Negative Space Shadow Drawing

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This week’s remote learning assignment utilized an object most of my students have at home: a bicycle! As the spring days are getting warmer and sunnier, this lesson also got them outside in the fresh air… at least a bit!

Using a flattened brown paper grocery bag as their drawing surface, students positioned a bicycle so that the shadow of the bike fell across the paper. They had to trace around the shadow, within and around the components of the bike, paying careful attention to how those sunny spots were separate from one another. These areas represent negative space. Back inside, they were given three options for adding some color and/or tone to the areas of negative space, which further helped to define the shape of the bike itself, — the positive space.

If students didn’t have a bike, or just wanted to trace a different subject, they were free to do this lesson by casting shadows and tracing house plants, branches, or any object that created interesting areas of positive and negative space!

We began our virtual class by watching this video that I made:

Negative Space Shadow Drawing

Students used this instruction packet to guide them in their work:

Negative Space Shadow Drawing Instructions

Feel Free to edit the packet to suit your remote learning needs, but if you adapt my materials, please credit me and when sharing pictures of the results.



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