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Daily Sketch: Winter Shadows

When light hits an object, it casts a dark shape on the surface or surfaces on the opposite side of the object. The dark shape is called a shadow. Shadows change depending on how bright the light is, whether it is near or far away from the object, and the angle at which it strikes the object. 

In the winter, the sun stays low in the sky, so we will always see long shadows if it’s a sunny day. In the summer, when the sun is directly overhead, you can hardly see any shadows at all! Winter is a wonderful time to look for shadows outside.

Take a walk on a sunny day and look for shadows. What do you notice? Can you tell what the object casting the shadow is just by looking at the shape of its shadow? Sometimes two objects blend together to form one shadow!

Pick an object and its shadow to draw. Look closely. What happens to the shadow as it moves farther away from its object? Is it the exact same shape as its object? You can draw the object together with its shadow or just its shadow. You can draw it with lines, different values (black, gray, white), or in color.

Photos by Matthew Mahler