When "Sparky" crackles to life on your desk, amazing things start to happen. This warm and friendly Desktop Gremlin is a spark-giver. Sparks of inspiration, sparks of creativity, sparks of wisdom -- even sparks of love! All of the "sparks" that make life extraordinary can be yours today! Just write down what you need on a small piece of paper and toss it into this happy inferno. Get ready for the sparks to fly!
Bonus! This gremlin has additional charms in the form of little pieces of notebook paper to accent your paper toy.
Drawing fire can be tricky. There are lots of ways to
do it, but often what many beginners end up with is something
that looks like a bunch of stalagmites instead of wicked-looking
fire. In fact, I had to invent this technique for myself
to speed me along in the creation of our good friend Sparky!
You can do this with pencil and paper, and it also works great in drawing applications on your computer.
If you read my How-to-Draw feature about clouds, then you'll recall that I encourage you to remember NOT to press too hard with your pencil into the paper. Keep your lines LIGHT! This will allow you to go back and erase areas of your sketch -- to fine tune your fire and eliminate shapes that might look a bit cramped. You can always darken the lines later once you have your shapes just right. Speaking of erasing, do yourself a HUGE favor and never ever use that pitiful eraser on the back end of your pencil! Please get yourself dedicated premium erasers that won't stain or tear your paper and leaves very few dust particles. I love them.
Now check out my technique that I like to call "Drawing fire is as easy as J-S-U!" I've color-coded my lines to make this a little easier to see the steps, but there is no need to use different colors when you practice your sketches.
Step one: As I was designing Sparky, I noticed that the best looking flames started forming when I used lines that resembled lazy and stretched-out letterforms like J and S. So let's draw a field of fire this way. The tops of your flames are always a sharp point, reaching for the sky. Draw some tall and loose letters, both forward and backward, at a few different heights and vertical placements across your page. (The orange lines below are my starting lines... intentionally stretchy and tall. Don't sweat it too much. Just relax and have fun with it. The real trick is in step two!)
Step two: Now look carefully for the top points of each line. What we are trying to do is to connect these lines together with more loose letter form shapes that descend down from one of your top points and MOST IMPORTANT curve into a U shape back up towards the next top point. It's this U shape that is the critical trick that makes fire look like fire! (Check out the light blue lines here to help visualize what I'm talking about.)
Step three: Add color and you're done! Fire can be lots of different colors to create neat effects. Of course you're safe with red, orange, yellow...but don't forget blue to really ramp up the heat. If you really want to push the fantasy, try out green and purple! Most of the time though you want the color at the core or bottom of the flame to be lighter and brighter than the tips.
Bonus! Want to make a fireball? Use all the same rules but perch your wispy starting lines on top of a ball shape!