Adding Chiaroscuro to our Sketching


This Sunday 21 March we celebrate the spring equinox! The short dark days are over - Nox and Dies are on equal footing. This perfect balance of light and darkness is a great inspiration for artists to focus on how we can use chiaroscuro to enhance our work. ('Chiaro' and 'scuro' are the Italian words for bright and dark.) For our sketching challenge this Sunday, let's make work that explores this range of extremes!

For our meet up this Sunday, we will use everyday objects like eggs or fruit, a vase or a plain (non-patterned) cup or mug, to create images that go from darkest black to merely 'suggested'. The challenge for those of us who love our lines, is to find points where we make no lines at all but describe the object by what we leave out. Keep it simple if you're new to chiaroscuro, and try positioning your subject under a lamp to really accentuate those contrasts.

If you are more proficient or looking for a greater challenge, try a statue or a face (that could be a doll or sculpture in your home), using masterworks you might find online for inspiration. Here's a drawing of W.B. Yates (a man who might appreciate the astronomical inspiration here) by John Singer Sargent as an example. If you have never tried chiaroscuro, have a look on youtube for demonstration videos for chiaroscuro drawings of eggs and pears and so on. Feel free to share links to your favourite demo videos with the rest of us!

If you are new to Dublin Sketchers - we normally get together on a Sunday afternoon somewhere around Dublin to sketch from 2-4pm, and meet at 4pm for a drink and to check out each other's work. We’re doing things a bit differently at the moment...

On Sunday 21 March at 4pm we'll meet on Zoom to show each other our work over a drink. You'll need the meeting ID and password to join. If you are on the Dublin Sketchers What'sApp group, you'll find the info there. If not, email before noon on Sunday to ask for the details. There'll be a waiting room to join the Zoom, so wait a few minutes to join.

Keep sketching!