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Learning to see with the eye of the heart

Advent Three: A Multitude of Angels

The orchard is cloaked in darkness as I write and there’s a mid-winter owl hooting outside our window. There’s something magical about this time of year. For many, this is the busiest, most hectic time of year so I only want to share a few photos of the stages of painting this cluster of angels on paper.

This was a study for the Nativity icon – working on thick 600gsm hot-pressed paper. It’s a luxurious surface to work on.

The following photos show some of the painting stages – colours include English Yellow Ochre and French Ochre Havana with the skies in Azurite.

The halos are gilded with two layers of dilute pva glue applied to the paper, with red ochre added to give some depth. The halos are then gilded using transfer gold applied whilst the pva is still a little tacky.

Faces are worked up in layers starting with underpaintings in Terre Verte and washes of Red Ochre and Yellow Maimeri. Shadows and highlights built up to model the faces.

Here’s the final study in the Nativity workbook; deep azurite skies with a thin wash of indigo to deepen. We’re still in difficult times with another new variant on the rise. If you’re still here then I’d like to thank you for being with me.

Here’s trusting that you and yours are lovingly upheld by a cluster of angels over the days and weeks of Christmas-tide ahead. Stay well!

Thanks for reading – Ronnie

4 Responses to “Advent Three: A Multitude of Angels”

  1. Sister Benedict

    Dear Ronnie
    Thanks for sharing those lovely angels.
    Happy Christmas.
    Sister Benedict

    • ronniecruwys

      Dear Sister Benedict,
      How lovely to receive your comment and kind wishes. Hope you and your community have a very happy Christmas too.
      Warmest wishes

  2. Alicia Salazar

    Dear Ronnie,
    Thank you for sharing not only the image but also your thoughts.
    May God and all heavenly beings always dwell in our hearts!!!
    Did you design your Nativity Icon? If not, what was your prototype? I just love it!!!
    All the best

    • ronniecruwys

      Hello Alicia,
      Many thanks for your kind words!
      Yes, I did design this Nativity icon – I think I’ve shown my drawing for it in one of my earlier posts. These are all studies on paper before I set to work on the gessoed panel.
      Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas celebration!
      Warmest wishes


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