Welcome to Iconography Online:

Iconography Drawing Course II

Drawing Asymmetrical Faces


Course TWO: Drawing Asymmetrical Faces

At this Course we will teach how to adjust the ideal scheme we studied at the first Course for slightly asymmetrical frontal faces, - the most common in iconography.

Medieval iconographers have created thousands of icons, frescoes, mosaics and miniatures, making most of their faces are asymmetrical to provide a better feeling of communication with a beholder. At this course we begin drawing the assymmetrical faces the same way as we did with the symmetrical ones: We first learn the general scheme and then learn how to apply it to differnt models.

We will draw frontal adult faces and heads of different types: beardless and bearded, a head covered with a veil and with a long hair. The models for this course (as always) are taken from medieval images: head of Christ, head of the Mother of God, head of an angel and a head of a saint - a selection of the main types of faces, used in iconography.

This Second Online Iconography Drawing Course is made as a next step of for those, who has already studied at our First Iconography Drawing Course . It is an essential point because learning at the Second course will require the knowledge of face proportions, drawing principles, techniques, and approaches, discussed and studied at the first one.


This Course will commence with the first assignment, planned for publishing 12 of March 2021.


For those, who has already studied at our First Iconography Drawing Course


160 USD for 5 weekly sessions with drawing corrections (same as we had on the First Course). Payments are non-refundable. Students are accepted on first come - first served basis.


Up to 20 students in one class


Most basic materials: paper, hard and soft pencils, eraser, and a compass with two needles.


7 weeks (5 assignments):
about 1-1.5 hours video tutorials per assignment
at least 1.5 hours per assignment for homework.


Each of the 5 weekly sessions includes: 3-5 video tutorials and reference images. All videos remain available to the students after the end of the Course.


Learners are expected to continuosly share photographs of their drawings with the instructors any time during the course. The instructors respond with their comments / recommendations within 48 hours (weekends excluded).


We made this program as extensive as we could, so we split complex tasks into little manageable parts, making the assignments to be squeezable between work and family duties. We hope it will allow everybody to study with own pace.

Practical matters

The Course II consists of 5 weekly assignments and they are approximately twice more complex, than the ones of the First course. Each of the 2-nd course assignments proposes drawing up to 3 faces of different types. If you are short in time we recommend drawing only the first face properly, - avoid hurrying up. If you have more time we suggest drawing all the three faces for better practice and understanding.

Remembering, that the Second course is more complex and difficult, we give more time for the process, here is how we schedule it:

3 first weekly assignments one-after-another (every Friday)

One week with NO assignments with continuous drawing checking and corrections for everybody to catch up

2 last weekly assignments one-after-another (every Friday)

Additional week with no assignments with continuous drawing checking and corrections for students to complete what is possible


While teaching this Second Course first time in August-September 2020 we organized interactive zoom lectures and recorded them. Current Second Course assignments include links to recorded version of these real-time lectures and discussions of most urgent questions of contemporary iconography and other related matters.

Important note:At this course we will continue using Google Classroom: for weekly assignments, instructor's notes, and as a general common ground for class communication.
Access to the Google classroom and the videos is strictly limited to the online course participants and must not be shared with anyone else in any form.

The Learning Process

The students are called to accomplish their drawing assignments at home on paper of A4 / Letter format or larger. We hope that at least these few hours during the week, when you will be drawing your images, you will switch off or put your cell-phones on Silent mode in a remote part of your room, and ask people near you not to bother you for this time. The learning process is more intense if drawing is done with complete immersion in the process, thoughtfully and carefully.

Should students experience any difficulty in dealing with Google Classroom or doing their homework, they are expected to send us their questions and comments via email.

Weekly Sessions

Basic plan

1. The Basic Structure

How to build up an assymmetrical frontal face for an icon.

2. Face of the Mother of God

Basic structure applied on female faces, covered with a veil.

3. Face of a saint with a beard

Basic structure applied on bearded faces in monastic garments.

4. Face of Christ

Basic structure applied on a bearded face with hair.

5. Final drawing

Making your own version of a medieval model.

Ready to enroll?

The cost of the Online Iconography Drawing Course II is 160 USD. The Course will start the 12th of March 2021. If you like to join the class, make the reigistration payment, providing a valid email address. It will be used to send you a personal invitation to Google Classroom. The Assignments are emailed on Fridays at 00:00 AM Moscow time (GMT+3).

This course is the second of a series, and we only accept those, who have studied at the Course I (Symmetrical Faces)

If you wish to be informed about our future courses and other events, subscribe to our regular Newsletter at the bottom of this page.


Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova; Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia).
Interactive Course for Drawing the Frontal Face Theory and Practice

Philip Davydov

Iconographer, iconography instructor and web-site administrator

Philip holds an M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art. He is a professional, second-generation iconographer with more than 15 years of teaching experience. He is also a professor at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts and the head of The Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Interactive Course for Drawing the Frontal Face Theory and Practice

Olga Shalamova

Iconographer and iconography instructor

Olga Shalamova holds an M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art. She is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia and is chief artist of the embroidery workshop at Feodorovsky Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. She is also an active participant in exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art.

Our Previous Iconography Workshops

We taught more then 100 iconography workshops in off-line classrooms. You can see what they were like on our main website: www.sacredmurals.com. You can also see icons, mosaics, frescoes, fabric prints and illustrations and complex church interior solutions.

See more