Famous angel paintings continue to hold immense admiration in today’s art culture as well. The biblical inspiration of beauty, Angels, has always intrigued painters to bring out masterpieces that have held art admirers captive with their magnificent and heavenly gaze. 

Many art galleries and museums worldwide have angel paintings that serve to be of great value due to their elite and historical importance. Many artists tend to be inspired by these angels’ renaissance paintings from the past and wish to recreate them.  

So, if you are an artist and want to create magical angels with your painting skills, here is a detailed step-by-step guide that gives you precise guidance on painting an angel. 

Materials Required

Before stepping directly into painter mode, make sure that you have all the materials that you will require in the process. Opt for proper painting brushes of variable sizes and linseed oil if you opt for oil or acrylic paints to layer between the colors, newspapers or messy clothes, and different shades of watercolor pigments.

It’s good to include these watercolor pigments in your palettes like Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red, Sap Green, Ultramarine Violet, and Van Dyke Brown. The others on the list include Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue, Lemon Yellow, Payne’s Grey, Rose Madder, Chinese White, Burnt Umber, and Naples Yellow. 

Steps To Paint an Angel

Painting is a practice that believes in synchronization, step-by-step detailing, and introducing elements to create masterpieces. Here are the most straightforward steps to paint angels on canvas with water pigments in a synchronized manner.  

Painting the Background 

Start with painting your background with subtle shades of your choice; Cerulean blue is the general preference for this purpose. Then, to achieve a stardust effect, sprinkle salt over key locations when the wash is still damp. When it dries, remove the excess salt to achieve a smooth canvas for painting.

Making and Colouring of the Figure

The old and famous angel paintings followed a grand texture scheme and contrast with colors that made them look explicitly absolute. Similarly, we will also try to manage these texture-contrast effects while painting angels.  

Sketch your angel on the canvas with the use of a thin brush tentatively. Then, for painting, start using a round brush to add subtle hues to cheeks, lips, and skin with minimal use of Rose Madder. 

After Rose Madder, introduce Cerulean Blue touches to the eyelid and some light washes of Naples Yellow to the wings of the angel. For feathers, provide shades of Burnt Umber towards the top.


Change the brush size up to 4 and apply a diluted version of Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and mix it with Chinese White to the skin. Do not hurry and let the paints dry before using further layers of colors. After drying, apply successive layers of the same colors according to the intended mid-tones you would like to give your fairy angel. 

The mid-tones of hair are to be given with Van Dyke Brown; keep adjusting the mid-tones according to the blending capacity your canvas can hold. For lip shading, you can use just a touch of Burnt Umber.

Effects Through Shadows and Backlighting

Renaissance angel paintings are the sheer examples that highlighted the effects of shadows and backlighting through them. Continuing to add similar products to our painting, take a small-sized brush nearly no. 2 to create the impact of backlighting behind the cloth, figure, wings, and other solid objects if included in the painting. 

To get the shadow game on point, emphasize the deepest shadow on the hair and skin with Burnt Umber. To make shadows, use Ultramarine Violet for the skin and Burnt Umber for feathers in the wings. To deepen the cloud, use Payne’s Gray to the cloth’s white drapes and finessing the hair as well. 

Finishing Touch

Outline the main elements to avoid intermixing of paints and symbolic objects inside the painting. Use Burnt Umber to pluck out the main shapes of feathers, lips, and hairs. Please keep it for some time and let it dry. Then, your painting of an angel is ready to be framed and displayed. 

Raphael’s Angels

The Sistine Cherubs or Raphael’s angels can be seen under one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, “The Sistine Madonna.” It was created between 1512-1513 on a flax covered wall with two saints Sixtus and Barbara, in the clouds with two cherubs looking up in the shadows and Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus. 

It was one of his latest Madonna’s to-be displayed in the altarpiece for the basilica church of the Benedectine Monastery of San Sisto. This painting today resides in the Old Master Gallery, Dresden, in Germany. 

Two children sitting across the street looking at the baker’s shop inspired Raphael. The two cherubins result from their posture and cute gaze that turned this painting into a legendary one. 

The Bottom Line

The subtle colors, the divine image, and basic techniques can help you draw beautiful angels yourself. Of course, painting angels on the canvas is not easy, yet we have summed up the basic steps to recreate the beautiful messengers of God through mere paints and brushes on a canvas. You can view some beautifully painted masterpieces at the 1st Art Gallery.