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Speed Painting: Fast Forward Entertainment

by Alane Jewel on February 23, 2013

speed painting videos

Scarlett Johansson speed painting by Nico Di Mattia

Want a fast way to find some of the world’s best new artwork? It’s not paying an entrance fee to scour every renowned museum in a multitude of countries. It’s as simple as quickly jumping online and viewing one of the thousands of art videos. You can view these videos from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone by typing in a few key words and doing a video search. You’ll find amazing videos that use time-lapse technology to turn blank canvases into visions of beautiful people, scenery and much more.

Today paintings are made in a matter of hours. Within days they are already on display for people to admire. What’s even more astonishing is the fact that before the paintings even make it to their final destination, the artist uses video to document the painting process and then posts it online to share with everyone.


Speed painting is the act of recording an artist’s progress while they work. The recording is then sped up so that you can watch the piece come together. These videos document every step from the blank canvas to the final work of genius. To make the videos more appealing the painting process can be fast forward using time-lapse video technology or pared down to show the whole progression in a matter of a few minutes.

Speed painting videos draw millions of viewers on a daily basis. The genre as an entertainment platform has become increasingly more popular thanks to the help of competitive talent shows. Some painters are just naturally fast and you can watch them create a masterpiece in under two minutes. Watch this segment of ‘Anderson’s Viewers Got Talent’ from Anderson Live hosted by none other than Anderson Cooper. The episode takes a cue from America’s Got Talent with a host of judges including Sharon Osbourne. Can you guess what D. Westry is making?


Budding artists, professional artists, and art lovers all enjoy watching these videos. They can learn techniques or just bask in the beauty of the finished product. If you are looking to perfect a painting technique, replaying a portion of the video is simple. YouTube offers a ton of videos that highlight speed painting. Some of them show artists using traditional brushes with mediums like watercolor, oil, and acrylic. While others simply use their hands. As is seen in the Bruce Lee high speed-painting video below that was uploaded to Phil In the Circle YouTube channel.

Then there’s Italian native Agnes Cecile who relies on a good old-fashioned paintbrush as her go-to tool. Cecile has seventeen amazing portraits on her YouTube channel Agnescecile. Her portraits range from monochromatic to brilliant colors in mediums of watercolor, acrylic, ink, oil, and varnish. Almost two million people viewed her speed painting called Just One in a Thousand. Take note of how realistic the eyes look in the video below.


Perhaps one of the more interesting genres is speed-painting photo-realism, which is accomplished using a computer. The broad strokes of a brush have been replaced with tools that can work like  a computer mouse reflecting today’s technologically driven society. This is often how many characters come to life in movies – case-in-point is the 2009 Oscar nominated film Avatar. Watch the Avatar speed painting of Neytiri by AVDmotion and see her come to life in minutes.

If you’re looking for celebrity speed painting photo-realism videos, there are plenty on YouTube done using a similar technique. The Scarlett Johansson speed painting by Nico Di Mattia is an amazing example of what can be done with a computer and a ton of talent. For those looking for something a little more playful, Nico Di Mattia has loads of great videos on his YouTube channel (and you can see even more on his website) that use time-lapse to bring his creations of Toy Story 3 characters, the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, and other well-known characters to fruition.

French artist and musician Stephanie Valentin has digitally recreated images of loads of celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp, and Angelina Jolie and sells the prints on her website. Check out the Jessica Alba speed painting by Stephanie Valentin below:


Not all of us can have amazing art collections lining the walls of a home or office, but anyone can watch these artistic masters at work. See a video that you love or a speed painting technique that inspires the artist in you? Save a copy of it to watch over again. Just use RealPlayer to download the video in seconds and watch it as many times as you like. If you don’t already have RealPlayer, click the orange button in the top right corner of this page to download a free version.

If the talent shown by these speed-painting artists impresses you, show some support by liking their Facebook page, subscribing to their YouTube channel, or following them on Twitter. Many of the artists featured in this article have websites where you can purchase the art shown in the videos.

Do you enjoy art videos? Have a favorite online video art genre yet? Share your thoughts on how online video is changing the art world below.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jean Francois May 9, 2013 at 8:55 am

I created what is today call speed painting. From Paris Beaux Arts to my own show in Las Vegas, everyone out there is doing what I was doing at 18 years old in 1978 when I painted the Pope before 60,000 in Belgium. :-)

2 Real Team May 9, 2013 at 9:02 am

Very very cool, Jean Francois, awesome to kickstart an art trend like speed painting.

3 sherilyzza June 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

this one is one of the most astounding – glue speed painting and finishing it OFF with sand -
Live Gluing – Peintre performer – Michael Raivard

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