Welcome to Iconography Online:

Space in Iconography

Iconography Drawing Course III

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Course THREE: Space in Iconography

We have crafted this course to teach the traditional concept of space in iconography as for old masters it was crucial. Often looking at icons we are amazed, how they grasp our attention so oddly?

This is because of the very way there were built: - we notice their different space concept subconsciously. Icon’s version of our reality is altered. Instead of trying to fully replicate figures or objects, icon only presents what we need to see to stay focused and concentrated in prayer.

All objects and figures in icons are simplified, transformed and altered in order to comply with the general space integrity of the image. Each of them needs to be native to the whole image and to each other as they must work well together.

Can this knowldge be used in our own icons, frescoes and mosaics?

Yes, it can, and we made this course "Space in Iconography" to teach the main principles of iconographic space organization. This Course consists of 5 weekly assignments, each suggest several video tutorials and tasks to accomplish. Students are invited to execute a series of exercises with increasing complexity, share their drawings and participate weekly zoom lectures with discussions (on Saturdays). We will observe and discuss specific meaning of space in iconograhy, master blocking in method of drawing, learn what aspects of space organization should be considered in different kinds of images in church, and continuosly see the theoretical knlowledge applied.

Iconography Drawing Course Space in Iconography is good for anyone, practicing (or willing to practice) iconography. It will work well for those who have accomplished our previous Onlince courses as well, as for those, who has never studied with us in the past.


This Course will commence with the first assignment, planned for publishing the 15th of January 2021.


For anyone interested in practical learning the concept of space in iconography


160 USD for 5 weekly sessions with Saturday zoom lectures and drawing corrections. Payments are non-refundable. Students are accepted on first come - first served basis.


Up to 30 students in one class


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


6 weeks (5 assignments):
Please put about 30- 60 minutes video tutorials per assignment
& at least 1 hour per assignment for homework.


Each of the 5 weekly sessions includes: 2-3 video tutorials and reference images. All videos and images remain available to the students after the end of the Course.


Learners are expected to continuosly share photographs of their drawings with the instructor any time during the course. The instructor responds with his 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, each of them proposes different drawing excersises, from basic to more complex. If you are short in time we recommend at least watching the videos, - avoid hurrying up with your pratice. If you have more time we suggest accomplishing all the tasks for better understanding.

For everybody to catch up, we added an extra week after the third assignment:

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)


While teaching our First and Second Online Courses for the first time, we discovered how important it is to have at least virtual real-time communication with our students. We will continue the lectures and discussions to speak in real time, and now plan all our zoom sessions to be on Saturdays.

Session one: 17:00 Australian Standard time.

Session two: 12:00 PM (midday) Eastern Time (10:00 Mountain time), same as 18:00 Central European Standard Time (GMT+1).

Lectures are usually related to the assignments while discussions are made to see most urgent questions of contemporary iconography from different points of view.

Important note: At this course we will continue using The 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

After receiving the Weekly Assignments, students are called to accomplish their drawings on paper of A4 / Letter format. We hope that at least for these one or two hours of drawing they will switch off or put on Silent mode their cell-phones, placing them in a remote part of the room. We also recommend our students to ask people around them not to disturb and provide some piece for a concentrated work. We insist on this because the learning process is more intense and effective if drawing is performed with a 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. Introduction.

Basic experiments with mutually influencing elements. Blocking in: learning from medieval models.

2. The Borders

Role of Borders on icon. Border “stealing” space from a figure VS borders as additional space. Figure VS negative space: artistic solution in iconography.

3. Figure VS it’s parts.

Local colors and contrasts; hierarchy and tonal values.

4. Figures interacting.

Basic types of relationship we establish while planning an icon with 2 or more figures.

5. Image in architecture

Principles of cooperation between image and architecture as framing environment and surrounding space.

The Group is full.

We accept no more registrations.

The cost of the Online Iconography Drawing Course III is 160 USD. The first assignment of the Course is scheduled for publishing the 15th of January 2021 at midnight (Moscow time GMT +3). The first Zoom Session, as well, as other zoom sessions is scheduled for Saturday the 16th of January 2021, 17:00 Australian Standard time and 12:00PM Eastern Time, same as 18:00 Central European Standard Time (GMT+1). While making the reigistration payment, please provide a valid email address. It will be used to send you a personal invitation to Google Classroom and all related communications. The Assignments will be emailed on Fridays at 00:00 AM Moscow time (GMT+3).

This course is the third of a series, but it is open for everyone practicing (or willing to practice) Christian iconography. It will work well for those who have accomplished our previous Onlince courses as well, as for those, who has never studied with us in the past.

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).
Space in Iconography. Online Iconography Drawing Course III

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.

Space in Iconography. Online Iconography Drawing Course III

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.

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