Create your own shadow art

It’s amazing what you can create with just a shadow and your imagination!

Before you have a go yourself, you might like to check out the work of these two fantastic artists who use shadows in surprising ways:

Kumi Yamashita

Kumi Yamashita's 0 to 9


Kumi Yamashita is a Japanese artist who’s famous for creating detailed shadows, usually depicting people, from everyday objects. See more of her work here.


Vincent Bal

Vincent Bal illustration


Bal is a Belgian artist and filmmaker, who creates comical sketches featuring the shadows of every day objects. You can see examples from his Shadowology collection here.


Have a go at making your own shadow art

All you will need is a piece of paper, a pencil and some everyday objects. Depending on how brightly the sun is shining you may also need a lamp or torch to create a more intense shadow.

Start by choosing a single object and placing it between the light source and the paper. What shadow does it cast? How does the shadow change as you rotate or move the object?

Shadow art depicting a flying super hero


Spend some time exploring the shadows that you can make. Do the shapes remind you of anything else or spark your imagination?

The final step is to add a few marks to the paper that transform the shadow into a work of art. Perhaps you’d like to take a photo to record your work, before moving or changing the shadow to make something else?

Why not also have a go at creating shadows from increasingly unusual shapes or by combining different objects?


Shadow art depicting a bunny, made from a vase of flowers


Have fun with a shadow art game

Have you ever played the scribble game, where one person makes a mark on a sheet of paper and the other player has to turn that doodle into a picture? You could try to do the same with shadows.

One person sets up a shadow and the other must use their creativity to turn it into a picture. Want to make it really tricky, why not add a time limit?


Let us know how you get on

We had so much fun creating our own pieces of shadow art and would love to see how you get on too. Please send your photos to and perhaps we could share your creations on this page too?