"Hereford Cow," gunpowder on wood, 9 x 12 inches.
'Hereford Cow,' gunpowder on wood, 9 x 12 inches. (Photo: Danny Shervin/Paint With Gunpowder)

It's amazing how something as destructive as fire can yield such beauty, yet that's exactly what artist Danny Shervin accomplishes every time he sets one of his exquisite gun powder paintings alight.

Born and raised at the foot of the Grand Teton mountains in Jackson, Wyoming, Shervin has no shortage of natural inspiration, which is why much of his work depicts the local wildlife of the area.

The process for creating such fiery work is much like setting up a domino line. Shervin explains that each gun powder painting "takes hours upon hours to get each and every detail set in place." Once all the meticulous setup is complete, the piece is ignited with a lighter and, well, you can see for yourself what happens in the video below:

Once the fire burns out, all that's left are stippling-like scars ingrained into the wood or paper canvas.

Of course, Shervin isn't the only artist to incorporate pyrotechnics into his work. French artist Steven Spazuk likes to set his canvases alight and sculpt the resulting ash into his desired image.

Continue below to see more videos of Shervin's gun powder paintings, more of which can be viewed on his website.

'Baby Owl,' gunpowder on wood, 6 x 8


'Magpie,' gunpowder on canvas, 12 x 16 inches


'Napping Mule Deer,' gunpowder on wood, 10 x 10 inches


'Looking Back,' gunpowder on canvas, 12 x 16


Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.