We made this 5-day icon painting workshop for iconographers who want to learn free hand professional drawing and painting. The idea of this workshop is to teach students to paint their own icons without tracing.
The main targets of this course are the face proportions and structure, so we will start from drawing from different medieval images of the Mother of God from different models. We will try several options in composition, colour combination, and get to know the main methods of face-painting. The final image will be painted with egg tempera on board.
The workshop program is very intense, it consists of various activities. Demonstrations, performed before every drawing and painting sessions will be will be interspersed with theoretical presentations, be dedicated to theology, theory and history of iconography, problems and issues of contemporary icon painting. All practical activities are always taught and practiced in a focused and concentrated way without any distractions such as conversations or music. This enables the icon to evolve at a slow pace, enabling us to live and understand each step deep in our being.
Choosing a model for this course we decided to collect several images as this is how all professional iconographers actually work, - creating a synthesis of several models. The clarity of some models should not make iconographer feel that the work process is going to be easy. Making a new version of an old icon is always a complex mission, as we need to adjust the model image to our circumtances, at the end arriving to an autonomous, thoughtful, and a prayerful icon. At this course we will suggest students to perform several researches, gaining artistic skills and learning how to use our creativity responsibly.
This course teaches how to work professionally, finding classical human face proportions in medieval models, and how to use them as references creating our own icons as unique liturgical artworks.
The first 1.5 - 2 days of this course will be completely devoted to drawing with pencil and brush on paper. By studying different aspects of models, drawing and combining colours, students will practice professional freedom and get confidence in drawing the most characteristic details.
In the last 3.5 - 3 days we will draw and paint an icon of Theotokos (Mother of God) with egg tempera on a gessoed board 12 x 9 in (included). During this course we do not plan to use any gold in any form as to save time for more creativetasks. This will help students to consolidate the knowledge they gain in drawing and painting, and to memorize by heart at lest one of the methods of face painting for their future independent work. We hope that all students will finish their icons, however the main goal of the course is to learn and practice as much as possible rather than to have the icon completed.
For everybody interested in learning iconography and traditional art of drawing and painting.
The course is adapted to beginners and for those iconographers who want to stop tracing/copying icons and begin drawing the face with a free hand.
$1050 for 5 full days.
The fee includes:
Professional instructions and all materials including board, paints, and brushes.
Students are invited to join the monks for meals.
To reserve a space, visit the New Skete web-site: https://newskete.org/iconography-workshop
Period: May 14 - 18, 2024.
Icon Workshop Daily Agenda:
7:15 am – Matins – Holy Wisdom Church
8:00 am – Continental Breakfast – Emmaus House
8:30 am – Workshop - Emmaus House
12:15 pm – Dinner – Monks’ Refectory
1:00 pm – Tersext
1:15 pm – Workshop – Emmaus House
4:30 pm – End
5:00 pm – Vespers – Holy Wisdom Church
6:00 pm – Supper – Monks’ Refectory
Drawing, painting, hands-on demonstrations, lectures and discussions with personalised mentoring and comprehensive feedback.
Attendees of the workshop are invited to participate in daily church services and to be the guests of the monks for meals.
We provide students with all the necessary tools and materials, however we recommend bringing own aprons, textbooks and pens/pencils for notes.
The workshop will begin on Tuesday May 14 at 8:30 AM and will end about 4:30 PM on Saturday May 18, 2024. Every day we will work according to daily agenda (see above) from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with one hour break for lunch and tersext and two or more short breaks for lectures with coffee or tea. We will start our study drawing a frontal face proportions, construction, and structure with pencil on paper. We will begin drawing frontal faces with pencils and egg tempera and learn the construction of the garment. We will discuss the traditional concept "Light VS Colour" and try the main traditional methods of face painting. On the second or third day the students will start painting an image of Theotokos (the Mother of God) on gessoed boards (provided).
Basic face proportions. How to draw face oval, nose, eyes, lips. How to connect head and neck to she shoulders. Pencil drawing, no models.
Drawing process: The importance of modelling the shape of the face. How to find individuality of the image, construction of the garment. Drawing with a brush. How to arrange the image on the page or icon panel.
Basic principles of working with egg tempera: how to prepare egg emulsion, how to mix colours, how to vary the consistency of paint, how to apply the paint evenly.
Painting process. Opaque and transparent layers. Glazing. Highlighting. Basic methods of face painting.
Painting process. Painting the face and garment of Theotokos (the Mother of God) on paper.
The Iconography Workshop "Theotokos" will begin on Tuesday May 14 at 8:30 AM and will end about 4:30 PM on Saturday May 18, 2024 and the cost will be $1050 USD for 5 full days.
The fee includes: Professional instructions and all materials including board, paints, and brushes. Students are invited to join the monks for meals. This includes a continental breakfast each morning, dinner (the monks eat their main meal of the day at 12:15pm), and a light supper. The registrations are handled by the New Skete. To reserve a space you can either visit the New Skete web-site: https://newskete.org/iconography-workshop or click the button below to make a registration.
Accommodations are not included. Due to the small class size. the cost of hosting this workshop, and the distance the instructor(s) will be traveling, we must adhere to a strict cancellation policy. Your $300 non-refundable deposit must be received at the time of registration. You may pay the balance in full at any time. (Reminders will be emailed.) Balance must be paid in full by March 14, 2024. All payments are non-refundable unless the workshop is canceled due to lack of participation.
Should circumstances require you to cancel, New Skete will make all reasonable attempts to fill the vacancy. If the vacancy is filled, New Skete will refund all but the $300 deposit.
The registrations are handled by the New Skete. To make a registration, click the button below and you will be automatically redirected to the secure, online credit card processing site to make your deposit.
Second-generation iconographer with M.A. from State Fine Art Academy of Saint Petersburg (faculty of Theory and History of Art).
2001 co-founder of Sacred Murals Studio (St. Petersburg, Russia).
2005 - present: iconography instructor in the USA, Italy, Australia and other countries.
2006 - present: member of Union of Artists of Russia
2009 - 2022: professor at Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts (Saint Petersburg).
2021 November - December: head of Iconography School of St Petersburg Seminary. 2022 March - present: Iconographer, iconography instructor working in Tbilisi (Georgia).
M.A. from State Fine Art Academy of Saint Petersburg (faculty of Theory and History of Art).
2009 - present: ember of the Union of Artists of Russia
2015 - 2021: chief artist of the embroidery workshop at Feodorovsky Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. 2022 March - present: Iconographer, iconography instructor working in Tbilisi (Georgia).
Author of the majority of our offline and online courses.
Actively participates in exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art in Russia and abroad.