Most people probably wouldn’t think of an apple core or a pair of scissors as a springboard for art. These are exactly the sort of everyday items though that Belgium artist and filmmaker Vincent Bal draws upon for his creative and fun drawings. To be more specific, it’s not the objects themselves that Bal uses in his drawings, but the shadows cast by the objects. It’s an art form that Bal has dubbed “Shadowology.”
A pair of reading glasses create an inquisitive man, a cheese grater creates a cat, a glass creates a ufo beam – just about any object you can think of can work. In an interview with Vanity Teen, Bal said that he stumbled upon the idea purely out of an accident.
“On a spring morning, I was working on a film script when suddenly, I noticed how the shadow of my teacup looked like an elephant. I drew some eyes on the shadow animal, gave it legs, and took a picture. When I shared the image on social media, my friends all thought it was funny, so I thought: ‘let me try to make a hundred of these shadow images.’ That was more than five years ago, and I haven’t stopped since.”
While Bal uses the sun to cast the shadows of his particular objects of choice, he also uses artificial light, and both have their creative advantages.
“The sun gives fantastic-looking, crisp shadows. I love it. But because the sun moves, you must draw really quickly. After five minutes, the shadow has already moved, so there is practically no time to sketch first.
Those first designs are a bit simpler, but at the same time, they have a fresh spontaneity. When summer was over, and more and more clouds started ruining the sunlight, I started looking for artificial light sources, and now I practically always use a little LED lamp.”
The artist has had a love of drawing since childhood and was a big fan of comics. “Coming from Belgium, the love for comic strips came easily. Our country is the birthplace of Tintin, Gaston Lagaffe, Spirou, and many other comic strip heroes.”
Simply walking around the city provides inspiration for Bal and there’s really no limit to the variety of objects he can draw upon for his doodles. A garlic clove, a soft drink lid … anything is fair game.
You can see more of Bal’s work on his Instagram and even purchase prints, postcards, and the coolest 2022 calendar around, of his highly creative illustrations on Etsy.
Images via Vincent Bal