Shadowboxes have long been used to display beautiful objects, and crafters and artists have begun to see their value when creating art. Depth is a dimension normally created in paintings or seen in sculptures, but creating a shadow box for art emphasizes the depth of a piece in reality. It is not just envisioned by the artist and shown to the viewer, and it is fully incorporated as an important part of the piece.
There are several different ways to add depth to art, and beginning with a box is one of the simpler ways to do it. The artist chooses the size of the box, and they then add pieces into it. If they wish, they may paint a background, or they might glue cloth to the back to create texture. Many times the walls will be painted or textured in the same manner as the back, but they can also be a neutral color that adds nothing more than a border to the piece.
The items to be placed inside may already be manufactured, or the artist might make them specifically for the project. Some items will be against the backdrop, and others may be placed toward the top or front of the box. Arranging items this way will give even more depth to the project, and it helps viewers to imagine the distance between the objects. Perspective can be enhanced by using this technique, and it has the effect of helping create an entire story from just a few small pieces.
The majority of shadowboxes have a glass plate on the front of them, but the artist might choose to fill the entire box with a clear sealant such as polyurethane so the piece can be stood on its side. This seals the pieces in place, and there is be little worry they might fall out once the project is complete.