The Craving Dog

Made by MinSun Park

Recreated work of Henri Matisse’s “Girl Reading” by both reinterpreting the emotional theme and reproducing his style

Created: September 4th, 2016



Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

As I will explain later, what struck me most when I saw this work of Matisse was that I could feel his love for her daughter. So through this project, I wanted to convey my love for something that I love, my dog. I tried my best to accomplish this using the tools that Matisse used in this painting.



Describe the work you selected and why? How is it composed (color, tone, form, shape, space, line, surface, proposition, context, symbolism, response, etc.)

The work I chose is an oil painting called “Interior with a Young Girl (Girl Reading),” where Matisse modeled her daughter Marguerite. Because of the bright and vivid colors that Matisse used, I could feel his genuine love towards her. He wants her to be always in a cozy room decorated with beautiful flowers; he doesn't want her to go through any hardships or pain. This, I think, is why the painting itself creates a calm and peaceful ambience.

Matisse’s paintings were influenced by post-impressionists including Van Gogh, who began to use expressive brushstrokes with vivid colors. This work of Matisse intrigued me with the beautiful palette of bright colors that creates warm ambience. He didn’t use realistic colors here; the colors were chosen based on emotion.



How did you approach the assignment and re-creation of the work in a digital medium?

As I was initially drawn to Matisse’s love towards her daughter, which I think is expressed with bright, lively and complementary colors, I chose to show my love towards my dog. To do this, I first found a picture that I thought was the most adorable.

Then, I cropped up the dog, and painted the background myself. As Matisse did, I used brighter and complementary colors, and I too used colors that could express my emotion towards the dog: love. They aren’t actual colors of the background from the picture. 



Detail what you created. What methods or techniques did you use? What tools and technologies were involved? Include images, code or video.

Another thing I loved from Matisse’s work was that the girl doesn’t notice that her father is drawing her. I think this emphasizes the power of fatherly love towards her daughter. This is why I chose a picture in which the dog is staring at and craving the food on the table.

Other than thematic features of Matisse, I also tried to recreate his style. In his painting, Matisse didn’t draw margins and he often mixed his paint with white. So I drew my background without margins, and I painted over colors with white. I also tried to choose similar brush of similar size with what Matisse used in his work; I paid close attention to the ends of brushstrokes to do this. In addition to this, Matisse used a wide variety of colors that cannot exist in a real room. So when I painted a floor and a desk, I tried to choose colors from all over the palette.



Reflect on the process of making this project. Do you think you captured the themes and style of the work accurately? what did you learn? what would you do differently?

This is my first time using Photoshop software, and I’ve never really painted stuff since elementary school, so this is probably not a very well-drawn painting. But what I did here is to try to recreate themes, emotion, and specific styles of the way Matisse used when he painted “Interior with a Young Girl,” and I think I captured them pretty accurately.

Through this exercise, I learned, on some level, how to express my emotion through colors, while I was thinking about what colors I wanted to put along with the dog. It’s just that my work doesn’t reflect what’s underneath my mind, as I’m not exactly a painter. 

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Recreated work of Henri Matisse’s “Girl Reading” by both reinterpreting the emotional theme and reproducing his style