The Pandorica Opens Painting




Introduction: The Pandorica Opens Painting

About: Master student Industrial Design & Science Education and Communication at Eindhoven University of Technology As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Two things I really like are watching Doctor Who and Vincent van Gogh's paintings. I was really exited about the episode 'Vincent and the doctor' and it couldn't have been any better.

A while later, I saw the episode 'The pandorica opens'. In this episode Vincent van Gogh is seen painting on a canvas that eventually ends up with the doctor, since the painting shows the Tardis exploding and parts of Tardis flying around.

In my opinion, this painting is the perfect combination between these two great things, so I decided to paint it.
With this instructable I hope to be able to guide you through the process, even without the usual progress pictures. I've recreated the steps of the process to make it a bit clearer.

Step 1: Materials

To make this painting, you will need:

- acrylic paint: dark blue, yellow, white brown, red, black
- a canvas
- brushes of different sizes

Step 2: Reference Pictures

Before starting to paint, it's really helpful to find a few images that show the painting. There aren't a lot of images of the painting, but enough to get a clear view of it. The pictures added to this step are found by googling to 'the pandorica opens doctor who' and variations on this.

You can also size up the image of the complete painting and print it to an A4. I would really recommend doing this, it makes the painting itself a lot easier and you don't have to look at your computer/phone/tablet all the time .


Step 3: Sketching

What's really nice about this painting is that there's almost nothing to sketch. The outlines of the five bigger Tardis pieces are all what's needed.

Especially keep an eye on the dimensions and positions of the parts. They don't have to be perfect, as long as you look at it and nothing looks weirdly positioned, it's just fine.

Step 4: The Middle of the Explosion

Combine the white paint with a little bit of yellow to create a very light yellow colour. You will need quite a lot of this colour. Take a brush and start painting the explosion, starting in the middle of the sketched Tardis pieces. There is a part of the explosion that overlaps the pieces. Try to shape these overlapping parts a bit like the outlines of a cartoon explosion.

Step 5: Swirls

Keep painting in the direction of the explosion with the light yellow paint and fill up the empty space with swirls, roughly following the reference picture. Make all kind of swirls, big, small, really swirly, not so swirly, anything is possible!

Step 6: Going Darker

Combine the light yellow paint with a bit of red and brown to create a slightly darker, more orange colour. Randomly add stripes of this new colour on the light yellow parts.

Keep repeating this entire step of combining and adding until you are happy with the results.

Step 7: Space

Combine the dark blue paint with the black paint. Carefully paint between the various swirls of the explosion and avoid painting on the sketched Tardis part.

Second layers won't be necessary for this step, if the dark blue doesn't completely cover the canvas there will be lighter blue visible, something perfectly acceptable in space.

Step 8: Retouching the Swirls

After having painted the dark background, you might want to repaint the edges of the swirls. This will make the explosion look more realistic, make it stand out more from the background. To repaint the edges, start with light yellow paint again and build up to darker colours. As you can see in the picture, the dark paint is still visible a bit, but not very clearly.

Step 9: Tardis Blue

Add white paint to the blue paint untill you think it is the right colour for a Tardis. Paint all the parts, except for the four windows and the paper that has the text on it. The paint doesn't have to give an equal colour everywhere, multiple shades of blue will make it look just fine.

Step 10: Light It Up

For this step, it's quite important all paint around the to be painted area to be completely dry. Take your white paint and carefully paint the light on top of the Tardis part.

If the paint around/beneath it hasn't completely dried yet, your white will turn light blue in no time. If this happens, just let it dry and paint another layer.

Step 11: Shrapnel

Since the Tardis is exploding, you might also want to think about bits of Tardis shrapnel.

Before painting them, combine your Tardis blue with a bit of white. Since the background of the shrapnel is really dark blue, they will dry quite a bit darker and using your regular Tardis blue will almost make them get lost in the background. It's also possible that you think you created a colour light enough that turns out to be way too dark when dried. If this is the case, just put on another layer in a slightly lighter colour.

Paint random straight shapes with your Tardis blue paint. Vary in size, position and angle, but always make sure it looks like they are flying from the center of the explosion.

Step 12: White Windows

Since the parts of the windows still aren't coloured by any paint yet, this step is really easy. Take white paint and cover the four rectangles and the piece of paper with it.

Step 13: Highlights

Use white paint to add highlights to the Tardis parts. Don't use too much paint, it's just a small addition to your Tardis. The reason behind these highlights is that the explosion causes a lot of light that gets reflected by the panels. Two examples of highlights are marked in the picture.

Step 14: Black Lines

Be sure to get the smallest brush you have for this step. Cover it with black paint and try out painting thin, straight lines on a piece of paper first.

Once you are comfortable with your lines, paint two lone in the width of your windows and one in the height. Practise makes a definite difference here, I started on the right side of the painting and worked to the left.

Step 15: A Bit of Text

Use the brown and the black paint to create a darker brown colour. Using the smallest brush again, scribble small lines on the piece of paper. You could also decide to make this more detailed, but I think scribbling lines like this gives the right look.

Step 16: The Finished Painting

And then you just have to find a place to put your very own piece of art!

I really hope you liked this instructable, found it useful and maybe will give it a shot yourself :)

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    6 years ago

    Looking slick!


    6 years ago

    I did this and it turned out great especially considering that I am no where near being artistic


    Reply 6 years ago

    That's great! I'd love to see how it turned out :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    That looks great! Every Whovian should have one. :)

    mdodd jay
    mdodd jay

    7 years ago

    I'm going to try this for my husband. he loves Dr Who.


    Reply 7 years ago

    I'd love to see how it turns out :)


    7 years ago

    Fantastic job!


    7 years ago

    I'm totally gonna try this!! Thanks. :-D