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      Virtual Art Activities

      Shadow drawing in nature

      On a bright sunny day, you can discover many silhouette images of the world in the form of shadows. See how many different shadows you can track down outside. Trees, rocks, perched animals and even standing people can all make interesting shadows. In this activity, we will find the most interesting plant shadows and draw them! Shadow drawing is a fun outdoor art project that also allows you to explore composition through the positive and negative shapes in your drawing. Shadows are always on the move: experiment with going out at different times of day to observe how shadows emerge and change!

      • Paper or sketchbook
      • Pencil
      • Hard drawing surface (like a drawing board, cardboard, hardcover book)
      • Bright, sunny day

      Step 1: Gather your supplies outside in a sunny spot where there are lots of plant shadows visible. Look for strong shadow patterns on the ground or even against a building. Once you start looking for shadows, you’ll be amazed at how you’ll notice them everywhere. This is a great exercise for learning to see like an artist!

      Step 2: Prepare what you choose to put in your drawing and where this imagery is to be placed. This is called a composition. Put your drawing surface and a piece of paper beneath the shadow and turn the paper until you have a composition you like.

      Step 3: Begin your shadow drawing. Quickly trace the outline of the shadow with a pencil, before it moves or changes. Your tracing will show both positive and negative shapes. The shadow is the positive shape and the space around it is the negative shape.

      Step 4: Design and adorn your shadow drawing however you please! You can color or paint it, collage or add patterns in the positive and negative spaces. The possibilities are endless!

      Explore more of our Drop-in Art Activity video tutorials on our YouTube channel.

      Show Us!

      We want to see your shadow drawings. Share your photos online using #PEMpod or #peabodyessex