At 36.25 inches wide by 29 tall, "The Starry Night" is actually much larger than I imagined it. I always assumed that famous art pieces are actually tiny in real life, much like the infamously-miniscule Mona Lisa, so it was quite surprising that this one is actually pretty hefty. For my low-poly reinterpretation of Vincent van Gogh's original piece, I stretched the dimensions slightly to fit 17x11.
Currently living at the MOMA in New York City, "The Starry Night" depicts the view outside of van Gogh's window from his self-imposed stay at the lunatic asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. He painted the flowing wheat fields, a fictionalized Dutch town (which he would not actually be able to see from his window), and the luminescent moon casting a glow across said village. The brightest star in his sky is no star at all - according to astronomers - it's Venus.
The most engrossing part of van Gogh's piece is the directionality of the stars. The strokes he chose gave the sky a sense of motion, as if the blinking yellows were being bullied around in spirals by aggressive hues of blue. My minimalist interpretation needed to capture this feel more than anything. The quiet, sleepy countryside at the bottom is still, and the giant chapel is powerful and strong, but motionless. The motion of the sky is the only real sense of motion in this piece. Capturing the sense of action using blocky shapes proved to be more difficult compared to the way brush strokes naturally show direction.