Artist Uses Microsoft Excel Instead of a Paintbrush to Create Amazing Japanese Landscapes


In this day and age, artists using technology in their art isn’t an uncommon practise.

But 77 year old Tatsuo Horiuchi has taken technology and art to the next level, working exclusively with Microsoft Excel to produce his beautiful works of art. His “paintings” are remarkably intricate works that mimic traditional Japanese paintings that offer scenic views of natural landscapes rich with cultural motifs.

The artist says, “I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that.’” He adds, “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers… And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”

About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers,” explained Horiuchi. “And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”*

Horiuchi also tried working with Microsoft Word but it didn’t offer the flexibility that Excel did.

Don’t believe these were made in Excel? You can even download the excel file and play around with it yourself:

Cherry Blossoms at Jogo Castle (2006) [click to download]
Kegon Falls (2007) [click to download]

  1. 77-year-old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi chooses to “paint” with Microsoft Excel.

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  3. His colorful creations are remarkable works of art.

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  5. It’s hard to believe that these lifelike illustrations were made on Excel spreadsheets, which are typically used to crunch numbers.

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  7. But here’s a look at a Japanese landscape painting he made on an actual Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

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  8. Watch as Horiuchi invites Great Big Story into his home for a behind-the-scenes look at his process.

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