Inside Oxbow

Time Based Drawing with Light and Shadow


Choose at least 3 areas of light and shadows in your space with which you will work. Try to find visually different examples. Some shadows could be changing constantly due to moving objects outside. Other windows may be letting in fully open areas of light if there is nothing outside the window. How do you spend time in these spaces? Is your shadow shown as well? Or reflections from glasses or sparkly clothing?

For each, you will need a drawing surface (newspaper, index cards, printer paper, drawing paper, wrapping paper, napkins, etc) and a drawing utensil (pen, pencil, crayon, ink, paint, marker, tape, other paper, lipstick, eyeshadow, rocks, whatever makes a mark or fills in space etc). Attach your paper to the wall/floor where the light is of particular interest. Trace the outline of the light or the shadows in that space. Leave your paper in place and return to it in shortly timed increments to trace the new image created by the sun’s passage. Continue for as long as you would like, with a minimum of a few hours or until there is a lot of varied information captured. If you wish to continue into the night, consider street light placement, car headlights, the moon, etc.

Some things to consider:
1. Will you produce only line drawings, or consider how to fill in space on your drawings?
2. Will media remain consistent between locations, or be altered in ways that relate to the space?
3. How might the same location look during the morning? During the night? Could you leave the paper in place for 24 hours?
4. Set a timer on your phone, or opt to sit with your chosen site and observe it more closely (maybe doing other work, or reading a book, simultaneously)
5. If you absolutely do not have any drawing materials on hand, you can always make another stop motion animation using Stop Motion Studio. You can also make a stop motion tracking your drawing's progress, anyway.
6. If the weather is stormy/foggy, you may need to create you own source of light (lamp, phone, ceiling lights, TV, laptop, etc) and consider how you will manipulate it.

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