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Speed Art/Speed Painting vs Time-Lapse

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Every once in a while I record myself drawing/painting. I edit the videos and speed up the frame rate. I was using "Speed Art" in my title since that is what most people were doing when I searched it on popular sites like YouTube. However, I have this faint memory from my 2nd grade art class that "Speed Art" or in other words "Speed Painting" meant you had a set time or limited time to draw/paint your art work. Usually this is done quickly and with not a lot of detail.

This got me wondering if my "sped up" video would fall under "Speed Art" so I did a little bit more research and have decided Time-Lapse is more appropriate.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Time-Lapse : of, relating to, or constituting a motion picture made so that when projected a slow action (such as the opening of a flower bud) appears to be speeded up. That is exactly what my videos are so titling them as "Speed Art" seems inaccurate.

Looks like "Speed Art" has become the keyword of choice for describing videos of painting/drawing sped up. I read on various forums that people use "Speed Art" so you get more views. It is unfortunate because when you are looking up Speed Art in the traditional sense instead of seeing Speed Art/Speed Painting you are actually getting a lot of Time-lapse videos and there are a lot of them because they are so popular. This makes finding the true Speed Art/Speed Painting videos a little bit harder. I think it is good to be aware of that some terms or keywords we think are right are actually redefined by its users and audience whoever they may be. With this in mind I have re-titled my videos as Time-Lapse like this one.

I found this nice journal on DeviantArt explaining it in way more detail about this topic here.

I also asked this question on DeviantArt, a while back, here:

References: “time-lapse,” The Dictionary, Accessed 1/27/2020.


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