Art Lesson: Chiaroscuro modeling - Light and Shadow. The term chiaroscuro refers to a strong juxtaposition of light and shade to enhance the dramatic aspects of a painting. Even the Italian definition, from chiaro "clear, light" and oscuro "obscure, dark" connote the unique treatment of light and dark parts in a work of art. This technique was pioneered and used to heightened effect by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt. Wyland uses the interplay of shading to establish the power and nobility of the king of the beasts. Identifying the light source is the single most important aspect of chiaroscuro painting. Once lines have been established, mid-tones are added. Keeping the light source in mind, paint strong shadows. Highlights that have a bit of color from the light source may be added. If the light source is cool, highlights may have blues and cool colors. If the source is warm, yellows, oranges or reds may be added.