Catch the shadow

This is an activity which asks you to look at shapes and patterns in nature and to spend a little bit of time with some plants, this could be inside or outside if that’s possible.

You will need a sunny day and try to give yourself half an hour or so of quiet time, to focus and watch what is going on.

Source of lines following the patterns of the shadow picture)

You will need

- Brown card

- Black and white pencil (and a pencil sharpener)

- Some tape 

(Source of white and black pencil, tape and white paper picture)
Step 1

Find some interesting shadows that are cast onto a flat surface.

A good idea would be to look for the patterns and shapes that leaves and branches cast.

This may take a little bit of time so have a really good look to find something that appeals to you.

Then, put your card on the ground and move it around to see how the different shadows look on it. When you are happy, tape down the card, or weight it with some stones.

An image for 'Step 1'
Step 2

Using your black pencil, start to draw around the edges of the shadows that you can see.

This can be a bit tricky as the breeze might move the plants, don’t worry and focus on the lines as they move.

This is not an accurate image just the idea of shadows.

An image for 'Step 2'
Step 3

Once you have drawn all the edges, have a little rest and look at the shapes that you have drawn.

As time passes the sun will move in the sky and with it the shadows will move across the page, so draw them again, noticing the repeat patterns and where they cross over.

An image for 'Step 3'
Step 4

As you add shapes, you will begin to get a really intricate drawing which gives the idea of movement and natural form.

Play with your pencil – and colour in the different shapes in different tones – really enjoy looking at shapes.

An image for 'Step 4'
Step 5

Turn your piece of card around - looking at how the shadows make new patterns over your drawing.

Using your white pencil start to describe this new layer of shadows. Enjoy creating a new pattern over the top

An image for 'Step 5'


(Source of white paper with coloured patterns on top picture)


Celebrate your shadow drawing, the variety of marks and different spaces that you have created and share it with us!