I setup a scaled photo of the eyes of a Rembrandt self portrait next to my painting. Mainly to keep the scale of my self portrait the same as Rembrandt would, and to also try and emulate the painting style a bit. Originally I would have painted my face much smaller and after struggling with detail due to size on my last portrait painting I decided to look at the scale a master portrait painter used. It was definitely much easier to get correct detail in the eyes with this scale and I found that the new and very expensive paints I purchased worked really well in keeping the paint thick and full of brush strokes.
I love how a Rembrandt portrait is devoid of meaningless brushstrokes. When you look at his work its almost as if every stroke of his brush was absolutely intentional in all of its features; size, shape, color, value. It lots of places you can see the canvas showing through and even that is intentional, because the absence of paint in those areas works perfectly.
My new Old Holland paints worked beautifully. All of them have a great intensity of color and I’m finding the viscosity to work perfectly. The only issue I was having was with the Scheveningen Yellow Lemon and its lack of tenting strength. I was originally going to purchase Cadmium Lemon but the price was just way too much so I settled with the Scheveningen Yellow Lemon because it was almost the exact same color at much less the cost. Unfortunately it seems I will have to use twice as much of this color, which may make it more expensive than the Cadmium Lemon in the end.
Side note, I wonder if I should always paint with a picture of a masters painting next to mine from now on. Its almost like the master is in the room and looking over your shoulder, I felt as if I was focusing harder on doing my best possible with this painting.