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The Mother of God. model for Icon Painting Workshop

Icon Painting Workshop
The workshop is over. See the photographs

Tuesday, 1 October – Friday, 4 October 2019


Holy Cross Monastery 1615 Route 9W (or Broadway) West Park, New York 12493

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Please visit the Monastery website:


In order to facilitate a deeper immersion in the prayer and rhythm of the monastic community, on Tuesday the 1st of October the workshop will start at 2 PM and on Wednesday-Thursday-Friday it will have the first session at 8 AM so that students may attend Holy Eucharist at 9. After the Eucharist, the workshop will continue until Vespers at 5 PM (with 1-hour lunch break at noon and one or two short breaks for coffee/tea in the afternoon).

Workshop description

Earlier or later it happens to every iconographer: - desire or need to write / paint a totally new icon due to total absence of models for it. To help our collegues solve this situation we launched a series of workshops, widening professional horizon and helping to gain the professional approach to drawing.
Yes, we are aware of the fact that the majority of contemporary iconographers use proris' (stylized linear drawing) for their icons, and this does not stop us. Sincerely, we do not want make it to force our students to throw their tracing-paper away, we make it because after the training in drawing even the copying becomes more thoughtful and conscious.

Several years ago we started teaching different face-painting techniques (“3 Faces in 5 Days” and “East and West – Two Traditions of Face-Painting”). Last year we had the "Iconography Garment Drawing and Painting Workshop". Icon drawing workshop These were good experiences and we saw how much drawing skills improved the work of our students. The results confirmed our hunch about drawing as the most fundamental skill for all iconographers, muralists and carvers. The works of the students who attended these workshops show structure and thoughtfulness.

Drawing is not only important for painting new icons, - we know from responses of our students, - when after the workshop they drew in their usual linear way, they could understand and perform their work much better.

Now it's the third year as we continue our series of Icon Drawing Workshops and this time we plan to draw a full figure. We chose the book illustration image of the Mother of God from Mount Sinai because it fits perfectly our goal to teach drawing human figure in two positions: standing symmetrically and leaning on one leg.
The drawing will be taught in different media to allow students to control the results of their work at every stage so that the finished icon look integral and whole.

Who should attend:

This workshop is appropriate for both advanced students and beginners, we designed it to teach different ways of drawing, form building, modeling, shading and highlighting. Anyone who wishes to learn how to carry your work forward in a professional way is very welcome!

Icon drawing workshop by Philip  Davydov The group is limited to 10 participants with one instructor and 16 with two. Students are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. The registration payments are non-refundable unless the workshop is canceled due to lack of participation.

Suggested Donation:

$705, includes lodging , meals, instructions, use of tools provided for the time of the workshop and necessary materials.

To register, contact the monastery via website:
or call (845) 384-6660 x3002.
Please don’t forget to leave your name and contact details so they may get back to you.

About the instructors:

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). They both hold M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art.

Philip is a professional, second-generation iconographer with more than 15 years of teaching experience. Philip currently is a professor at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts and the head of The Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Olga Shalamova 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 numerous exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art every year.

Philip's and Olga's goal and the goal of their studio is to create icons, murals and other types of images following the principles inherited from the long history of Christian Art that are also contemporary and actual. Philip and Olga share this creative and responsible approach as well as their own experience and professional discoveries with their students at the workshops.


Another version of this workshop description is also available on the website of the Monastery:

For all questions, regarding the workshop, please, contact Philip Davydov via email: