The classics meet Cartoon Network.
A Canadian artist who goes simply by Lothlenan created a Tumblr post that’s been widely shared during the past week. The post features famous paintings reimagined with carefully chosen cartoon characters.
“I was doing a study of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andrews’ by Thomas Gainsborough in my free time, trying to strengthen my painting skills,” Lothlenan explained to HuffPost. “I was a little over halfway done when I decided I wanted to spice it up a little. I can’t exactly say how the two threads joined in my head, but maybe it was because I’d recently seen some episodes of ‘Adventure Time’ with the Earl of Lemongrab and thought he’d sit quite well in the painting.”
Lothlenan liked the way the painting came out and said that his friends got a kick out it. So, he decided to make it his thing.
“It became kind of like my amusing little twist. I strive to find subjects that resonate with the original painting,” he said. “Sort of a personal challenge, but also something to make the process more entertaining.”
Lothlenan said he’s always been into video games and manga. Some of his favorite cartoons include “Steven Universe,” “Rick and Morty,” “Adventure Time” and “absolutely anything by Studio Ghibli.”
But he learned to appreciate classic paintings when he was in college.
“It wasn’t until I hit university and had an incredible professor that I developed a really strong appreciation for the old masters and their more modern successors,” he said.
Lothlenan paints all of his pieces digitally and says that each of his cartoon recreations took about a week to make. The process is much more tedious than one might think.
“As for the process itself, I always start with the backgrounds and, honestly, that’s the most time-consuming part,” Lothlenan told HuffPost. “It usually involves me trying to figure out how to approach the original artist’s painting methods, and if there are specific brush techniques I need to account for to achieve a certain look.”
As for the popularity of these particular paintings, Lothlenan has a theory.
“I think because it’s two halves of the familiar, but in an unfamiliar way,” he said.
He acknowledged fans might not instantly recognize the classic paintings that inspired him.
“I hope that my interpretations leave them walking away with a newfound appreciation for the original masterpiece,” he added.