The Rembrandt Project with Michael Britton

August 10, 2022

$290 for members


Wednesday – Friday,

August 10th – 12th, 2022    

10.00AM – 4.00PM 

Federation Academy 1310 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S1

Prerequisite: The Rembrandt Project is a master workshop. Participants should have, at a minimum, a competency in portrait drawing. 

Workshop Overview (3 Days):

The study of Rembrandt’s painting processes remain the gold standard for both academic and contemporary portrait painting.

This three-day workshop is of particular importance to painters seeking to break free of academic constraints to pursue a dynamic painterly expression and to acquire a sound understanding of oil paint’s materiality and impasto construction.

The locus of the workshop is Rembrandt’s painting process of tronies (informal character studies) which were painted directly without preparatory drawings or transferred cartoons.

The objective is to train participants in a painterly practice rather than the form-oriented ‘coloring-in’ of much academic painting.

The workshop’s presentation is multi-layered: participants will be oriented toward a global value/compositional mode of beginning a painting on a dynamic pictorial surface. The required canvas/panel is 11×14”. This is a √φ rectangle (square root of the golden ratio).

First Day: Ebauche 

The workshop begins with the basic components of pictorial construction, i.e, blocking-in and the èbauche utilizing a severely limited palette of four colors to establish a sound foundation for mixing flesh tones. Additionally, the workshop focuses on materiality and the abstract structural surface of painting. Rhealogy: Glazing theory and impasto structure will be thoroughly covered. Participants will be working with calcium carbonate and emulsions (egg/vinegar/oil).

To facilitate a time-conscious progression of the workshop participants will be working with black oil (linseed oil and litharge), a siccative that soundly speeds up the drying process and lead white. Black oil was commonly used in Rembrandt’s practice. The instructor will provide the lead white and black oil.

Second Day: Pentimento Pass 1 

The palette will be expanded to seven colors.

Working from General to Specific participants will be introduced to spotting broad color notes while establishing the initial abstract structural surface of thin and thickly applied passages.

The addition of egg yolk and calcium carbonate stabilizes the interiority of thickly applied oil paint while also hastening the drying process.

Color Theory will be presented to further participant’s understanding of value and color temperature (i.e., the juxtaposition of warm and cool hues) and the effects of simultaneous contrast.

The second day concludes with establishing the Figure/Ground relationship.

Third Day: Pentimento Pass 2 

The palette will be expanded to ten colors including smalt (blue pigment powder).

The day begins with glazing to further deepen and resolve the dark passages.

Colour note spotting will be more refined.

The light passages will be built up thickly vis-a-vis both brush and knife work utilizing paint thickened with calcium carbonate to simultaneously construct the abstract structural surface (patina) and articulate facial forms.

About the Instructor – Michael Britton

Michael is a graduate of the New York Academy of Art and was the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Academy of Art (1997-2004) and a former instructor of drawing at Walt Disney Studios. He is the author of several portrait drawing/painting videos. He teaches internationally including London, Paris, Singapore, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Manila.

Student Testimonials:

  • “I’ve been receiving your newsletters for a couple of years now and always learn something, but I still felt I needed to start right at the beginning again, being so out of practice… it is exactly what I’d hoped it would be: good solid explanation and demonstration of the skills and techniques, with progressive exercises to build them. I’m so pleased!”


  •  “I absolutely enjoyed the class. The instructor enlightened me and motivated me for my future painting possibilities! I can’t thank Mr. Michael Britton enough!!!”

Registration Details

Please go to to register online or call the office at 604-681-2744 to make your booking.

For More Information:

Register Here:

Suppy List

Please go to to download the supply list.

August 10, 2022
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Federation Academy
1310 Johnston St
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3S1

$290 for members

2 days