Mona Lisa Crafted

Da Vinci's masterpiece gets a Minecraft makeover

Yes, it's the Mona Lisa! In Minecraft! Just like the headline promised! This Leonardo Da Vinci doodle/most famous painting in the world has been around for over five hundred years, but only just.

Because angry people can't stop visiting the Louvre museum in Paris and trying to do Mona harm. Way back in 1956, a vandal threw acid at the poor painting, and some dope chucked a rock at it. Even in the last few years, idiots have had a go at spraying it with paint and lobbing stuff from the gift shop. Guys, when you visit an art gallery, just walk around quietly and occasionally say "hmm interesting" while pretending not to be bored, OK? Leave your acid and rocks at home.

So we're delighted to report that this is not a story about someone doing something nasty to the Mona Lisa. On the contrary, ace Minecraft builder Alice has brought Da Vinci's painting up to date with this 3D re-imagining in Minecraft! The Louvre should probably just throw the old one away and present this now tbh.

"For the past month or so, I've been doing weekly builds and releasing them via Twitter," explains Alice, when we ask what inspired her to bring the Mona Lisa to Minecraft. "This week I decided to build something to do with a painting. I had a few in mind, but nothing set in stone. A friend ended up suggesting the Mona Lisa in the end. Obviously it's an extremely well known painting. I didn't want to mess it up!

"Even though I knew it would be a challenge, I decided to go for it anyway. Why not right?"

That's a fantastic attitude for embarking on any creative project. But as you can see from these screens, Alice didn't just recreate the painting in its 2D glory. What inspired her to shoot for a 3D model instead? "Creating a 2D image is fairly easy now in Minecraft," explains Alice. "There are plug-ins and whatnot to import them right into the game and a lot of people have done it with the Mona Lisa specifically.

"They're cool and all, but I wanted to take it a few steps further and imagine and recreate the actual environment that was depicted in the original artwork. You don't really get the same atmosphere as you do being able to walk into the painting."

Alice first became familiar with Minecraft through watching YouTubers play the game. "After watching so many videos and build tutorials, I eventually wanted to experience the game for myself. Glad I did!" That player base both got her into the game, and has kept her actively involved. "I think the main reason I've enjoyed Minecraft so much, for so long, is the communities. I've made many friends over the years through it, so the game holds a special place in my life.

"Yes, there are other creativity outlets around but they don't give me the same passion to be creative as Minecraft has over the years. Plus, with new plug-ins always being created for building, [and] new features always being added, there's always something new to experiment with!"

“Even though I knew it would be a challenge, I decided to go for it anyway. Why not right?”

We asked Alice to share with us some of her other Minecraft experiments, which she consistently shares on her Twitter feed. Take a look at the gallery below! (try not to get too freaked out by the eye one)

EYE-POCALYPSE: "I saw a surrealist drawing of an eye being a part of a landscape on Google and was watching The Walking Dead at the time," explains Alice. "And so began the Eye-pocalypse!"

TERRAIN SAMPLE: "I'd previously built the trees in the build. The terrain was inspired by them!"

"I was using this as a project to practise building human figures and hair, as well as a different way for me to create water." Cool! Though there don't seem to be any clothes in the ocean, apparently.

Alice is a member of the Aeva Network, after initially being introduced to the server by a friend. "A few of my builds were noticed and liked by Build team members. After a while they invited me to be a part of the Build team. From my previous work, they thought I would make a good addition to the team!"

So what are the advantages of being part of a build team/server? "You can get a lot more feedback on what you build. That feedback helps you improve your skills and grow as a builder There are some really talented and knowledgeable people in the community and on the Aeva team who have helped me improve tremendously. You just don't get that when building alone."

But maybe you - yes you, reading this - maybe you like building alone. Maybe reading that last paragraph has made you angry. So angry, that you're about to vent your rage by flying to Paris to try and damage a famous painting. Hey, calm down, pal! Read these ace building tips that Alice gave us instead:

1. "Use reference images, at least when starting out/trying a new style. They'll help with scaling, colouring, proportions and whatnot."

2. "Get other opinions on projects. They'll help you to fix the little things you might not notice on your own."

3. "Nothing will be perfect, but that's okay because as long as you like it and you have fun building it, that's the only thing that matters."

4. "And finally, practise, practise, practise. You'll improve over time with effort, and as with any acquired skill, it doesn't happen overnight!"

For more of Leanardo Da Vinci's art... I dunno, read an art book or something. Ah, but for more of Alice's art, follow her on Twitter here!