77-Year-Old Uses Excel Spreadsheets To “Paint” His Masterpieces

Dubbed as the Michelangelo of Microsoft Excel, 77-year-old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi impresses the world with his Excel spreadsheet paintings. At first glance, you’ll probably think that his paintings are done with acrylic, oil or watercolor. But you’ll be surprised to know that these intricate artworks are created using Microsoft Excel. Yes, the spreadsheet program that features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables and other useful elements to solve financial, engineering and statistical queries.

Developed to organize data manipulations and mathematical operations, the spreadsheet program can also display graphical data such as line graphs, charts, histograms and basic shapes. But when it comes to graphics, it only offers very limited three-dimensional graphical features. Needless to say, this software isn’t intended for drawing and image manipulation as there is other software for that such as Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. But one artist proved that nothing is impossible by creating beautiful art using Excel.


Excel Spreadsheet Paintings

tatsuo horiuchi blooming in the reaped rice field
Blooming in the Reaped Rice Field

When Horiuchi retired, he decided to embrace his long-time passion, which is to paint. But instead of using paints and a paintbrush, he thought of using his PC to paint. With a computer, he doesn’t need to spend money on paints and other painting tools. Furthermore, he was settled on utilizing whatever he has on his computer. So, he opted to use pre-installed programs on his computer instead of buying expensive graphics software.

excel spreadsheet paintings asake clouds and forest
Asake Clouds and Forest


excel spreadsheet paintings bamboo with mount fuji
Bamboo with Mount Fuji


tatsuo horiuchi the dancing girl toward the rainbow
Dancing Girl Toward the Rainbow

At first, he tried using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Paint. However, he felt that this software didn’t give him much freedom in drawing. Back in 2000, he saw how people create pretty graphs using Excel and realized that he could also use that feature to draw. He began to tinker with the spreadsheet program to create art. Using the line tool, he draws the subject while taking advantage of the grid of cells as his guide. He then uses the bucket tool to add colors and shading to the image.

excel spreadsheet paintings burning


excel spreadsheet paintings coming spring
Coming Spring


tatsuo horiuchi woman with parasol
Woman with Parasol

Horiuchi found this technique easier than using Word or Paint. He has been painting on Excel since then and was able to discover and apply the software’s unknown artistic capabilities. Inspired mostly by natural landscapes and Japanese cultural motifs, Horiuchi has gained worldwide recognition as a digital artist over the years. One of his Excel paintings also won first prize at the Excel Autoshape Art Contest in 2006.

excel spreadsheet paintings kite flying over the baltic sea
Kite Flying Over the Baltic Sea


excel spreadsheet paintings landscape of ookura
Landscape of Ookura


tatsuo horiuchi warm water
Warm Water


tatsuo horiuchi comical shinto performance
Comical Shinto Performance


tatsuo horiuchi the exhibition of chrysanthemum
The Exhibition of the Chrysanthemum


excel spreadsheet paintings remaining month
Remaining Month


tatsuo horiuchi rising sun among the woods
Rising Sun Among the Woods


excel spreadsheet paintings remaining yumeno tomonoura
Yumeno Tomonoura


tatsuo horiuchi kinkakuji celebration
Kinkakuji Celebration


excel spreadsheet paintings shiraito waterfall
Shiraito Waterfall


tatsuo horiuchi myojin-ike pond
Myojin-Ike Pond


excel spreadsheet paintings snow mountain
Snow Mountain


tatsuo horiuchi mount chogatake
Mount Chogatake


tatsuo horiuchi cherry blossom viewing picnic
Cherry Blossom Viewing Picnic


excel spreadsheet paintings takaiwayama tunnel
Takaiwayama Tunnel


tatsuo horiuchi boys festival
Boys Festival


excel spreadsheet paintings water lily
Water Lily


tatsuo horiuchi kinkakuji temple
Kinkakuji Temple


Check out the video to see the digital artist in action

Source: Pasokonga