Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chiaroscuro Kitten

"Chiaroscuro Kitten", Pastel, 10 x 10

Chiaroscuro. A cool word that's a little difficult to pronounce (if you're not Italian), that literally means chiaro clear, bright + oscuro obscure, dark or "bright-dark". Italian Renaissance painters and masters such as Rembrandt used the method of chiaroscuro for dramatic effect, even as modern day cinematographers have used extreme low key and high-contrast lighting in classic black and white films for drama.

For me, the image of this adorable, fuzzy kitten lying in the sun captured my heart, and also my attention enough for me to want to paint it. No high drama perhaps, but "chiaroscuro" all the same as the light and shadow are the drama makers in this subject.

I love how a classic art technique can be applied to any subject in any era, and grab the viewer's attention, just as it did mine! (Thanks to MEOW Cat Rescue for the photo reference)