Saturday Art Challenge


Sketching with Shadows

A couple of weeks ago I experimented with sketching using a shadow as a template. This was a happy accident after I was given a sprig of Japanese Acer to draw. It was a hot sunny day, the delicate acer leaves fluttered in my hand and created beautiful shadows on the pages of my journal.

For fun I got out a soft 4b pencil and started to fill in the shadows as best I could. Soon enough a delicate and beautiful sketch emerged. It didn’t matter if the shadow moved or trembled, I just sketched over new places and continued.

When I had drawn my pencil sketch I started to think how nice it would look in colour, so I moved the position of the cutting to create new shadows and started sketching patterns with pencil crayons too. As it looked so Japanese we decided it should be finished off with some washi tape to add to the effect.

Saturday Art Challenge Task: Your task is to have a go at creating shadows with natural finds. You could do this with a vase of flowers or cut grass and a desk lamp. Or if it is sunny enough where you are, sitting outdoors with a sprig of a plant, paper and pencil will work just fine. You might want to use masking tape to stick your paper to a board if you are outside to keep it stable. My page was nice and secure in a heavy note book.

Look out for more interesting shadows when you are outdoors, or for shadows cast through your home.

Happy Sketching!
Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,


Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge ( and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York ( for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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