Although I am not a fan of glitter, there is one glittery thing that I do like…FIREWORKS! 

For those of you that get a chance to see fireworks, here are some photo tips from Valerie Hoffman.

Every Wednesday evening my friend, Linda Nickell at, hosts a Happiness Hour where different photographers and other creatives give a 45 minute presentation sharing about different topics.  I was fortunate to meet Valerie Hoffman over one of the Zoom calls and happened to notice that she had some photography tips on her blog for taking pictures of fireworks.  All the photographs of real fireworks here are hers and you can read about how to take these amazing photos:

Since we can’t have a neighborhood 4th of July parade and the city has cancelled fireworks in our town, we decided to draw some instead.

Fireworks on Black Paper


  • Black construction paper or black card stock (the card stock is darker)
  • Oil pastels

Step 1:  Choose 6 colors.

I wanted to make a group of 3 fireworks because odd numbers often make a more pleasing composition.  I chose a blue and a light blue, a yellow and a white, and a red and dark pink to go together.

Step 2:  Draw a vertical dash line and a burst of white.

Draw a very light, vertical line about 3-4 inches from the side of the page.  Start to make curved lines from a center point.

Step 3:  Add more fireworks.

Make the fireworks at differing heights.  They can overlap a little, but try not to make them right in a row.  Use the darker color first.  Add a few dots at the end of each burst.

Step 4:  Add white to each one.

Add very light strokes of white oil pastel and small dots and dashes at the ends.  Also, use the white to create a very bright center.

Step 5:  Overlap the lighter color.

Come back with the lighter color and add more curved lines.  Add a few dashes and dots too.

Sidewalk Chalk Fireworks

We also decorated our driveway for neighbors who happen to pass by.


  • Clean driveway
  • Bright colored sidewalk chalk

The idea is the same for the driveway as the black paper.

Choose your colors.

Draw your dashed vertical line with white.

Create a dark burst with your color.

Add some highlights with white chalk or lighter chalk.

Make an odd number of fireworks for an interesting composition.

Write “Happy 4th of July,” if you would like.

Subscribe for more ideas!

Posted by:Karen Riley

4 replies on “Fireworks – Photography, Drawing, and Chalking

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