Exploring Shadows through art

A few days ago I was sitting on the sofa with my oldest son trying to think of something to do. I was kind of staring off into nowhere when I noticed the beautiful shadows dancing through the windows. An idea was born- Shadow Art! I gathered jewel toned paper along with our chalk pastels and we set them out for a beautiful art exploration!


How gorgeous and inspiring are those shadows?!? The shadows on the purple paper look like a photography bokeh effect, while the slats from the blinds on the yellow paper were sharp and made for an interesting contrast against those soft circles. Cannon started by just trying to capture those lines, but it was tough because as the wind blew, the shadows moved. It was really quite beautiful chasing the shadows around our paper with chalk! What if you want to explore other lighting ideas for the kid’s room? In case you have not found your favorite design or theme, then perhaps these Glen Allen Doors and windows can offer some inspiration.

This was a wonderful way to produce process art, my favorite kind of art for preschoolers! We weren’t trying to make anything in particular, we were just capturing the beauty that nature had already created for us! (Need some more process art ideas for preschooler? Check out our Ocean Monoprints or Painting with Sandals!)

This was also a great way to explore chalk pastels. We used the pointed edge for those sharp lines that were created by the shadows from the blinds, but we rubbed the broad edge of the chalk to give us a a much lighter effect for bokeh shadows (yes, I just made that term up) 😉

Exploring shadows through art I cannot wait to offer this activity again! We investigated so many things, like how light interacts with solid objects and creates shadows, or how the wind blows and changes the position of the shadows from the leaves. Each time we do this activity it will be different. Different shadows to explore and different times of day to see those shadows. What would you add to this lesson? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Exploring shadows through art

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