Activity: Draw Your Neighborhood Afternoon

  • Grades: All Ages
  • Subjects: Art Activities

Take a close look at Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod Afternoon. Hopper often painted common buildings with an emphasis on geometry. This painting depicts a house and surrounding structures from the back in bright sunlight. Hopper loved to record the play of light on structures and landscapes. Follow along with this art activity to depict your own neighborhood in his style!

A large, sprawling house throwing shadows onto the grassy lawn
Edward Hopper, Cape Cod Afternoon, 1936, Carnegie Museum of Art

Discuss with These Questions:

  • What shapes can you find in this artwork? What shapes can you find on the buildings? What shapes can you find on the grass?
  • Pay close attention to the shapes that shadows reveal.
  • Talk together about what you noticed. What shapes did you notice? The same shapes?

Get Creative: Draw Your Neighborhood Afternoon

Investigate the buildings around your home through the perspective of Edward Hopper.

Grab a pencil, two pieces of paper, and coloring materials (i.e. colored pencils, crayons, markers, pens, whatever you have available).

  1. Find a window with a view of a neighboring building. What shapes do you see?
  2. Make a sketch of the building you can see from your window using only shapes.
  3. With your pencil, add shadows to your structure. Look closely–even on a gray day you’ll find interesting contrasts between light and dark.
  4. If you have colored pencils, crayons, or markers, consider adding color to the picture. Hopper was very purposeful when using color. Which colors do you see in the shadows? Which colors are in the light?
  5. You can extend your sketch by using paint. Edward Hopper always started with sketches before putting paint to canvas.
  6. Try the same exploration at a different time of day or in different weather conditions and notice how the same view changes!