Rembrandt's Colors

Rembrandt's color style is yellow to red to brown to black, plus white. Yellow is Naples yellow, red is red oxide or maybe vemillion, brown is red oxide and black or raw/burnt umber, black is carbon black or burnt wood/bone black, white is lead white. A cool green can be made with Naples yellow and black. He was very basic.

Don Jusko had a copy of Rembrant's last self portrait setting next to the mirror, the light I had on was a yellow overhead in about the same position as Rembrand's light but much brighter. First I tried a kerosene lamp but it was not bright enough. I think he used charcoal to draw with. That let him shade in the dark areas and use the charcoal as black pigment.

draw portrait   2nd day portrait

I usually (lately) paint with the 3 transparent primaries, yellow, magenta and cyan. I could have painted this Rembrandt colored self portrait with the primary palette but I wanted to use black pigment like he did. It's been quite a trip. I'm using Liquin because of all thin the layers of different colors, I need them thin. Rembrandt painted thick and pre-mixed, for the pearls he painted I read that he mixed nine different whites. I'm no Rembrandt.

In the meantime I'm working toward the first 100% coverage. My shiny white hair is what I'm working on now. It's the last two of the four colors Rembrandt used.

Day 3, Work over a black and white grizzle, I'm using the Liquin and get three glazes of color over the grizzle per day. I've been getting the Naples yellow deep and red oxide down first. Next the black.

Day 4, I added the Liquin thinned black and another coat of Liquin thinned burnt Umber in the background. The face looks finished except for the ears. Ha, not finished. I turned on the fluorescents, which has a blue light, the hidden yellow light from the incandescent overhead showed up. I repainted the whole painting with the red oxide color and touched up the highlights with the yellow. Then I added a white border to my black shirt, It seems I'm going backward. It's the end of the day, I did a lot of black. Liquitex will dry the paint faster but thiner.

The hair needs to be darker-- I added a Naples yellow glaze and darkened the hair all over and really darkened it on the shadow side. Its all about where the forehead highlight is. Four colors is tricky, yellow is the light and it goes to red and brown, which goes to black shadows. I used a transparent burnt umber by Sennelier PBk9/PBr23/PO49 to go with my Rembrandt ivory black hue (bone black) PBk9/PB29. Yellow and black together is a cool dirty green, red and black make a brown, white can be mixed with any combination of colors.

I was given a great book on Rembrandt, the colors are very different than the image I have on the bottom, that image has too much red in it. I believe the book, the background was green, not brown. The image on the left shows my mouth too high. The right side is the mouth moved down a little, on the computer.

selfbrbkg  selfmovemouth

The left image shows the dirty green background with the too high mouth. It's much harder changing the real image, I whited the mouth area and will change it tomorrow, thanks to Liquin.

selfgrbkg  whitemouth

Rembrandt's 1st Portrait  Rembrandt's Last Portraid
Rembrandt's portraits, 1st at 23 years, last at 63 years.

This image is from the cover of the Rembrandt book, it's the one I'm going to go by.
They look like two different paintings. The cover has red in the hair and black in the hat.

The cover of the Rembrandt book by Jessica Hodge.

I see why they used a knife a lot, working canvas is a bear, soo much texture. It's much easier painting on a flat surface like wood or masonite. I painted this on a washed giclee canvas, I should have given it a gesso coating first to fill the canvas more.

  I changed the light source to a bluer bulb, that gave me a much brighter red, I could get rid of some  black. I might work on it some more.
I worked on it enough in the afternoon to use a new image.


NEXT PORTRAIT: Acrylic, 11"x15", 9-13-15.
This portrait has two different lights.
From the left is a warm light and from the right is a cool outside light coming in from the window.

Mirror Acrylic Self Portrait 11x15 #1007

NEXT Tom's House 10-02-15, nahiku9-23-15sixdays.htm

PREVIOUS Night Painting out my front door. nextdoornite.htm

Real Color Wheel Explained, colorwheel.htm

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