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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My Introduction to The Rembrandt Technique

My first attempt at indirect painting.

Most people have never heard of it, let only thought it would be a technique.. at least, that's what I thought when I was introduced to "indirect painting". Indirect painting is the technique that Rembrandt is know for, which sadly is a dying art form today.

It's hard to explain the technique exactly, but basically, I painted the first layer as a black and white image. The next step was to paint a layer of the richest orange colour that you can see in the lion photo over the whole painting. This was brought back by painting only white in areas that had any highlight. This was repeated a few times.. so in essence, once the foundation of the painting was done in the black and white, it bounced between bright layers, to white, and so forth, until the final piece was achieved.

In the photo above you can see that the white area had covered up a richer colour... and the coloured layer that I was in the process of doing, would be covered up again with white. This creates a depth that is hard to achieve if painting in a direct manner, unless you are a master of the brush!

Although, this is an extremely time consuming way to paint..I think that anyone who can handle a brush, with a little practice, could come away with a painting that they are proud to show.

Quick lil Story... My parents have a stall at a local farmer's market in Australia.. And a certain artist named Ken Harris (who use to have his own show on TV when I was a child) frequently gets his fresh produce from that market. My parents became friends with him, and as proud parents would do, were quick to say that their daughter can paint too.

So one day they took the lion painting to the markets to show him. He was very impressed, and kindly offered to frame it for free. How kind is that?! He has all the professional framing equipment and did a wonderful job.

It's special to know that a man who I use to watch paint on television as a child thought my painting was good enough to be framed by himself.

The End.


  1. Hi there! I totally get the technique and love the concept. I see how you could learn a great deal by doing this.

  2. I tried to leave a "critique" comment on your website contact form, but it wouldn't accept the phone number. :)

  3. Oh, Lori, THANKS!! so much for telling me about the glitch in my website!

    If you happened to copy the message, you can email me at:

    Thanks a Mil!

  4. The lion blows me away! What a sweet story. He must be a nice man.