If your lightning bolts look like zigzags, you've been drawing them wrong

You've probably been drawing lightning wrong.
You've probably been drawing lightning wrong. Photo credit: Newshub.

Researchers have found artists have been drawing lightning bolts wrong for years.

A study of 100 paintings of lightning bolts compared to photos of real lightning found that artists painted lightning with fewer branches than what was in reality.

A team of researchers said this could be because artists were influenced by Greek sculptures of Jupiter's non-branching zigzag bolts.

Now thanks to photography, lightning bolts are being drawn with correct branches.

Gábor Horváth, the head of the Environmental Optics Laboratory at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, told Live Science artists should study a number of photos of real lightning to memorise the morphological characteristics.

The study came about when a student looked at the first usable photo of lightning by William Nicholson Jennings and questioned if artists' perception of lightning changed after the photo was published.

Researchers then analysed 100 paintings created between 1500 and 2015 compared with 400 photos of real lightning, revealing there was a big improvement.

According to Live Science the research found lightning bolts that were photographed had 51 branches, whereas painted ones had between two and four branches.

The study concluded that there had been a real improvement since the early 2000s.