Icon writing workshop: How to work from Models: Byzantine and Romanesque


Workshop schedule:
Monday 14 - Friday 18 January 2019, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM with one hour lunch break at about noon.

Location: Australian Catholic University (ACU) ART SPACE

26 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, (Victoria), Australia

See the ArtSpace on Google maps >>

Housing possibilities: see the bottom of the page.

Workshop description:

We build our icon workshops taking into account main issues by our students in previous years. This time we plan to teach our students to see and understand basic principles of image-creation, mostly through the ways of drawing volume.

Choosing fragments of beautiful and expressive models from Vatopedi Monastery (icon on the left) and National Gallery in Washington DC (icon on the right) we know that they attract our attention and wake up wonderful responses in our hearts. Greece and Georgia, Mount Sinai and France (and a long list of other countries, too long to mention them all here), had their own great masters, and even heavily damaged images show not only how strong they were, but also - how different were their methods of drawing and painting .

Thinking in this context about current tradition of iconography teaching, we have to admit, that even the most careful copying will never allow us to understand and transmit the power of the model in a copy. This happens because the very method of drawing volume and rendering it through the painting process was an integral part of the visual language, used by our medieval colleagues, and to make image work we have to take it into account.

That is why at this workshop we want to study particularly methods of drawing the volume.

Icon writing workshop And instead of a careful (but thoughtless) copying we will do our best, learning how old masters achieved the expression and strength in their images. Investigating methods of drawing the volume practiced by our medieval colleagues, drawing and painting with pencils and egg tempera we will learn practice and theory of building an expressive image.

Besides, working from several damaged and almost totally ruined (and/or badly restored) icons we will try to learn seeing the original concept through the losses and to gain back the ability to see their integrity through remaining little pieces and restorations.

We believe that thoughtful approach to volume building will give our students new opportunities. After this workshop our students will be have more freedom to take a lot of new models for their icons; - even those, which previously may have seem alien to them simply because of their different volume-building principles.

And if after the workshop you will still want to copy linear drawing, you will better understand the construction and forms of the image.

From practical point of view it means we will teach drawing in different media and, what is even more important, we teach how to control the results at every stage so that your finished icon may look more integral and strong.

Who should attend:

This particular workshop is universal, it fits both advanced students and novices, who from the very beginning of their path may gain a professional approach and save time and energy learning literacy instead of patterns. As a special note we have to mention, that at this workshop we are not going to start and finish painting one icon from beginning to the end.

In short: this workshop is dedicated to different ways of drawing a face in icon. If you wish to learn how to carry your work forward in a professional way - you are most welcome!

Subjects to be drawn:

  • "Byzantine" face
  • "Romanesque" face
  • Reconstruction of a damaged face

The payment options:

Icon drawing workshop

The full cost of the workshop is 750 Australian dollars (about 550 us dollars), it covers teaching and necessary tools and materials provided.

To reserve a space you can pay $80 US dollars (approximately equivalent to 110 Australian dollars). The rest - 640 Australian dollars are paid upon arrival.

The group is limited to 16 participants, 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.


Make sure you give us your actual contact information: first and last name, home and cell phone number, street address and email address. It is important for us to be able to contact you in case, if you register, but don't show up for the workshop. We never use any personal data of our students/subscribers in any other way for any other purpose.

For all questions regarding registration and payments, please, contact Philip Davydov phildavydov@gmail.com

About the instructors:

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). 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.

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.

Philip's and Olga's goal and the goal of their studio is to create icons and murals within the Christian tradition that are also contemporary works of Christian sacred art. Philip shares this creative and responsible approach as well as his own experience and professional discoveries with his students at his workshops.


Possibilities for housing:

Backpackers the Nunnery (Lodge)

Ask for: Guesthouse Section

116 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy

phone : 03 9419 8637 or 1800 032 635


North Fitzroy Homestay (B&B) 45 St.Georges Rd.

Close to Brunswick St. tram.

Phone: 03 9489 9661

Website: www.northfitzroyhomestay.com.au

Email bookings: bookings@northfitzroyhomestay.com.au

Glowery House

132 Nicholson Street

Fitzroy Phone: 03 9417 3379


Metropole Hotel and Apartments & Conference Centre

44 Brunswick St. 03 9411 8100 or 1800 061 441

Web-site: www.metropole.org

Email: reservations@metropole.org