There is no limit for an artist and there is no boundary that can stop an art to grow. Till now, you have learned and heard a lot about art media such as watercolour, oil, acrylic canvas and so on.

But, there is a much daring and exquisite tactic that can offer a mesmerising appearance to your artwork. We are talking about using smoke as a medium. Yes, it is a known technique in present time that has been used by the artists who dare to go beyond the conventional and convenient methods.

Have you ever seen smoke paintings? Does that thought “Why did the paper does not catches the flame?” have ever crossed your mind?

You may also think that what is the necessity to utilize smoke as a medium?

The process of using smoke as a medium to craft an appealing and scintillating artwork is known as Fumage.   

There are different speculations about the birth of this process. Some say it is a by-product of 1936 surrealist movement while others argue that this practices is thousands of years old and was adopted by the early cave men.

Artists utilize the smoke of an open flame like kerosene lamp, candles and matches on a piece of canvas or paper.

Let’s go through the process of making smoke paintings:

How to craft smoke paintings?

Initially, Fumage was first brought to the practice by an artist known as Wolfgang Paalen who utilized candle smoke as a medium.  

  1. Foremost, you need to make a picture of the design you wish to brush down and sketch the same roughly.
  2. Do not forget to acquire the necessary items need for Fumage process. For instance, take a candle or a lamp. Always remember that varied dimensions of candles are used by the artists in order to generate aesthetic patterns.
  3. Like if you desire to get a soothing design, longer wick lengths candles should be chosen. Similarly, for creating firms and much darker shades, short wick length candles are used.
  4. Always keep your eyes and hand protected from the smoke and fire.
  5. Cover the surface with a cloth or paper to catch the wax dropping.
  6. Since in the Fumage process, most of the work is done from behind the canvas, so ensure to keep the canvas in a much elevated manner.
  7. Few of the artists don’t mind to hold the paper in one hand as the requirement to change the angle from time-to-time will arise in the process.
  8. Light the candle and keep a kindle as a backup.
  9. Slowly take the candle below the paper or canvas and witness the formation of varied patterns.
  10. Do not keep the candle in one position, but make sure to move the candle on the continuous process so as to examine the different patterns that are forming at different angles.
  11. As soon as you think that you have attained the desired pattern, apply stabilizing agent on it. This avoids the smearing.

  1. Although to get many impeccable patterns, you can also use your hands or a brush to intentionally spread marks.
  2. You can also utilize other media with Fumage to create laudable patterns.