The digital art portfolio of Terry Long. All images and articles by Terry Long are subject to copyright
By working on a larger scale I have found that I can draw in a stronger gestural and rhythmic way with light. This mirrored image was drawn about 2 meters high and 1.5 meters wide and deep. I try to imbue a musical, sculptural and spiritual quality within my work. Recorded on a Nikon D700 digital SLR, with a 8mm lens. The exposure was 6 seconds at f22 in a darkened studio using my handy dandy rusty trusty tripod.
The design for my Marrakesh Mandala was influenced by Celtic and Islamic tile designs, plus my visit to North Africa many years ago. William Morris used tiling to construct many of his wallpaper and fabric designs. Unlike Morris, I painted my design with the medium of light.
Marrakesh Blue / Digital Light Painting / 2013 / Terry Long
Marrakesh is the same pattern, but has been repeated 9 times in a different colour formulation. I drew and painted the original design both in the air and onto white foamcore and combined them into16 sections and layers for the finished design.
The central drawing was created with several LED lights drawn in the air in front of my Nikon D700 digital camera. The background image is a negative photo of theTemple of Music in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and was taken on my Canon S95. Using photoshop attempted to meld the the background into my drawing. While I was taking the photograph, I was serenaded by a single highly talented cellist who was sitting in the center of stage playing Bach. Alas, there were only a couple of people to take advantage of this wonderful moment. I regard my drawing and painting with light as visual music, and my goal is to capture the rhythmic quality and spiritual feeling often found in composers like Bach.
Playfulness is very important for the creative process, which is what I was doing while I was drawing Light Play 5. The two words What if also help, plus giving yourself permission to make mistakes. Several LED lights were used to draw with, plus digital tiling in photoshop. Recorded with a Nikon D700, mounted with a 8mm lens. Exposure was 4 seconds at f22.
If you have been following my blog, you will already know that I am both fascinated by light, and that I draw and paint with it. It has to be one of the most unusual art mediums to use. I have tried many different types of light to draw and paint with, from incandescent to sunlight, but LED is a big favourite of mine. I normally use it by drawing with it in the air, which allows me to work in a three dimensional kinetic way. I also draw and paint with it on different surfaces, so movement is always involved, just like chinese ribbon dancing. These three mandalas shown here were a change in my usual method, and were made without any movement during the camera exposure, which was a 30th of a second at f8, taken with a Nikon D700 digital camera, mounted with a 28 – 120mm Nikon lens.
These mini LED lights which are only 4 centimeters long were used to create all three mandalas. I arranged them on a sheet of white foamcore into a pleasing design. They come in several different colours, which can be used for a more complex design.
This Mandala comprises of 12 arranged mini LED lights and was a similar exposure to the others. Even though the background appears to be black, it was taken on a white background.
LED Mandala No.3 was created with 20 arranged mini LEDs on white foamcore, also with a similar exposure.
I created a warming up exercise for my drawing students which helps them to be less scared of the blank paper when starting off in the classroom. They have to grab as many pencils in both hands as they can and draw in a gestural manner while listening to some music which I have carefully chosen for them. I have also used this method for art therapy, and it seems to work for both my art students and art therapy patients. For Espressivo No.1, instead of using a hand full of pencils, I used a hand full of small LED lights to draw with. I then used photoshop applying several effects, including solarization.
Many of my images depict a spiritual pathway. The mandala in the foreground was created by drawing and painting kinetically with 2 LED lights in my studio and is shown below in the original version. It is comprised of 36 digital layers. The mandala appears again at the end of the pathway in The Way Ahead, but I tried to give it a more etherial look. The path with hedges is located close to where I live in Southern California, and is the one I normally take to walk my dog most mornings. I often taken my Canon S95 point-and-shoot to capture the early scenes of the day to use as backgrounds for my images.