Mother’s Day: From Video to Still to Art

This Mother’s Day called for something special. I wanted to go beyond giving the usual gift card, flowers, jewelry, or brunch this time. I wanted to give her something that would remind her every day what it meant to me to have her as my mother. Something that would make Mom a little misty-eyed.

Then I remembered that in 2001, I had my camera rolling when my grandparents decided to share a dance with each other in their living room. It was a sweet and genuine moment, something that reminds my family to this day what a charming couple they were, even though they have since passed on.

I decided to transform this video into a piece of art that my mom could add to her gallery of vintage photos of my grandparents. Black and white stipple would be perfect!

Here’s how I did it.

Capturing the Image

First I saved a still from the video I recorded back in 2001 of my grandparents dancing. They had locked eyes for a split second before bursting into laughter.

Next I used Photoshop to blur the background of the image, giving it the illusion of depth.

Using Photoshop and Lightroom, I converted the image to black and white and added noise to give it the effect of pointilism. This would help guide me when I began the sketch. I printed out the image onto copying paper and drew guide lines at the center.


Getting the Outline

I wanted to be sure that I captured the personalities of my grandparents perfectly, so I traced a basic outline of the photo rather than drawing it freehand. To do this, I taped the printout to a brightly lit window so that I could trace over it with the bristol board.


I taped the bristol board over the printout, carefully lining up the crosshairs so that the image would be centered.



I traced over the major outlines of the image with pencil, and shaded in the darker areas so that they would act as guides when I drew over them in later.


The finished outline:


Now for the shading!

My drawing tools of choice:

  • Bristol board, 100 lbs weight, 11×14 size
  • black Micron pen #005, 0.20 mm

It is important to use acid-free paper and archival ink so that the ink doesn’t fade and the paper doesn’t yellow over time. These do the trick.


Following the basic outline, I used the printouts as guides for shading.




The finished piece



I spent about a month and a half completing the drawing. I finished it yesterday, just in time to give it to my mom today for Mother’s Day today. She loved it, and indeed got a little misty eyed. This will be a Mother’s Day to remember. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!



One thought on “Mother’s Day: From Video to Still to Art

Add yours

  1. As I recieved this at work from my niece I once again become over come with emotion watching the two people that gave me life, enojoying the life they had created together. Fred & Doris will forever be remenbered by this video and the recreation of this incredible still shot. Kristen…you did an incredible job on the photo. Your thoughtfulness creating this gift warms my heart knowing that mom and dad are looking down and saying to one another…we did a good job. I’m sure your mom has clued you in on my plans for the still shot, lets just say I hope it comes out as good as your rendering.

    Thank you for the wonderful gift.


    Uncle Chip


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: