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Rembrandt and his School

Workshop: rembrandt-2019

Date: Apr 22, 2019 - Apr 26, 2019


Location: ARA Toronto

Instructor: Juan Martinez


Save your seat now for this workshop

$200.00 deposit is requested.

Please note: SPACE IS LIMITED. Registrations are not guaranteed until a deposit has been paid. If you require more information call 416-766-1280.

Tickets are not available as this event has passed.

Most painters will, at some point, seek to study the work of Rembrandt. After all, since Rembrandt and his school were, more or less, responsible for rewriting the art and craft of oil painting in the 17th century and beyond, it is beneficial today for any artist to do a master copy from that period.

Rembrandt was a complete painter, fluidly employing methods ranging from classic indirect, to direct, and even to what can be likened to sculpting with paint. His approach was efficient yet endlessly expressive, without compromise of execution, nor of any principles of quality, craftsmanship, and draftsmanship.

Although recreating the specific techniques used by Rembrandt is not really possible, neither is it the goal of this workshop. Copying Rembrandt gives painters a deeper understanding of oil painting and its possibilities and further, and how it might impact their own work in the future.

We will have a number of high-quality reproductions available to choose from of Rembrandt head studies or portraits. Although the Rembrandt technique is not exactly duplicatable, there are definitely principles to follow. Students will be guided through a methodology to help them bring home their own Rembrandt copy.

Taught by Visiting Instructor Juan Carlos Martínez, this is a special opportunity to learn with this award-winning artist trained in the atelier tradition. Juan was a senior Instructor at ARA and taught with us for over 15 years. In addition to working on commissions, Juan has acquired an international reputation as an art educator. He has won several awards in the Art Renewal Center’s (ARC) Salon competition, as well as from the Portrait Society of America and the Portrait Society of Canada. Juan authored a popular six-part instructional series in International Artist Magazine entitled “The Academy Way” and has appeared on Bravo! TV’s “Star Portraits” program. You can view a sample of his work on our Faculty page or on his website.


Full workshop price is $650, and a $200 deposit is required to save your easel. The balance will be due on the first day of the workshop.

About ARA Workshops

Each participant gets lots of one-on-one attention from our superb instructors. ARA instructors teach year round so, unlike many artists who offer summer/holiday workshops our instructors are professional teachers as well as successful award-winning artists Whether you are an award winning experienced artist or have never painted before, our instructors will tailor to your skill level.

If you have any questions or are having trouble with online registration, please contact us.

Workshop hours

Most workshops are scheduled five days per week, Monday to Friday, with weekends free (unless otherwise noted). The hours are usually 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but will occasionally go to 5:00 p.m.


If you are coming from out of town and need local accommodations, click here to see our list of inexpensive places to stay near the Academy.

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Where to buy art supplies?

Click here for a list of local art supply stores

Materials List


11″ x 14″ or 12″ x 16″ acrylic gesso or oil primed panel. Panels should be used since they are more portable and have a smoother surface (which is also preferable for both detail and brushwork). Good quality prepared panels, such as Ampersand and RayMar (with Portrait Grade Claessens linen) are available at nearby art stores (i.e., close to the Academy): Aboveground Art Supplies or Articulations. Please ask at the stores as they have other fine choices, as well.

COLOURS (oil paint only):

  • Titanium White
  • Lead White, if available (Lead whites are sometimes Cremnitz white. Look for PW 1 on the label)
  • Yellow Ochre PALE (Winsor & Newton) or Mars Yellow Light (Williamsburg) — Pigment is PY 42, not PY 43
  • Raw Sienna
  • Cadmium Red (true Cadmium only, no hues, please) — Pigment: PR 108
  • Burnt Sienna (a natural pigment only: PBr 7, so not Winsor & Newton nor Rembrandt brands)
  • Burnt Umber
  • Raw Umber
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Viridian Green
  • Black (Ivory or Lamp or Mars)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Your choice of another natural earth red other than Burnt Sienna (i.e.,choose a PR 102 or PBr 7 pigment from the following list): Rosso Veneto, Pompeii Red, or Pozzuoli Red made by Williamsburg; Red Umber or Red Ochre, made by Old Holland; Pozzuoli Red, Ercolano Red, or Pompeii Red, made by Rublev


  • Have around 6 to 10 synthetic mongoose brushes ranging in sizes from 1-10 (filberts only)
  • More detailed finished work will require soft (synthetic or natural) round brushes; 3 or 4 small rounds (sizes #1 to #0) should do it
  • Also have 3 or 4 hog’s bristle brushes on hand, in sizes from 3⁄4″ to 1⁄4″ (filbert or square)

Note: This is the minimum!


  • A faster drying medium such as LiquinTM, available nearly everywhere, is ideal for this workshop
  • A small container of odourless mineral spirits (OMS); No turpentine or citreous please

Note: These will be provided for you if you cannot find the product or if you are travelling by air.


  • 2 small cups with lids for holding medium or mineral spirits, available at art stores everywhere
  • Palette knife — a narrow, long and flexible blade is best
  • Palette — paper palettes (preferably a gray-toned palette) are quick and convenient, but a prepared (i.e., sealed) wooden palette is ideal
  • For clean-up — a roll of paper towels, or shop towels, or a box of tissue, or clean rag(s)
  • Masking tape
  • 2 bulldog clips
  • Mahlstick (a 1/2″ diameter dowel, approx. 30″ long is fine)
  • Foam-core, cut to the height of your canvas and double its width (if your canvas is 16″ x 12″, the foam-core should be 16″ x 24″)

Note: Foam-core and other materials can be purchased locally. If you have any questions, please contact Juan directly at juan@juanmartinez.com.