Interactive Starry Night – Teach Students Movement in Art

Movement can be a bit tricky to teach to art students. Movement, a principle of art, can take on several forms in a work of art. It can refer to eye movement, or the way a viewer’s eye moves through a work of art. Or movement can refer to the actual feeling of movement that is created by the application of material on the surface. Van Gogh definitely falls into the category of an artist that used brushstrokes to convey movement in his art. The large directional brushstrokes forces your eye to follow patterns, while at the same time coveys the feeling of physical movement in the artwork. Teaching this concept to students can, at times, be difficult. Recently, however, a Greek Digital artist, Petros Vrellis has made teaching this concept a bit easier with his interactive Starry Night.

Interactive Starry Night

His creation is a fully interactive digital version of Van Gogh’s famous work.  When someone runs their hand or fingers over the surface, the digital interface reacts, producing a change in sounds and brushstrokes.  The painting then returns to it’s original state, but the brushstrokes continue to swirl in the direction that were painted by Van Gogh.  The painting literally moves, helping students to actually see the movement inherent in Van Gogh’s brushstrokes.

So, how does this work? Well, the short answer is probably with some complicated coding. For more information about the technical aspects involved visit

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