough, Pau has hidden all sorts of details in the build. Each of the figures of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are comprised of twenty-two pieces, which in numerology means that they are on the path to turn dreams to reality. Of the 41 solid colors of LEGO in production, 38 are used, which perhaps represents the broad range of ideas held by these different men (and woman). The sextant makes for an effective lyre in Apollo’s statue’s hand, and a droid body approximates Athena’s Aegis-shield well enough. Don’t miss the green barbed wire as Epicurus’ garland, either. With forty-seven philosophers here (everyone from Alexander to Zeno) there’s something for everyone to appreciate and emulate. Most importantly, perhaps, is the lost art of disagreeing amicably and discussing rationally.
Want to see more of the build? Check out the video here: