Chiaroscuro (light-dark)) is an oil painting technique, developed during the Renaissance, that uses strong tonal contrasts between light and dark to model three-dimensional forms, often to dramatic effect.
As an artist I am drawn to contrast. To portray a full rendition of life, I must understand, visualize, and utilize the full complement – both light and dark, as well as everything in between. For me, this goes beyond seeing value and moves to expressing the joy and the despair and everything in between that is inherent within life.
Many individuals express the belief that REAL artworks must always be expressions of beauty. I strongly disagree with that limitation in defining art and I would suggest that art must always express TRUTH. So a painting that poignantly captures grief or loss is every bit as meaningful as its cousin artwork that speaks about love. But you might wonder “who will want those dark works, who will hang them, or buy them?” Just peruse any art history textbook or museum catalog and you will see battles commemorated, scourges documented, death memorialized and much more.
Portray life – all of it – do it the best you can, with as much honesty and truth possible. When you get good enough at that, the rest will take care of itself.