What’s hiding in the shadows?


Searching for the invisible creatures that hide in the shadows is a fun art project for kids and grown-ups.  You simply need a piece of paper, a pencil and an object with an interesting shadow.  But most of all, this detective work requires your keen imagination!


The first key to finding worthy invisible creatures is to choose an object that offers a shadow with intricate shapes, angles and curves.  For example, I like to use plants.

Place your object on top of a sheet of paper in a location where the object’s shadow is cast.  Trace the shadow with a pencil.


When the tracing is done,  let your imagination loose!  Study the traced lines carefully until the invisible creatures start to pop out.


Whenever you capture any invisible creature, draw in its features with a pencil so that it will not escape from you.  Perhaps you may want to add eyes, whiskers, clothing or nostrils.


Once you have exhausted your Sherlock Holmes’ talent, it is time to have fun by adding colors to all those funny creatures.


You may or may not see the entire drawing as one object.  I suggest that you go along with whatever materializes before you!  The image above was finished as a large collection of fun creatures.  In its making, my daughter was kept busy for quite some time by a seemingly endless number of characters that would peek out from different corners of the shadow outlines.


This image, on the other hand, is an example of how the whole shadow was captured as a single object, namely a clown’s face, with various protruding parts in his hair.


This art project is very different from making your own drawings.  The traced lines create such organic shapes that the hidden creatures are often quite unique and unexpected.  Because the characters materialize before your eyes, you don’t have to stare at a blank sheet of paper while wondering what to draw!

If you would like to extend the fun, creating stories that include your shadow characters would definitely add another interesting dimension to this activity.

To share your shadow art, please visit Muumade’s Gallery.

2 responses

    • Thank you very much for your enthusiastic feedback! I hope that you will find some fun creatures when you try this activity.

Comments are closed.