Posts Tagged ‘Rembrandt’

Rembrandt Art Projects for Kids

Thursday, August 25th, 2016


This post contains affiliate links. I was given access to the class to blog about it, which I was very glad to do.

We are on the second lesson of Mixing with the Masters, and this week we are doing some beautiful Rembrandt art projects. Rembrandt is my favorite painter. I’ve used his artwork to teach my children Bible stories, since he painted so many biblical scenes:

Charcoal & Gesso Portrait


The first art project is a charcoal and gesso portrait of Rembrandt. This artwork is better for older students, since the shading on the face is crazy. Your kids need to be prepared for the first layer to look unfinished. This is a three-day art project.

Before you start, print out the sketch (template) of Rembrandt that Alisha (the art instructor) provides. I also printed the black and white portrait and the gray scale. I enjoyed Alisha’s teaching about the gray scale, and my children noticed different shades and tried to match the gray scale shades to what they were painting with gesso.


Coloring on the back of the template with a charcoal pencil will enable you to transfer the sketch to the paper without your children having to draw the original. You just use a mechanical pencil without lead to trace the sketch onto the watercolor paper.

Let the first layer of gesso dry, and the next day you can darken or lighten your drawing in different places. Alisha gives instructions on how to do this in the demonstration video for this project.


The gesso portraits came out way better than I thought they would! I was expecting them to look like a Picasso, based on how crazy they looked on the first day when we shaded the faces. It was almost as if someone splatted Rembrandt with a chocolate pie, except in black and white.

The most fun part of this project was painting the gesso on top of the charcoal and having the shades mix while you paint. We had never used gesso before!

Ink Pen Sketching


All you need for this ink pen sketching is a pen and paper. We used Alisha’s template for the shape of the dog so that we could focus on the cross-hatching technique that Rembrandt used on his etchings. The puppies came out cute.

The Mill: Mixed Media


We started this mixed media project with a black canvas. (I prepared the canvas by giving it two coats of black paint before we began the project.) I also bought four different scrapbooking papers that had cool patterns in brown. We used that for the cliff and windmill, using the template that Alisha provides in her class.

Alisha’s mill looked a lot more like the original painting by Rembrandt, with a light tan sky and dark brown earth. She talked about the use of chiaroscuro, which is a technique that uses light and dark for effect. We just reversed the effect by painting a dark sky blue and having the mill be a lighter tan.


If you would like to take this class, go get it here: Mixing with the Masters. We are really enjoying these art projects!


Famous Art to Teach Bible Stories

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014


Have you ever thought of using famous art to teach Bible stories to your kids?

I especially love Rembrandt’s paintings of Biblical scenes, which help to bring those Bible stories to life. Make sure that your kids understand that these are not photos but interpretations of what a scene might have looked like when it happened in Bible times. (Also, keep in mind that any art book that you buy or get from the library will probably have nudity in it as well, so just pick the scenes you want to discuss and show those pictures to your kids.)

Rembrant’s painting “Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph” is one of my favorite scenes. In his old age, Jacob is about to die. He decides to bless the sons of Joseph as if they were his own sons. Jacob lived a very difficult life, since his sons tried to murder Joseph and then sold him into slavery in Egypt. They lied to their father, letting their father believe that Joseph had been killed by wild animals.

When Joseph was finally placed into a position of power, he eventually revealed his identity to his brothers, who told their father Jacob that his son Joseph was still alive. Jacob and all his family moved to Egypt to escape from the famine that was taking place. Now Jacob had the opportunity to see the sons of Joseph.

He crossed his arms and blessed the younger more than the older. This caused Joseph to be disturbed, but Jacob told him he knew what he was doing. Both of his grandsons would be blessed, but the younger would be greater than the older. This was ironic because Jacob is the same person who stole his brother’s blessing because God told his mother that her younger son would be blessed.

Notice the rich red blanket in the picture, probably a gift from his powerful son, Joseph, who is pictured with a turban because he had been living in Egypt. The lighting of the picture is beautiful, with the light coming from behind Jacob, illuminating his grandsons. You can ask your children to point out these details from the scene, causing them to interact not only with the Bible story, but with a famous work of art.