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What is chiaroscuro?

Chiaroscuro is an advanced lighting technique initially used in classical painting. Through the contrast of light with its shadows, penumbras and dark areas of the image, the volumes that form the scene are shown – or hidden – with greater or lesser intensity, depending on their interest or prominence.

All photos in this page are photographs we’ve shoot using chiaroscuro technique (see full gallery)


We are EL CLAROSCURO (The Chiaroscuro), an audiovisual video and digital film producer (including drones), filmmakers, photographers with a photography studio. Our name “EL CLAROSCURO” refers precisely to this technique. Which we use in most of our jobs, and it is our hallmark. These are examples of artistic portraits that we have done in our studio and outdoors using the chiaroscuro technique.

What is chiaroscuro?

Much more than giving volume to objects

It is a technique that, although it began in classical painting to also provide the third dimension to the works of the time, is also currently applied in visual arts such as drawing, photography, cinema, etc. Chiaroscuro should not be confused with “shading”, since chiaroscuro is much more than giving volume to objects. In reality, chiaroscuro is a technique that has a great visual narrative component; storytelling.


What is chiaroscuro?

In essence, is a technique that uses light and darkness to create attention. Showing the areas of most interest and leaving the less significant areas of the represented image in the background. All this in order to provide three-dimensionality to the image and make the observer focus their attention on the details that the artist decides.

ecommerce photograph we've done using chiaroscuro technique
ecommerce photograph we’ve done using chiaroscuro technique (see full gallery)

Masters of chiaroscuro

Although there could be a few standard bearers, without a doubt the main reference of chiaroscuro, with the permission of Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt, is Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, better known as Caravaggio. Italian painter who was a pioneer and champion in the use of this technique in his works.

We highlight “The Vocation of Saint Matthew”, without a doubt it is a masterpiece of visual narrative and the dramatic use of light. It is, to a large extent, the greatest influence of chiaroscuro on current cinematography.

One of our main references is the Valencian painter José Benlliure Gil, who makes spectacular use of light and darkness. We highlight his work “The Vision of the Colosseum”.


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