life drawing

Life Drawing Work Week 1 – In Good Form

This week’s work was on the human form and to research Chiaroscuro, the art technique involving high contrast shading between light and dark in relation to this.

I was somewhat familiar with chiaroscuro and had even imitated the the style in this photograph of my sister put into my Tonality post for last semester’s photography project:


The term Chiaroscuro is from the Italian words chiaro, meaning “light,” and scuro, meaning “dark”, and refers to the use of highly contrasting light and shade in a work of art to define the form of three-dimensional objects. Although the Ancient Greeks and Romans are thought to have used this technique it again came to prominence with painters of the Renaissance era such as Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

Detail from Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks
Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath 
An Old Man in Red by Rembrandt 
The Matchmaker by Gerrit van Honthorst 
The Elevation of the Cross by Paul Peter Rubens 

The chiaroscuro technique has also been applied to modern mediums like photography and cinema, and as Glenn O’Neill points out in this blog post, in the Godfather films.



Here is some of my art work studying form. These studies are taken from the Google Image search results for ‘dancer’ – I chose the poses that I found the most interesting but tried to keep the lighting in mind as well. I maybe should have made more of an effort to incorporate the chiaroscuro method, my work is rough and I got some of the proportions a bit wrong but mostly I think I did well enough.





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