Chiaroscuro is a technique of drawing and painting that uses lights and darks (shadows) to define an object in three dimensional space, especially with high contrasting values. Usually this is in disregard of color. A good way to practice this is to limit your values to white, black and gray. For example, if I wanted to draw a face that looked lit up, I would want to create a very dark, almost black background, while leaving the face, or at least the highlighted areas, almost white. The shadow areas of my face might be as dark as the background, and this is to show that the face is coming out of the background, not just sitting next to or on top of it. Using this contrast in values will make the face really pop out of the page or canvas. This is a good technique for creating drama and mood. Some classic examples include The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus, and Old Woman and a Boy by Candlelight, by Matthias Stom. A good drawing example is Christ Healing the Sick by Rembrandt. If you want to see more current examples, check out comic artists and how they use black and white ink illustrations, such as Brian Bolland and Mike Mignola. These are just a few of many successful uses.