Tag Archives: Buckingham Palace

Painting on Gold Leaf

Oil Painting by Alan Reed

“Buckingham Palace from Green Park” painted in oils on Gold Leaf.

I first started painting on gold leaf in 2009 when I was working on a large painting commission. As part of the project I worked on some small boards about 19″x 15″ which were primed with gold leaf. I used these to produce some experimental paintings, one of which was a portrait of my wife Susan. The whole experience was challenging but very rewarding. Difficulties can arise in trying to get the right colours when the gold comes through the initial coat of paint. You have to build up the tonal values and colours to balance them against the gold. This can take time.

Painting on gold leaf creates effects which can change quite dramatically depending on the lighting. This can bring an almost 3D quality to the painting, especially when viewed with a spotlight.

In the oil painting of “Buckingham Palace from Green Park” I decided to use my limited edition print of the same scene as a basis for the idea. However, instead of using a wider range of tones and colours, I chose to use just 6 colours in a flat art deco style, leaving the gold leaf itself as an extra colour for the sky and reflections and highlights in the foreground.

The overall effect is both engaging and dramatic. You get a strong sense of light and warmth coming through from the sky which is emphasised by the shadows being cast by the trees and the lamp post. I’ve stylised the scene to simplify it as there is a lot going on with the leaves, architecture and trees.

Both the Buckingham Palace painting and the portrait of Susan can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland as part of my Christmas Exhibition which runs until the 24th December 2016.

Alan Reed

Susan, Oil on Gold Leaf

 

 

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Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend

Buckingham Palace from Green Park, Painting

Buckingham Palace from Green Park

This Bank Holiday Weekend marks the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I thought it appropriate to feature this watercolour of Buckingham Palace from Green Park which I have reproduced as a limited edition print. It depicts the Palace seen in low autumnal light which is filtering through the golden leaves, many of which have fallen to the ground. It was quite a tricky painting to do as I wanted the warmth and translucency of the yellow pigment to glow and contrast against the cool blue of the sky and understated Palace in shadow. This has been achieved by carefully masking off the leaves before doing any painting. An exercise worth doing to create the desired effect.

I suppose the painting is more about the beauty of creation than the monarch, but there are still sufficient elements in the composition to celebrate the year of Jubilee. May we all have an enjoyable Bank Holiday Weekend.

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