Phantoms in the Fire:
The Process of Creating a Pyro Painting

Step one: I begin by taking thousands of photographs of real fire, to be used as the foundation for my fire painting. This is done in a controlled environment, using a carefully set bonfire, ignited after dark. The flames emerge using certain chemicals, allowing it to change color, such as copper sulfate, among many others. I use a Nikon D3500 camera on the sports setting to capture the motion and vibrancy of the flames. Routinely, I can take anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 photographs per session. Then, I painstakingly study and analyze each image, looking for patterns, shapes, or even complete manifestations of my illustrations within the fire itself. When I discover this imagery, I take it into Photoshop and manipulate the fire digitally, in order to strengthen the concept and help bring it to life within the finished painting!

 

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Step Two:  Later, I print the manipulated photograph on Epson archival canvas paper, using my Epson r2000 roll printer. I then stretch the canvas and bind it to a wooden frame.

 

Step Three:  Finally, I paint the photograph on canvas with acrylic and oil washes, finalizing the painting with a gloss.

 

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In this section, you can see the original image of fire and the shapes within them, reflected and emphasized in its corresponding painting. 

Before                                                                                                                                    After