Shady artist used shadows to create unique and interesting portraits

By Jack Williams


This talented artist has devised a unique way to sketch portraits from scratch – using shadows to create their major details.

London-based Guy Larsen moves a crumpled ball of paper around his workstation, sketching around the shadows that the ball then creates.

PIC BY GUY LARSEN / CATERS

Having moved the ball a number of times – allowing the shadow to form the inspiration for facial shapes, headwear, and so on – Guy then adds the minor details.

The 26-year-old does not shape the paper to fit with preconceived ideas – if a shadow falls, he will work with it.

Guy, who aims to work on a new and interesting project every day, said that the inspiration for these works came from the creativity exercises he would work on as an art student in school.

Guy said: “Faces are very recognisable by humans in lots of inanimate objects, so it made sense to try and draw odd portraits, that turned out quite grotesque and ‘Punch’-like.

“Once the face shape is there from the shadow, I fill in the rest to give it a bit more character.”

PIC BY GUY LARSEN / CATERS

Having posted a somewhat soothing video of himself creating these works on his social media channels, Guy hopes to make a series of his shadow portraits in the future.

The response, the artist said, has been surprising and positive.

Guy said: “There’s no formula for making something that you can guarantee people will enjoy watching.

“I’ve spent months on projects that don’t get seen by many, and apparently half an hour on something that people like.

“That’s how it goes sometimes.

PIC BY GUY LARSEN / CATERS

“What uploading a video every day has taught me is that until you get the idea out of your head and out there, there is really no way to tell what the response will be.

“The drawings seem obvious to me because that’s how I interpret them, but I like hearing what other people said they would draw with the same shape.”