Welcome to Iconography Online:

Iconography Drawing Course I

Drawing the Frontal Face.


Course one: Drawing the Frontal Face

We made Online Iconography Drawing Course because in iconography drawing is fundamental, so we teach how to draw and understand the structure of the models to provide you with the necessary skills: how to "read" the models and to draw frontal faces on your own icons.

Online Iconography Drawing Course includes the most essential knowledge of human face's construction and proportions, how they are applied and modified in iconography. Soon after making the registration payment you will be invited to Google Classroom. The assignments (calculated as weekly sessions) are tailored to teach the general relationships between different parts of the face, their construction and expressiveness. Each assignment is packed with several extended video tutorials and a theoretical lecture, recorded at one of our previous online drawing courses.



140 USD for 5 Assignments. Payments are non-refundable. Students are accepted on first come - first served basis.


The first assignment is delivered the 26th of August 2021. The last assignment is accepted for corrections no later than 30th of September 2021.


Up to 16 students in one class


For Learners with no iconography or artistic background, for iconographers who trace/copy icons, while desiring to improve on the drawing of the face.


Links to 3-5 practical video tutorials and a lecture per each of the 5 assignments, all shared through Google Classroom. All the videos and images remain available to the students after the end of the Course


Learners are expected to share photographs of their drawings to the instructors any time during the week. The instructors will respond in 48 hours (weekends excluded) with feedback; either written in words or drawn directly on the emailed image


Students only need most basic materials, such as paper, pencils, eraser, and a compass with two needles. Plan to put in at least 1.5 hours for homework per assignment.


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

Practical Matters

The face is the most complex part of an icon, so we split the learning process into manageable bite-sized assignments. To make the learning process as effective and interactive as possible we ask students to regularly post in Google Class stream or email us the photographs of their drawings for each assignment. Doing tasks one by one and getting assessments of your drawing skills on as-you-go basis, you will regularly be provided with individual corrections (drawn directly on the photographs) and given constructive critique with suggestions for improvement. Personal feedback from a dedicated team of instructors, given within 48 hour time (weekends excluded) is guaranteed for the whole period of the course (till the 30th of September 2021.

We use Google Classroom to share the assignments: links to the video tutorials, images and the recorded lectures because we think that sharing learning problems and issues, asking questions and making comments helps growing professionally

Important note: Access to the Google classroom and the videos is strictly limited to the online course participants and must not be shared with anyone.

The Learning Process

The students are called to accomplish their drawing assignments 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.


Basic plan

1. The Basic Structure

How to build up a frontal face for an icon.

Lecture 1: Why we need essential anatomy of the face.

2. Details of the Face I

Structure of eyes and eyebrows. Finding the structure on medieval icon models.

Lecture 2: Volume in Iconography and How It Is Rendered?

3. Details of the Face II

Structure of the nose and lips. Finding the structure on medieval icon models.

Lecture 3: What image transmits?

4. Proportions and Composition

Practice of drawing from a model with adjustments.

Lecture 4: Large Forms in Our Perception

5. Drawing the Head of Prophet Solomon

Turning the knowledge into professional approach

Lecture 5: Why Use a Method?


Our Online Iconography Drawing Course overwieved by professional iconographers and course participants:


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.

Ready to enroll?

The cost of the course is $140 USD. To make the reigistration payment, please provide us with your valid email address, because it will also be used to send you a personal invitation to Google Classroom and all the assignments. The Assignments are emailed on Thursdays 00:00 Moscow time .

We launch this course as a first of a series, and the Course II (Off-Centered Faces) is scheduled to start the 7th of October 2021.

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

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