Who Wants to Draw ‘n Sketch Like Rembrandt?

by Jollyon Hooley
(Ft Hudson)

Rembrandt Self Portrait

Rembrandt Self Portrait

You’d like to? Well roll up those sleeves and take notes and take a few hours off every day. Yeah, I did say every day? You want to be a real pro or not?


So what do we have to study first? I’d say get illustrations of all Rembrandts sketches and drawings—all his drawings done in pencil, pen and quill and also charcoal.

You can get many Rembrandt drawings from Google images BUT many times people mistaken other top artists for Rembrandt so please check. If you can afford it, buy a book on this famous artists’ drawings.

Once you have a pile of his drawings, see if you can place a date on them—from earliest to latest. Why? Because you will get a feel on how his art developed from a young man to an old man.

There were many subtle changes in his lines (pen and ink) studies, and some true masterpieces he did with crayons!
He painted most of his self-portraits in his chiaroscuro style (which is Italian for light-dark in art, in the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold). (From Wikipedia).

If you want to sketch like Rembrandt, get a proper quill pen with a brown Indian ink and start practicing. It is not easy to use a quill as it can be a tad blotchy and become a horrible mess if you dip the quill in the ink too far. If you are a bit shy of going this route, get a commercial pen to use with inks.

Make a fast start by using your very sharp 2B pencil. Note the direction of the pencil lines he did where he emphasized the form with line (drawing a curved line around the form giving a 3D effect).

Take note of “cross-hatching” with the quill and fill he used was diluted Indian ink. He was also teaching art and painting to many well-known artists; he did printmaking and etching among other things.

Look up his biography on Wikipedia. It is fascinating!

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