Recording an Artist Video with Android Cellphone

Many artists are experimenting with how to record videos of themselves creating art, using their Android cellphone. Here are instructions on how to do this. This how-do is for the very basics of how to record the video using a cellphone. We’ll have separate how-tos on using webcams, on editing, how to post a premiere video, how to stream video live, and so on.

For this example, you are recording the video wholly off-line (not live). This means you can re-do the video as many times as you want until you have a result you’re happy with. Only then do you post that video for people to view.

Step 1: Setting Up the Area

People who watch this video will want to be able to see what you are doing. There are two main formats people tend to use. One, used by Libia Goncalves with her how-to videos, involves the cellphone on a tripod, looking “over the artist shoulder”.

Similarly, Lisa uses this for her BVAA workshop videos:

In comparison, there is the “across the room” layout, which shows the entire artist plus their easel with their artwork. This is the layout Laura Cenedella uses:

All of these were done with cellphones. It’s just a cellphone on a tripod. Different layout options are useful for different reasons. A close-up focuses just on the artwork. A “Bob Ross” style artist view lets the artist discuss ideas more clearly with the audience.

You’ll note that all three are oriented HORIZONTALLY. Always orient your video horizontally to be best suited to all viewing modes – TVs, computer monitors, and cell phones.

Here’s the cellphone-specific tripod Lisa is using:

It is incredibly easy to use and adjust. You just stick the cellphone into the top grippy arms and it’s set. It can telescope and angle. I use this for my computer webcam, too, so I can shoot videos of me painting at my desk.

Play with the lighting on your scene. Add extra lights to make it visible, if you need to. Do tests to see if the viewer can see the artwork clearly.

Bob Evans says: “Good lighting is important, doesn’t need to be anything fancy, some DIY clip on lights will work well, especially if bounced of a piece of white foam core board.”

Step 2: Making the Recording

On your Android phone, it’s easy to record a video. Just click on your normal camera icon to open up your camera. Here is me pointing my Samsung Galaxy S7 at my watercolor tray.

See how there is the big white “take a picture” button at the right? Below that is a red dot. That red dot is your START button to record a video. Try it. Just click that red dot and record a short video of anything at all.

That’s all it takes to record a video. Open your camera app. Hit the red button. Press again to stop the video.

Bob Evans says: “For iPhone it’s basically the same, tap on ‘camera’ swipe to select video and push the red button, push again to stop.”

Practice a few times. Record short videos. You can delete them. See how it works.

Once you get the hang of making a short video, try making a video of you doing something art-related. You don’t need a tripod. You can just wedge your cellphone on a shelf or duct tape it or rubber band it to something. See how it works. Experiment. You can delete the videos. It doesn’t matter.

Step 3: Posting A Video

OK you’ve practiced, and experimented, and you’ve ended up with a 2-minute video of you painting a cloud. We would love to see your video! The more we all share with each other, the more we learn new techniques.

Here are a few ideas for posting your video.

YouTube: This is enormously popular and doesn’t require a logon to watch. Create an account at The upload button will be at the top right of the screen and looks like a video camera. YouTube is all about videos – that is what they do. Just click that upload button, give your video a title, and let us know when it’s live.

Facebook: Facebook does require a Facebook account to watch these videos, but the traffic on Facebook is phenomenal. Even if you post on YouTube, it’s good to also post your video on Facebook. The built-in sharing and publicity for videos here is fairly phenomenal. Even if you hate Facebook personally, consider creating a fan page here solely for use of promoting videos. To post a video on Facebook, just do your normal post typing, and click the ‘video’ button to attach a video to your post.

BVAA: If you have no interest of having yourself anywhere on line, let us know. We can post your videos to our BVAA pages. That way you don’t have to be online at all. We’ll get it live for you.

Step 4: Ask for Feedback!

We are all learning and experimenting here. We’re all trying different lighting angles, different camera angles, different layouts, and more. Ask members for suggestions. Watch other members’ videos and see what they’re trying.

The more we all help each other out, the more we all thrive!

Here are a few links to BVAA members’ cellphone videos, to see how these work:

Laura O. Cenedella:

Libia Goncalves:

Let us know if you are doing videos with a cellphone, so we can share your links! We’ll have additional articles which go into more advanced topics once you get the hang of simply making and posting a video.

For example, once you have a video, here is how to load it onto YouTube as a special Premiere Video Event, to get it more viewers.

You should also load it onto Facebook, to reach that audience:

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