Introduction: Write or Draw With Light!

Picture of Write or Draw With Light!

Ever wonder how I made my avatar? or even how these guys (pikapika) make their movies?
Here's how!
(If you've got lightsticks, check out askacollegekid's light instructable!)
Camera with long exposure capabilities (the longer the better)
Source of light (flashlights work the best)
Pitch black room (if you want a nice black background)

Note: Please excuse my room's messiness!

Subnote: I'd like to thank StepsoftheSun for inspiring me to make this Instructable =)

UPDATE!: Yesterday was the "annual" Science Olympiad paratay!

I brought a camera and some lights and we made some pretty nice pictures (added pics to the intro page)!

Step 1: Set Up

Picture of Set Up

Get your camera a nice place to sit and aim it at a spot about 10-15 ft away where you will easily be able to draw your picture.

Take a regular shutter speed shot in the light to make sure that your spot is in focus (see picture)

Set your camera's shutter speed (you'll have to set your camera for manual mode) - I use 30 seconds most of the time

Either turn on a time delay or set the shutter speed to compensate for the time it takes to walk 10-15 feet away.

Grab your flashlight and shut the lights out.

Step 2: Take the Picture!

Picture of Take the Picture!
Press the capture button, run to wherever your camera is focused on, and turn on your light source.

Draw the picture you want, trying not to shine the light source directly at the camera. This will produce a "twinkle" where you shined it from (see picture).

If you want to stop a line segment and start a new one, you can cover the light source with your hand and move it over to where the new line segment will start. If you have a flashlight, just turn it off, move it over, and turn it back on! <-- Much easier!

When you're done drawing:
If it's a simple picture (a square, circle etc) you can go over it again
If not, don't bother trying to go over it. It will probably get messed up.


Step 3: Admire!

Picture of Admire!

Admire your one of a kind picture!

Feel free to experiment with different techniques etc!

Check out my works! (so far)


AbdullahK50 made it! (author)2016-12-29


Antleredguy (author)2009-06-08

I took one of these one night when we had a bonfire... I think it turned out pretty good. I took this with a little kodak digital camera.

xilefakamot (author)Antleredguy2009-11-08

 Here's mine:

(Bonus points if you can guess my name)

aaprilggrams (author)xilefakamot2015-10-25


jjones95 (author)xilefakamot2012-06-05


Your name begins with 'T' ends with 'M' and has an 'O' in between

R.A.T.M (author)xilefakamot2011-06-30

is that photo shop

Toebak (author)xilefakamot2011-05-27

Here is my scribe.. used a single led and a button cell.

dragonsniper (author)xilefakamot2011-05-17


the_ccandy (author)xilefakamot2011-04-11


tatarik (author)xilefakamot2011-04-10


howto96 (author)xilefakamot2010-01-15 ur name tom

xilefakamot (author)howto962010-01-15

 How did you guess?

ammubhave (author)xilefakamot2011-04-10

howto96: hey, i think you are a psychic.... congrats

tom, lol BONUS POINTS!!!!

Stevie89 (author)xilefakamot2010-07-02

I think it's Apu Nahasapeemapetilon If so your on Wikipedia

Antleredguy (author)Antleredguy2009-06-08

I forgot to say... I put the "Long Time Exposure" at 4 seconds I think it was and that was the only setting I changed.

Cool doge888 (author)2015-05-27

Hey that's cool

Engr_Faris_Ali (author)2015-04-13

Engr_Faris_Ali (author)2015-04-13

Kyw Yw Yw (author)2013-06-05

quick question, can you see it when u draw?

vampire.daphne (author)Kyw Yw Yw2013-11-27

No, you only see the movements you make

c3ralki1l3r (author)2012-10-16

I used a torch for this. The flame died a few seconds after D:

iahamed (author)2012-06-25

RC : Chopper

reganbella (author)2012-02-25

Yay! this means I'm a genius......(Even though I can't figure out light drawing........)

monsterlego (author)2011-09-22

Omg, i love doing this!

vtotheieira (author)2011-06-30

Some light drawing i have done. The first one is an LED on a string which is spin while i also spin around to achieve a sphere. The second one is the same but with a strobing light which alternates colors. The final picture is of burning steel wool being swung around on a string.

Pankake (author)2011-06-30

Took these photos a year ago. Small LED light on a string. To get the spiral effect you pull the string, at a constant rate, through one hand to decrease the diameter of the circle.

yokozuna (author)2008-11-16

Excellent instructable- thought people might get a kick out of this.

daniel2008 (author)yokozuna2009-09-15

thats not light drawing thats made in photoshop

R.A.T.M (author)daniel20082011-06-30

yes your right it is

mg0930mg (author)daniel20082009-10-21

Don't put people down, how do you know this is photoshop?
Just because you don't get something does not mean it is photoshop...

Stevie89 (author)mg0930mg2010-07-02

That comment was photoshopped!

Tommyhzy (author)yokozuna2009-03-16

Wow, that's awesome!

urtlesquirt (author)2011-06-06

i have a great idea. get some el wire and kinda wave it through the air.

leeroper (author)2011-05-12

Nice write up and good idea, I tried this once but very quickly, gonna give a go again soon. Cheers!

blakllll (author)2011-04-11

I love light drawing

leggomylegoeggo (author)2011-04-10
this instructable is highly related to yours

007dna (author)2010-03-20

Is the second to last one a picture of a far-distanced city? Looks that way.

I like your work. Keep it up! :)


Doctor What (author)2008-01-02

I like your instructable. But your room is a disaster. But you know what they say about people with messy rooms.

No.... I don't exactly, what do they say about people with messy rooms?

They are supposed geniuses. That means I must be really smart. Just try walking through my room (without shoes).

I MUST be a genius! My room is cluttered with gadgets, inventions, and disassembled electronics!!

bassmonkey (author)Doctor What2009-04-21

does that make me an imbecile? my room's real clean

Doctor What (author)bassmonkey2009-04-22

Quick! Crumble a box of staples on your floor!

bassmonkey (author)Doctor What2009-04-22

no, man my bedroom is my sanctuary, after a longday of school, i need a cool place to hang!

Sora_1_2 (author)bassmonkey2010-03-16

I chill in one of my two "rooms" even though they are both messy.

weirdo101112 (author)bassmonkey2010-02-09

that means I must be getting stupider! (I'm cleaning my room)

Really? I must be the next einstein. XD

me too

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a just a not-so-average human with a passion for making. I see a world of hackers, makers, and producers as the sun rises ... More »
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