Artist Cleverly Harnesses the Shapes of Shadows to Create Quirky Characters

Shadow Art by Vincent Bal

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Belgian artist and filmmaker Vincent Bal uses unexpected techniques to complete his illustrations. Using an array of household objects, he casts distinct shadows over the paper. These shapes then become the inspiration and foundation for quirky drawings of cartoon characters.

Entitled Shadowology, this ongoing series began in 2016 when Bal was working on a film. He saw the shadow of his teacup and thought it resembled an elephant, so he used a pen to finish the illustration and loved the playful effect. Now, the artist has been expanding on the idea for six years, garnering nearly 900,000 followers on his popular Instagram account.

The possibilities are seemingly limitless for shadows, as Bal has utilized everything from glassware to jewelry to flowers and beyond. After he has chosen the desired item, it is up to his imagination to fill in the shadow with a unique character not yet seen before. Perusing his portfolio, you will find dancing ballerinas, fashionable ladies on rollerskates, angry-looking owls, sunny tourists, and more.

You can see more of Bal's work on Instagram and purchase signed prints of his illustrations on Etsy. Bal also has a published book of his illustrations, now available on Amazon.

Belgium-based artist Vincent Bal uses unexpected materials in his art.

Shadow Art by Vincent Bal

He harnesses shadows cast from a wide range of objects to complete illustrations on paper.

Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal

By holding the right object over his drawings, he casts quirky shadow shapes.

Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal

These shadows complete the characters.

Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal Shadow Art by Vincent Bal

Vincent Bal: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Etsy

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Vincent Bal.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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