Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Technical Tuesday
Self Portrait
Rembrandt, 1658
Oil on Canvas
 Why do artists work in bold color and dramatic light? For one, it helps to tell a story and demands attention. It all started during the Renaissance when artists worked to embellish illuminated manuscripts and quickly found its way to figurative works of art, adding instant drama to the mural-esque works of art commissioned by the catholic church. 
Enough of the history though (that's for Mondays). Chiaroscuro refers to strong contrast between light and dark, usually affecting the entire composition of a work of art. Regardless of the date, chiaroscuro is a timeless quality that adds instant drama to whatever you create. Consider strategies for getting this effect in your work - a single light source in a dark room, candle light, a direct light source... These approaches and more can help you get that dramatic edge that your work may be lacking. So what are you waiting for? Try it out!

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