This story is over 5 years old.


Sand Paintings Are the New Lava Lamps

Joey Shanks creates picturesque landscapes using just sand, air, water, and pure camera wizardry.
Images courtesy the artist

Beautiful landscape designs take the form of sand paintings in Sand Art Landscapes 4K, the latest video from visual artist and filmmaker Joey Shanks and PBS Digital Studios. After dazzling the eye with Ghostbusters photon beams and phosphorescent bubbles, this newest piece manipulates a camera to make the minuscule movement of sediment look like a wide-angle shot of a real landscape.

In the video’s description, Shanks goes into detail about the three frames used in this project and their influence on the visual effect of each picture. Sand trickles down the frame, floating to the bottom like plankton or seaweed. Shanks has created a unique combination of mediums in what is essentially a really sophisticated, sand-based lava lamp, or an hourglass, but with water.


Shanks explains that the frames are filled with liquid, sand, and small pockets of air, sandwiched between two air tight panes of glass. When the frame is rotated the air bubbles rise to the top, creating an air pocket between the sand and the water. The sand then begins to slowly trickle down through the air bubbles, floating down into the frame’s liquid center. Shanks can control the amount of air in the frame with a small blunt syringe needle, thus determining the speed and scale at which the sand moves.

Check out Sand Art Landscapes 4K below:

See more of Joey Shanks' work on his YouTube channel.


Watch These Intricate Illustrations Come to Life Using Sand and Light

[Exclusive Video] Creating Sand Castles With A Single Grain Of Sand

How to Blow a Really, Really Photogenic Bubble

How To Make An IRL Ghostbusters Photon Beam