Introduction: Shadow Drawing

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Have you ever made a shadow puppet with your hands and a flashlight? If not, I highly recommend trying!

When you shine a light, such as a flashlight, and put something opaque or solid in front of the light, such as your hands, you create a shadow!

A shadow is the absence of light and may be different depending on where the light source is and where the opaque object is in relation. If your hands are close to the light source your shadow will appear bigger, if it is further away from the light source, your shadow will appear smaller. With a flashlight, play with shadow in a dark area and experiment with how light works, because today we are going to use shadows to draw at home!

For our shadow drawing we will be using items found at home or outside to create shadows on paper by arranging our items carefully to create the shadows we want before drawing.


  • Paper or something to draw on.
  • Light source- this doesn’t have to be a flashlight; you can use the sun from outside or even a lamp nearby.
  • Drawing supplies, such as crayons, pencils, or markers

Step 1: Find Some Fun Objects

Look around the house or outside to find some objects you think will make a fun shadow! You can start with 1 or do many!

Tip: the more curves or holes in your item the more complex your shadow will be!

Step 2: Arrange Your Objects and Play With the Light Source

Find a spot, indoors or outdoors, and arrange your objects in a way that they will make a shadow. Remember, depending on where your light is, your shadows could be big or small, short or long! Try moving your objects or the light source to make the shadows you want to make.

Step 3: Draw!

Pick your favorite color and draw your shadows! I decided to draw the outline around my shadows, but you can make it your own! Take a look at how some shadows are lighter and some are could you draw that?

Step 4: (optional): Complete Your Drawing Without the Shadows!

When you are done, take your items off your paper, do you think you could add anything else to your drawing? Or do you see something your drawing could become from your shadow drawings? Feel free to be creative and make it silly, I know I did!

Remember you can do shadow drawings with any light source and imagination!