Tag Archives: Angel of the North

Painting of the Angel

Alan Reed

Angel Sunrise

In a previous blog post I described a recent painting commission where I was asked to do an oil Painting of the Angel of the North. As part of the project I decided to do a smaller study to try out some ideas with colours and cloud shapes.

This new Painting of the Angel can now be seen at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland. As you will see, it is quite different from the larger commission and different in style from all my other paintings. The wings are made up of 22 carat gold leaf. This can cause the painting to look quite different depending on the lighting conditions of the room, whether the room is in natural light or gentle artificial light.

Whilst doing this painting I’ve been asked several times how to paint a straight line. The answer is quite simple, I use a ruler. The find out how you can watch a short video.

On this particular Painting of the Angel I decided to add a solitary figure to provide a sense of scale and heightened drama to the scene.

Although it wasn’t deliberate on my part, these recent works of the Gateshead Angel have reminded me of the stunning painting of the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by north east painter John Martin which can be seen at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. If you are in Newcastle and you have some spare time, the Laing Art Gallery is well worth a visit.

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Painting of the Angel

Alan Reed

The Angel of the North in Progress

Earlier this year I received a request to do an oil Painting of the Angel of the North. Although I have painted several paintings of the Angel since it was first erected in April 1998 the client had very specific ideas about the size, colours and view point which were completely different from my other paintings of the Angel.

All my previous works of the Angel had been in watercolour so I was excited about tackling it in oils. I suggested to the client that the painting could have more visual impact with some gold leaf on the wings. Over the years I’ve painted a number of different subjects using gold leaf and the effects can be pretty amazing. A more recent example is the scene below of Buckingham Palace from Green Park.

Oil Painting by Alan Reed

Original Fine Art Painting of Buckingham Palace from Green Park painted in oils on Gold Leaf.

I made several trips to see the Angel to get fresh reference and to remind myself just how iconic the Angel has become.

I’m always observing interesting skies and whenever possible I’ll either paint them on the spot or photograph them. In the case of sunrises and sunsets, they are more challenging to paint on location because the colours change so quickly. I searched through my library of photos and found a suitable sky for inspiration.

Alan Reed

Sunset Sky

Producing a Painting of the Angel with gold leaf involved some experimentation with the base colour of the wings so that the gold leaf had maximum impact. I decided that using the same red as the sky would work best. It would provide the right visual connection between the sky and the Angel.

Adding gold leaf demands patience and care but it’s very satisfying when you see the finished result. It’s even more satisfying when the client sees the painting for the first time and loves it!

I’ve had the Painting of the Angel hanging in our kitchen for the last few days. It’s great to see the effects of gold leaf at various times of the day under different lighting conditions. It’s a painting which is quite different from anything else I’ve painted.

I’ve now published this painting of the Angel as a  limited edition giclee print, available on paper and also hand embellished with gold leaf.

A smaller oil painting of the Angel from a different angle is now complete and is available to view at our Studio and Gallery in Ponteland.

Alan Reed

Painting of the Angel

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Angel Christmas Card

Angel Christmas Card

Angel, Snow Sunset Christmas Card

Many years ago I did an Angel Christmas Card to help raise money for a local charity. Earlier this year I was approached by the charity The Cyrenians based in Newcastle who work with vulnerable, disadvantaged and homeless people. Sian Thomas, their marketing administrator, asked if they could use some of my paintings as Christmas Cards to help raise money for the charity which has been going for over 40 years.

Over the last 20 years or more, I know that the paintings I have done have raised thousands of pounds through being reproduced as Christmas cards, in particular for the Marie Curie cancer care, so I was more than happy to oblige.

We’ve decided to do three paintings of Newcastle, the first of which is a classic scene of the Theatre Royal in the Snow which was a sell out limited edition print. I’ve painted a similar view recently which I reproduced as a limited edition print titled Grey Street, Snow Shower.

The second card is this one of The Angel of the North depicted against the backdrop of a winter sunset, the colours of the sky being reflected in the snow. The two figures at the feet of the Angel help to create a sense of scale.

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Angel of the North

Angel of the North

The Week the Angel Went Up

Most folk have strong opinions about the Angel of the North, they either love it or hate it. Personally, I like it, as it’s always a reminder that I’m not too far from home if I’ve been travelling from the South.

One of my favourite paintings of the Angel is based on studies I made during the week the angel was erected. There had been heavy rain, the skies were overcast and the whole area was like a scene from World War 1 with the mud, the foreground pond and broken palettes  lying about.

The view I’ve taken places a stronger emphasis on the more attractive lines of the body than the rather slab sided wings and the figure standing at its feet provides a sense of scale and drama. The overall mood is heightened by the dark, threatening sky.

I’ve also painted a similar version which is available as a limited edition print.

This painting forms part of my Christmas Exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland which continues until the 24th December, open Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-5pm.

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