After World War Hal Reed studied at the Art Center School of Los Angels and at the Art Leage of San Francisco where he studied with Nicolai Fechin.
Hal worked as a draftsman, a cartographer, soldier, and artist. He was born in Frederick, Oklahoma in 1921, and his family moved to Southern California when he was seven years old.
He worked as a cartographer for the Auto Club of Southern California. During World War II and the Korean conflict as an aerial photographer. During the war, he was awarded a battlefield commission and a bronze star. He is known for producing a number of instruction videos for artists.