Chiaroscuro (ke-ära-skooro) describes the technique of using strong contrasts between light and dark in painting, drawing, graphic arts, printmaking and cinema. The term originated during the Renaissance and was most notably used by Da Vinci and Rembrandt.

Chiaroscuro can be achieved through a variety of means, including the use of light and dark colors, the use of different values of a single color (light purple and dark purple, for example), or the use of different textures (rough and smooth).

The technique of chiaroscuro allows for a greater range of tonal values and creates a sense of depth in a painting. It is often used to create an illusion of light coming from a specific source, such as a window or a candle.