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View Full Version : Portrait of Johannes Wtenbogaert by Rembrandt - reproduction


IronPawn
09-28-2014, 11:59 AM
Just recently started making some reproductions of old masters and quickly realized how much someone can learn from it. I will try to post some images as painting progresses...

IronPawn
09-28-2014, 12:04 PM
Beginning of the process: blocking darks and lights as well as getting anatomy somewhat correct. Darks are transparent and lights are done in 'impasto' method. Used end of the brush as a knife for beard and some facial features. Now, I need to let it dry.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Sep-2014/1893483-Johannes_1st_layer.jpg

klopperjohnny
10-02-2014, 03:12 PM
Good start! :thumbsup:

IronPawn
10-03-2014, 02:33 PM
Good start! :thumbsup:

Thanks Johnny!

IronPawn
10-03-2014, 02:43 PM
Finished with 2nd sitting... need a day or two before I can see what is done here with some fresh eyes :-)

Basically, just unified painting with thin film of medium and touch of black, whipping out the excess and then reinforced lights. Shadow part of the face needs to be darker but with every subsequent layer it will, so keeping light 'key' above then it should comparing to final layer. Heavy brush strokes and applied thinned medium after first layer dried produced interesting texture around his eyes (note to self, I guess...).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2014/1893483-Johannes_2nd_layer.jpg

Dana Design
10-04-2014, 02:38 PM
This is looking great! Are you applying medium over your paint?

IronPawn
10-04-2014, 10:26 PM
This is looking great! Are you applying medium over your paint?

Thank you Dana!

Yes, actually I apply linseed oil mixed with a touch of black over dry layer. It does create unity with blending part of it and certainly texture where oil gets inbetween 'heavy' impasto stokes. By lightly cleaning it with a piece of cloth from a surface where I do not want to lose light ('peaks' of dry paint), some nice textures appeared. Just trying to simulate working sequence of Rembrandt that I found from different sources and really looking forward to find some more answers... even though I'm aware that Rembrandt constantly experimented and there is no strict procedure in his work. Probably will add some flour into oil paint as well to see reaction of it. French would call it 'roux' and use it primarily in cooking :-)

Dana Design
10-05-2014, 11:46 AM
Certainly sounds interesting and am familiar with roux. Have you used the linseed oil over paint previously? And what about the effect of it sitting in the "valleys" of your impasto work?

IronPawn
10-06-2014, 11:39 AM
Have you used the linseed oil over paint previously? And what about the effect of it sitting in the "valleys" of your impasto work?

As for linseed oil, no, not before underpainting dried. Underpainting is done with turp only, at least that's what I did.

As for texture, this dark film gets trapped into the 'valley's' and thus saves time doing it in several layers. On a photo it's hard to see but it creates some type of illusion, at least that's what I think...

Ciotti
10-07-2014, 09:51 AM
Nice Sepia tone, has the classical look.

IronPawn
10-07-2014, 02:46 PM
Nice Sepia tone, has the classical look.

Thank you! Still at early stages...

IronPawn
10-09-2014, 05:29 PM
Third sitting. Nothing spectacular, fixing things here and there. Paying attention to values and anatomy as much as I can. Patience is a virtue. About 1 hour of work...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Oct-2014/1893483-Johannes.jpg

Nathalie Chavieve
10-16-2014, 08:55 AM
I you are doing a very nice work here ! Interesting approach and technique. Looking forward to updates !

IronPawn
10-17-2014, 06:19 AM
I you are doing a very nice work here ! Interesting approach and technique. Looking forward to updates !

Thank you Nathalie, very kind of you! Unfortunately, lately we had some humid conditions and painting was drying very slowly. Hopefully, in a few days I'll be able to continue.

Thanks again!

AllisonR
10-18-2014, 12:15 PM
A great study. Interesting your comments about glazing with a bit of black and rubbing off in the highlight areas. Flour in the oil paint!? are you going to do this on this painting, or on a test swatch? I think this is one of those paintings that is so complex you you paint it 10 times and still learn something.

IronPawn
10-18-2014, 06:11 PM
A great study. Interesting your comments about glazing with a bit of black and rubbing off in the highlight areas. Flour in the oil paint!? are you going to do this on this painting, or on a test swatch? I think this is one of those paintings that is so complex you you paint it 10 times and still learn something.

Hi Allison, yes very complex... just realized few more things regarding this painting but need to test it first. Yes, I tried flour and it actually dries really slowly... strange, because I would think it creates a concrete of some kind. Since it stays soft for a while, I guess, you could sculpt it later on with a knife or something like that. Rembrandt used end of his brushes from what I read.

Still on hold with this one... He was glazing reds into darks (blacks) but then he would need to fix his greys in a face which would mean there is countless number of glazes (quite possible). Need to think a little bit more :) before I continue...

IronPawn
10-26-2014, 12:10 PM
Fixing few things that didn't really work earlier and started slowly introducing some color. Grays on the edge of light and shadow. Leave it to dry and start adding more color. About 2 hours of work for this layer.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2014/1893483-Rembrandt.jpg

DASchooler
10-31-2014, 03:25 PM
Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

IronPawn
11-01-2014, 06:17 AM
Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you DASchooler, very kind of you! Over the weekend, I'll work on it some more and will continue posting progress...

IronPawn
11-01-2014, 01:51 PM
First color. Applying local color and trying to leave some underpainting as much as possible. Once it dries, it will come out even more (I mean, underlayer). This time sequence was warm over cold that Rembrandt is known for... still need a lot to learn. About 4 hours of work.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2014/1893483-Johannes.jpg

IronPawn
11-09-2014, 10:46 AM
Going sort of in a circle... :-) Cold over warm sequence is this time around (mostly greens, some blues). Very complex painting with or without a plan. Just on his forehead there is clearly visible several layers, in original that is, what I mean. And constant shifts from cold to warm to cold to warm to .... Great exercise.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2014/1893483-Johannes_2nd_color.jpg

IronPawn
11-15-2014, 01:22 PM
Fun part is starting... more color with every sitting while fixing what needs to be fixed :) . Blocking in local color.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2014/1893483-Johannes_4th_color.jpg

IronPawn
11-22-2014, 02:29 PM
More color and more painting... there is always something to be fixed with fresh eyes. Need to unify the painting, looks quite harsh like this... we'll see. Few hours of work, on and off.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Nov-2014/1893483-Johannes_5th_color.jpg

IronPawn
12-31-2014, 11:08 AM
Had to re-do some things from last time. Didn't take a photo each time because I like to work in small and short sequences (about an hour or so each time) and there would be no difference to see...

Happy New Year!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2014/1893483-Johannes_6th_color.jpg

IronPawn
01-01-2015, 09:19 AM
[QUOTE=IronPawn]Had to re-do some things from last time. Didn't take a photo each time because I like to work in small and short sequences (about an hour or so each time) and there would be no difference to see...

Happy New Year!


Adding some cool colors and shadow on his face... again going into circle :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2015/1893483-Johannes_7th_color.jpg

Nathalie Chavieve
01-09-2015, 02:16 PM
You know, I like very much your painting with first color posted on 11-01-2014. I think you were just there - in the right direction. It looked very well, in my opinion, just was needed some more gentle glazes and scumbles, some more work on the background and dress. In the following steps, I think, you spoiled the painting with more heavy colors and going in circles, as you said. Yes, Rembrandt used a heavy color layers in his paintings, but he also used glazes over it.

IronPawn
01-09-2015, 05:04 PM
You know, I like very much your painting with first color posted on 11-01-2014. I think you were just there - in the right direction. It looked very well, in my opinion, just was needed some more gentle glazes and scumbles, some more work on the background and dress. In the following steps, I think, you spoiled the painting with more heavy colors and going in circles, as you said. Yes, Rembrandt used a heavy color layers in his paintings, but he also used glazes over it.

Hello Nathalie, thanks for your time and input! Not sure if you noticed but last 4 images (even before that, can't believe that I'm stuck on this since August!) were result of some experiments I did (light in the background, warm-cold, light-dark etc). It can be noticed very easily that I was changing it on purpose. As I'm trying to make a copy, also I'm trying to learn something. Not necessarily focused directly on color that I see in a copy but the process to get there... and I'm not bothered by the time constraints or possible strays from the path of original. In my other thread "Old man in military costume" I applied more directly something that I learned from "Johannes" and is going much more smooth when it comes to 'likeness' to original.

Yes, Rembrandt used glazes I agree, as we all know that, but in what order? Surely not randomly. Maybe to him only it appears that way but even that very unlikely. What was bellow glazes, certainly some "chalky" or "pasty" mixture as they all are prior to glaze? He divided, from what I can see, sections and changed or covered temperatures to mix them. What part are playing grey's in the painting? If you isolate most of the colors they were all muddy and grey, rarely vibrant. How is it done? By premixing them to be that way or having grey or certain hue bellow the glaze to make them 'muddy'? Where did he leave out imprimatura and why - in bigger context? Where he decided mood of the painting (warm or cold) and how (something that we know in advance)? Where he scratched the painting and why (obviously he knew this in advance why he did it)? Where the paint was tick and why? How did he get this particular underpainting? How did he get to this color/hue? Lots of questions. Now, I would like to learn a fraction of that :) Very subtle and delicate process. Unfortunately, there is no 'guide on Rembrandt' but trial and error approach - that was the purpose of this.

Still working on this one and sometime soon I'll post the progress... Thanks again!

Nathalie Chavieve
01-10-2015, 10:20 AM
Ok, I see. Sorry , I didn't wanted to offend you. I just liked how it looks like ...

I just finished to read a book written by D.I.Kiplik ( professor of Repin university in St.Petersburg ). He writes about Rembrandt painting technique : " in the beginning of his career Rembrandt worked on white grounds with golden-brown underpainting. Lately he used grey grounds, and forms are worked with dark brown transparent color which gives a warmth and depth to his paintings . Over this preparation he used colors as a paste " alla prima" or in high tones, and then finishing with glazes.." ( here is a very big collection of Rembrandt's paintings in Hermitage ).

He also mentioned a pupil of Rembrandt - Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten and the book he wrote about painting technique. In this book he ( van Hoogstraten ) describes some of the technique of Rembrandt and the colors he used in his works. May be it would be interesting for you to read this book ?

Here is the link to Amazon, but the book I found there is in French and quite expensive:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-haute-%C3%A9cole-lart-peinture/dp/2600010688/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_1

Hope it helps :)

maryinasia
01-10-2015, 10:40 AM
beautiful

IronPawn
01-10-2015, 11:20 AM
beautiful
Thank you Mary, really appreciate it... as you can see, still working on it :)

IronPawn
01-10-2015, 11:55 AM
Ok, I see. Sorry , I didn't wanted to offend you. I just liked how it looks like ...

I just finished to read a book written by D.I.Kiplik ( professor of Repin university in St.Petersburg ). He writes about Rembrandt painting technique : " in the beginning of his career Rembrandt worked on white grounds with golden-brown underpainting. Lately he used grey grounds, and forms are worked with dark brown transparent color which gives a warmth and depth to his paintings . Over this preparation he used colors as a paste " alla prima" or in high tones, and then finishing with glazes.." ( here is a very big collection of Rembrandt's paintings in Hermitage ).

He also mentioned a pupil of Rembrandt - Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten and the book he wrote about painting technique. In this book he ( van Hoogstraten ) describes some of the technique of Rembrandt and the colors he used in his works. May be it would be interesting for you to read this book ?

Here is the link to Amazon, but the book I found there is in French and quite expensive:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-haute-%C3%A9cole-lart-peinture/dp/2600010688/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_1

Hope it helps :)

Hello Nathalie, no offence taken... not sure why would you think that way. Those are the questions I'm just asking myself. Procedure is somewhat known (layering) by dissecting with microscopes and other staff... some will say that he used red bole as ground, that he used transparent layers over and over again over heavy impasto and inbetween white or greys/essentially etc... and we can go like this forever (in theory). Regardless, one must try it to at least get a clue where to start when it comes to understanding something. I don't want to copy for sake of copying, that's all.

Currently I'm in New York and went few times to see some things at the Met. Few clues, but not much :), getting distracted by all other staff.

As for the book, I'll look into it. Thanks! Procedure described in a quote is about what I tried to do in different variations. Just found English version, called "Visible world".... much easier for me to read then French version :)

Thanks again!

IronPawn
02-07-2015, 10:51 AM
Had this one on hold for some time... continued adding more color and some details here and there. Another several layers to go.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Feb-2015/1893483-Johannes_8th_color.jpg

AllisonR
02-08-2015, 04:58 PM
Unbelievable the amount of layers and changes you have made, back and forth. It is looking lovely - even though you have worked on it so much it still looks fresh and good, not stiff.

IronPawn
02-08-2015, 06:20 PM
Unbelievable the amount of layers and changes you have made, back and forth. It is looking lovely - even though you have worked on it so much it still looks fresh and good, not stiff.

Thanks again Allison, you are too kind! Yes, so many changes, sometimes I had to use knife to correct it (!) but slowly it's coming together... certain patterns are repeating itself so it's little bit easier now to understand where it can go.

Thanks!

maryinasia
02-08-2015, 06:42 PM
beautiful

IronPawn
02-09-2015, 05:46 AM
beautiful

Thank you Mary!

IronPawn
02-21-2015, 10:47 AM
Little bit more drawing and more color... getting very close to the end. Maybe a glaze or two, we'll see.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Feb-2015/1893483-Johannes_9th_color.jpg

Dana Design
02-21-2015, 04:36 PM
Excellent work! This is beautiful.

IronPawn
02-22-2015, 07:03 AM
Excellent work! This is beautiful.

Thank you Dana, really appreciate it!

IronPawn
04-12-2015, 09:51 AM
Quick touch up on Johannes... less then 30 minutes, so no miracles here :) Getting closer to finish line.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Apr-2015/1893483-Johannes_10th_color.jpg

IronPawn
05-09-2015, 10:29 AM
In mean time (from the last post), I've been working on Johannes probably 2 or 3 times but the difference between them was so small that I didn't bother to photograph. Either fixing drawing or preparing a surface for another layer was the goal. Could I go more with this? Probably. But, for now I will leave it as it is. Practice finished. Thank you for sticking around :) Bye!

P.S. Sorry for a 'grainy' photo but must add this - background in more blue, his garment more black/burnt umber, etc... and skin color and it's shadows in real life are more vibrant due to optical mixing of many layers: grays, greens, blues, yellows, purples, ochre's, umbers etc (in a photo it looks quite 'milky')

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2015/1893483-Johannes_11th_color.jpg

maryinasia
05-09-2015, 10:37 AM
beautiful

IronPawn
05-09-2015, 01:38 PM
beautiful

Thank you Mary, very kind of you!

Dana Design
05-09-2015, 02:59 PM
Excellent painting! And masterful work on the beard and moustache.

IronPawn
05-10-2015, 05:53 AM
Excellent painting! And masterful work on the beard and moustache.

Thank you Dana, so kind of you!