Artist lights up night sky by using a drone to draw elaborate shapes

The DRONA lisa! Artist lights up the night sky by using a drone to draw elaborate shapes like Pikachu and the Batman symbol in only 15 MINUTES

  • Symbols including a giant cube, Pokemon characters and the Broadway show Hamilton’s logo were drawn   
  • Russell Klimas used his drone to draw to create light streaks in the night sky in Colorado, Canada
  • Mr Klimas was inspired to see what he could create by using Google Earth and the Litchi waypoints app

An artist has created elaborate symbols with his drone to draw them in under fifteen minutes using the expanse of the Colorado sky as his canvas.

Giant light paintings including Pokemon characters Pikachu and Ellie, a perfect outline of a giant cube, the famous Batman symbol and the Broadway show Hamilton’s logo lit up the night sky. 

Artist and photographer Russell Klimas uses a Lumecube, a powerful LED light, which he attaches to his drone to create bright, white streaks in the sky depicting the images.

He also uses Google Earth and a navigation app called Litchi to create detailed flight plans for making waypoints  to make the intricate paintings at the clearest point in the sky. 

Time lapse footage also shows him making the symbols in the sky in real time.  

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    An artist has created elaborate symbols in the night sky using a drone to draw them in under fifteen minutes. Giant light paintings including Pokemon character Pikachu, here, a giant cube, the Batman symbol and the Broadway show Hamilton’s logo lit up the night sky above Colorado

    Artist Russell Klimas uses a Lumecube attached to his drone to create the light streaks in the sky. He also uses Google Earth and the Litchi waypoints app to create detailed flight plans for his drone to execute the paintings at the clearest point in the sky. Here, the Hamilton symbol

    ‘A few months ago I was inspired to try and see what shapes I could create while attaching a Lumecube to my drone,’ he said. 

    ‘I’d seen people like Phil Fisher do shapes in the sky manually and was extremely impressed but didn’t have the time to learn how to fly shapes manually.’

    ‘So instead I scoured the net on drone apps that could make things like this possible, and this was my discovery.’

    He bought the Littchi program, an app which allows you to fly your drone and take photos, for $10 (£8) from the app store, available on Android or Apple. 


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    The famous batman symbol. Artist Russell Klimas bought the Littchi program for $10 (£8) from the app store, available on Android or Apple

    A large cube drawn with his drone in the sky. He bought the Littchi program for $10 (£8) from the app store, available on Android or Apple. To capture the entire sky, Mr Klimas sets up a digital camera with a very wide lens (12mm) so he can use the entire area in the sky

    To capture the entire sky, Mr Klimas sets up a digital camera with a very wide lens (12mm) so he can use the entire area in the sky. 

    He uses a very slow shutter speed to create the light painting effect.

    Mr Klimas says he prefers manually putting in the waypoints one at a time instead of drawing lines for them because it allows him to draw the image in much more detail.

    ‘A shape can consist of a few way points or hundreds to thousands,’ he said.

    ‘My current record when writing this article is 633 for Santa and his reindeer but you can definitely have much more.’

    Santa and his reindeers. The artist said that a shape can consist of a few or ‘hundreds of thousands’. Mr Klimas says he prefers manually putting in the waypoints one at a time instead of drawing lines for them to get more detail. Here, he used 633, his record


    Gotta catch ’em all! Pokemon characters Eevie, left, and Pikachu, right. The giant light paintings including Pokemon character Pikachu, a giant cube, the Batman symbol and the Broadway show Hamilton’s logo lit up the night sky above Colorado

    Mr Klimas says that Google Earth allows him to get ‘really detailed’ on where he wants to fly, and allows him to put in image overlays. This more or less allows you to trace an image you put into Google Earth with your drone if you have enough patience.

    He keeps a close eye on what section of the figure the drone is flying in as he needs to cover the lens for any parts he does not want in the final image.

    This is because the LumeCube is switched on during the entire flight.

    ‘If you are creating a shape that has any gaps in it like Pikachu then you’ll need to know either when to cover and uncover your lens or you can change your Point of Interest of your drone ,’ he wrote in a blog post.

    ‘I attach my light to the back and the light will turn so your camera can’t see it.’

    HOW CAN YOU DRAW IN THE NIGHT SKY USING A DRONE? 

    Artist Russell Klimas uses a Lumecube attached to his drone to create the light streaks in the sky.  

    He bought the Littchi program, an app which allows you to fly your drone and take photos, for $10 (£8) from the app store, available on Android or Apple. 

    He also uses Google Earth and the Litchi waypoints app to create detailed flight plans for his drone to execute the paintings at the clearest point in the sky. 

    To capture the entire sky, Mr Klimas sets up a digital camera with a very wide lens (12mm) so he can use the entire area in the sky. 

    He uses a very slow shutter speed to create the light painting effect.

    Mr Klimas says he prefers manually putting in the waypoints one at a time instead of drawing lines for them because it allows him to draw the image in much more detail.

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