Rembrandt was born in the small farming town of Leyden, Italy, but later moved to Amsterdam to work under the tutelage of Peter Lastman. Studying under a great mentor artist such as Lastman instilled into Rembrandt a growing passion for painting and a fascination for the thin-layer style, which was the typical method of color application in most of Europe during the 17th century. However, Rembrandt’s innovative nature would lead him to develop his own classical style of painting, using a particularly thick consistency of oil colors and applying several layers of paint to the canvas. This became Rembrandt’s signature, and it would set its mark upon the world of art. Learn more about
Painting like the Master
To learn how to paint like Rembrandt, one must pay meticulous attention to every detail, from the selection of earthy colors to the use of light and shadow. Over the years, the artist’s use of impasto in the light areas grew heavier and heavier, while the shadows became increasingly transparent. Rembrandt’s series of self-portraits, some of which are notated as the most influential paintings of his era, were created over decades of trial and error. A painting showing any small level of Rembrandt- like characteristics would be acknowledged as impressive artistic replication.
Painting Necessities and Substrates
To begin your training on how to paint like Rembrandt, you must purchase the proper paints and canvas. Make certain that the oil-based paints are of a thicker variety and not the thin-set that is still very popular. The substrate should be a gray-scaled version of canvas. You can easily find these supplies at any fine arts supply outlet.
Simple Steps to Follow for Portraiture:
- Sketch the portrait on the canvas
- Block in the transparent shadows with a thin-mix (the only time ‘thin’ is used)
- Lightly brush warm brown hues of oil paint upon the canvas
- Apply skin tone
- Mix black and white into cool gray for mid-tones, between light and shadow
- Working fast, build-up contrast between heavy opaque lights and thin transparent shadows
- Start blending when paint becomes tacky and hard to move
- Allow the canvas to dry thoroughly
- For the second sitting, glaze the entire surface of the canvas with black
- Carefully remove paint from light areas using only a piece of cloth
- Use heavy impasto in the light areas but retain some of the glaze, creating a three-dimensional look and appearance.
Author: Jessie Corbett
Jessie Corbett is a modern artist, an authority about Rembrandt