Sample Exercise – Out of the Shadows

Image: “Nocturne”, shadow painting, oil on canvas by Suk Shuglie

First find interesting shadows outdoors, and sketch their outlines on separate pieces of paper. Consider making your sketches at a time of day when sunlight is most intense overhead or when the sun casts long, exaggerated shadows as it nears the horizon. You are making these shadow outlines to develop them later into drawing, painting, or collage compositions. You can record many overlapping shadows on one piece of paper or use individual shadows as your focus, but you should have a total of at least twenty separate pages of shadow sketches before you go on to the next stage of this exercise. Remember that at this stage, you are just gathering shadow samples and don’t need to compose or elaborate on any of these sketches. Keep in mind that your shadow sketches may also include rubbings from the textures of the ground below the shadow you are tracing. Some of these shadow sketches may stand on their own, while others can be developed in subsequent exercises.





  1. Excellent blog. good luck.

  2. This looks interesting. I need to get out of my own way.

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