Canada-based artist Steven Spazuk has spent the past 14 years developing an art technique that's pretty damn cool. It's called "fumage," and it enables him to use fire to create paintings. The flame from a candle or torch is held up to paper, leaving trails of soot. Various tools, such as paintbrushes and scalpels, are then used to sculpt the soot into shapes. Some of Spazuk's most intricate works are made with feathers to transform the soot into a masterpiece, or with custom-made paintbrushes he's created from the hair of a Barbie doll or the end of a frayed rope.
Most of his paintings are the result of spontaneity, as he usually doesn't have a single image in mind before he begins. He just puts the flame to paper and goes from there.
To see how he does it, watch this video:
Spazuk was inspired to try this method after having a dream about it. He put a flame to paper and, of course, it caught on fire. Now, Spazuk uses acid-free coated paper as his canvas to prevent that.
Because soot can easily be removed when it's touched, one of the challenges Spazuk faced while developing this technique was figuring out how to keep his painting intact. He experimented with different fixatives and varnish until he found a spray on varnish that worked well.
You can check out some of his soot paintings below:
Like this story? Click the button below to share!