Online Painting Course

Egg Tempera. Faces

Starts on January 4, 2024


How It All Works

In this course you will learn different egg tempera techniques for painting faces. We will teach you the sankir (proplasmos) method, sankirless (membrane) method, and combined method. At the end of the course, you will have a broad picture of how you can paint a face, choosing whether you prefer it to be soft or contrasting, highlighted or blended, luminous or dark.

This course consists of 6 assignments - professionally filmed and edited Full HD video tutorials with homework instructions, shared through Google Classroom. The assignments can be watched at any time during the course and remain available afterwards. Each one of them is heavily loaded with hands on information and instructions (scroll down to see the list of assignments). We use a unique Classroom for the whole period of the course and invite our students to upload photographs of their images to the Stream of the class. Our individual feedback to each image is also provided in the Stream, so that everybody in the group can feel member of the team, learning from each other.

Please, note, this is an intermediate course, and we ask our students to take Drawing the Frontal Face and the Egg Tempera Basics prior to taking this one. It's crucial, that you learn the basics of egg tempera technique and face anatomy for iconographers before doing this course, as it will be necessary to use the skills and knowledge from these two courses.



Only available to those, who has done both

  • Drawing the Frontal Face

  • Egg Tempera Basics

    360 USD or €340.00 EUR for 6 assignments with personal feedback.

    Payments are non-refundable. Students are accepted on a first come - first served basis.


    Option 1: INTENSE
    assignments published TWICE a month.
    January 4 - April 4, 2024

    Option 2: SLOW
    assignments published ONCE a month
    January 4 - June 30, 2024


    Each of the assignments includes: a Full HD video tutorial (up to 120 minutes), a PDF file with homework, assignment summary

    All videos remain available to the students after the end of the course


    Learners are expected to share photographs of their drawings in Google Classroom Stream. Personal corrections / comments / recommendations from the instructors are given within 48 hours (weekends excluded). Feedback is guaranteed for the whole period of the course either written in words or/and drawn directly on the uploaded photograph.


    Please put about 2 hours for watching the video tutorials & at least 1.5 hours for drawing practice per assignment. We recommend practicing in short 30-40-minute intervals, several times a week rather than hour-long sessions once a week. We made this course program as extensive as possible by splitting complex tasks into manageable parts. We hope it will allow everybody to study at their own pace.

    Necessary Supplies

    Click here to download the List of Materials in PDF

    Surface to work on

  • Drawing Paper (A4 or letter format) about 30 sheets (at least 120 gm, upwards is fine). Do not use thin paper (80 gm) and watercolor paper as well.
  • Any panel to stick the paper on
  • Masking tape to tape the paper to the panel (optional)
  • Gummed kraft paper tape
  • Paper absorbs water as well as a chalk gesso. The only problem with paper is that it warps under a wet brush. In order to prevent it and make the surface evenly flat, I'd suggest you stretch the paper on a wooden panel using gummed kraft paper tape.
    Here is a link to the video: How to Stretch Watercolor Paper - YouTube Be attentive, we are going to use only the drawing paper.
    Watercolor paper contains cotton or other similar substances to slow down the drying, - you will have to wait way longer for it to dry.

    Powdered Pigments:

  • Black (better to have shungite)
  • Titanium White
  • Raw Umber
  • Yellow Ochre Light
  • Ercolano Red
  • Hematite (optional)
  • Verona Green Earth (optional)
  • Marble Dust*
    * The only marble dust I found for sale was at, but I highly recommend trying it. On their website it is named Oil Paints Bianco Carrara White Marble Dust Shop Artist Oils.
  • We checked a lot of pigment manufacturers and sellers and found the best prices for pigments we need at Cost of each color is no more than $7.50 USD for 100 gm (except for the shungite, which is $19.50 USD). You can replace shungite with any other black, such as vine, bone or lamp black, but neither of these colors will give you a rich hue of blue if mixed with titanium white.

    Round Brushes:

  • Squirrel #2, 3, 5
  • Kolinsky or Sable #3
  • I strongly suggest you use only natural brushes: squirrel or kolinsky. Do not use brushes with artificial or mixed hairs because they do not absorb paint as well as the brushes with natural hairs. The quality of the brush hair influences the result a lot.

    I found appropriate brushes at If you know a better site or place to buy, please share the information.
  • Pure Squirrel Watercolor Brushes (round)
  • Pure Red Sable Round Brushes (round)
  • How to check brushes in a store?
    All the brushes look perfect in the store because they all are sealed with a weak adhesive solution. You have to check them before purchasing. There is always a cup with water in the artist store. Dip the brush in water and when you get it out, all the hairs together should make a perfect tip. Also check how elastic the brush is by pressing on the hair part. The main thing, try pulling the brush hair close to the base, all hair should remain in place. It shows how long this brush will last.

    Cups and pestle for paint mixing and a palette:

  • 5 basins
  • pestle or a bristle brush (for paint mixing)
  • palette or white plate
  • Usually we use evaporating basins from a chemistry supply shop as containers for the paint and a pestle to mix pigment with egg emulsion. It’s good to have at least 5 basins. These evaporating basins have different sizes. Usually, we use the smallest ones. As a chipper option you can buy egg stands, or small bowls with smooth semicircular bottoms from some dollar store.

    You can use any white platea as a palette, but do not use it for food after you have mixed paints on it. All our pigments are non-toxic, but it's always safer to separate things.

    Additional instruments:

  • Container for egg emulsion
  • Eye dropper for egg emulsion
  • Small plastic spoons to take pigments from a bottle
  • Rug or paper towel to wipe a brush
  • Container for water
  • Other pigments producers:


  • Kremer
  • Kreidezeit
  • ITALY:

  • Zecchi
  • Dolci

  • Agulis

  • Langridge Colors
  • The Alchemical Arts*
  • (*Founded by a person, inspired to explore pigments after one of our courses).


    Online Icon Painting Course 5

    What You Will Learn

  • How to paint a face using different methods
  • Different ways of modeling the face with shadow and highlights
  • Two ways of modeling the face with flesh tone
  • Different ways of using glaze
  • Different ways of applying blush
  • Different ways of applying final accents
  • Learning Process

    Each of the weekly assignments includes:

  • a tutorial video
  • a PDF file with homework and assignment summary
  • Start each assignment by watching a video to have the main idea about the tasks. When you start practicing, it will be useful to pause the video from time to time to repeat a certain step. If something is going not so well as shown in the video, please, try decressing the youtube video speed and watching it again, - it will help you to notice more details and move on.

    Students are suggested to share their images in Google Classroom at any stage for personal feedback. Feel free to upload your work as you go along, so that we can better guide you on your way. Otherwise, you can upload your work when you finish it, then we will see how you’ve grown through the course and provide you with overall feedback.

    It’s best to practice in short 30-minute intervals several times a week rather than to make only one hour-long session once a week. Why? This course contains a lot of new information and it’s easier to focus on a new subject for 30 minutes instead of two hours. The studying process doesn’t stop when you stop painting, as the brain continues to process the new skills and concepts. Small sessions help it to digest more information. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t replicate everything you see in the video right away. All that you will see in the videos is a result of practice. Split your sessions into small intervals and keep practicing! We kindly ask you to take photos of your paintings without distortion. When taking a photo, hold your cell phone or tablet parallel to the drawing. It will help a lot with your homework presentation and correction.

    We hope that at least for these short painting sessions you will switch off or put your cell phone on “silent mode”. We also recommend asking people around not to disturb you, providing some peace for your concentrated work. We insist on this because the learning process is way more intense and effective if performed with a complete immersion in the process, thoughtfully and carefully.

    We expect you to do your homework on paper of A4/Letter format and post it in the Google Classroom Stream.

    If you experience any technical difficulties with Google Classroom, please let us know via email, we will answer you as quickly as we can.



    Assignment 1. Basic Sankir Method. Face Volume
  • What Is Sankir
  • The Main Steps of Painting Face with Sankir Method
  • Modeling the Face with Shadow
  • Importance of Volume in Iconography
  • How to Fix Overglaze
  • Are There no External Lights on Icons
  • Where Are the Most Illuminated Parts of Face
  • Modeling the Face with Highlights
  • Two ways of Highlighting the Face
  • Assignment 2. Extended Sankir Method. Highlights and Glaze
  • Making Paint for Sankir and Skin Tone
  • Practicing Modeling and Highlighting the Face
  • Egg Tempera Hardens over Time. How Can It Help in Painting
  • Difference between Glazed and Unglazed Faces
  • Assignment 3. Basic Sankirless Method. Last Dark Accents and Blush
  • What’s the Main Difference between Sankir and Sankirless Methods
  • Modeling the Face with Shadow
  • Glazing and Highlighting
  • Last Dark Accents on Models
  • How to Apply the Last Dark Accents
  • Blush on Models
  • How to Apply Blush
  • Comparing Faces Painted with Sankir and Sankirless Methods
  • Assignment 4. Extended Sankirless Method. Small Faces
  • Choosing a Color for Underpainting
  • Making Paint for Flesh Tone
  • Glazing and Highlighting
  • Last Dark Accents and Blush
  • One more Way of Modeling the Face
  • How to Paint Small Faces
  • Assignment 5. Combined Method. Facial Coloring on Old Icons
  • Main Advantages of Using Combined Method
  • How to Model the Face
  • How to Work with Flesh Tone and Highlights
  • To Glaze or Not to Glaze
  • Repeating Shadows
  • Last Dark Accents and Blush
  • Facial Coloring on Old Icons
  • Assignment 6. Ancient Sankirless Method. How to Work with Models
  • The Main Difference Between Ancient and Contemporary Sankirless Methods
  • Ancient Models Painted with Sankirless Method
  • How to Work with Printed Models
  • Choosing Colors
  • Modeling the Face with Shadow
  • Glazing and Highlighting
  • Last Dark Accents on Models
  • Comparing the Faces
  • Schedule Options

    Option I: INTENSE (2 Assignments per month). June 1 - August 31 2023

  • Assignment 1: January 4, 2024
  • Assignment 2: January 18, 2024
  • Assignment 3: February 1, 2024
  • Assignment 4: February 15, 2024
  • Assignment 5: March 7, 2024
  • Assignment 6: March 21, 2024

  • Homework due: April 4, 2024

    Option II: SLOW (1 Assignments per month). June 1 - November 30 2023

  • Assignment 1: January 4, 2024
  • Assignment 2: February 1, 2024
  • Assignment 3: March 7, 2024
  • Assignment 4: April 4, 2024
  • Assignment 5: May 2, 2024
  • Assignment 6: June 6, 2024

  • Homework due: June 30, 2024

    Access to the Google Classroom and the videos is strictly limited to the online course participants only and must not be shared with anyone else in any form

    Ready to Enroll?

    Online Course Egg Tempera. Painting Faces consists of 6 assignments and costs $360 or €340.00 EUR.

    For year 2024 we have 2 options: INTENSE - January 4 - April 4 and SLOW - January 4 - June 30, 2024. Please, choose the one you like the best, using the Paypal Button below.

    We ask you to note, that this course is only available to those, who have done both Drawing the Frontal Face and the Egg Tempera Basics. Making your registration payment, please provide a valid email address. We will use it to send you a personal invitation to Google Classroom.

    For payments in Dollars:

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    For Payments in Euros:

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    If within 80 days from the purchase date you experience health issues forbidding you to participate in the chosen course, we will fully refund the cost of your order.

    Making your reigistration payment, please provide a valid email address. It will be used to send you a personal invitation to Google Classroom and for all the further communications. The Assignments are emailed on Thursdays at 00:00 AM Tbilisi time (GMT+4). Please, let us know if you have any further questions. If you wish to be informed about our future courses and other events, get in touch with us (top-right of this page) or subscribe to our regular Newsletter at the bottom of this page.