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Iconography Workshop in Queenscliff (Victoria, Australia)

Icon Painting Workshop model - Icon of the Mother of God Salus Populi Romani (detail)

This WORKSHOP was POSTPONED due to the coronavirus pandemic

Monday 15 - Friday 19 June 2020, 9:00 - 17:00 with one hour lunch break around noon.


St George’s Old School Hall
Cnr Hobson and Learmonth Streets, QUEENSCLIFF, VICTORIA, 3225, AUSTRALIA
See the Parish Hall on Google maps >>

Who should attend:

This particular workshop is universal. It fits both advanced students and novices, who from the very beginning wish to gain a professional approach. Those, who have studied with us testify, that learning visual grammar instead of patterns saves time and energy. Our goal is to teach rules and responsibility instead of pre-made contemporary interpretations of traditional iconography language.

Workshop description:

Every year we choose new images and make new programs for our icon-painting workshops. The image we have chosen as a model for iconography workshop in Queenscliff in June 2020 has a long history. It was painted little before the 590 and recently restored to almost original condition in 2018.

You can read more about this icon in Wikipedia, and if you wish to see more fragments, we invite you to visit a special website of "Musei Vaticani, where they publish a report and a bunch of close-up photographs.

Our reason to take it was this: it gives a great number of possibilities to learn how to draw and paint the face of the Mother of God, choosing the appropriate composition, colors, scales, and methods of painting (writing) this icon

The plan is, to begin with a short series of drawing sessions so that the workshop participants gain some taste for building up their images through free-hand drawing. After that, we plan to dedicate some time to color sketching to find the most appropriate color solution and composition for this icon to have on our boards. After completing these studies we will paint the icon on gessoed board, moving slowly and consciously through all the necessary steps, from yellow ocher basics to the lettering and other graphic details.

The daily routine of the workshop will include several types of activities, so that the students may work fruitfully without being tired and bored. It goes without saying that, at all our workshops, every step is always demonstrated, explained, and supervised closely by the instructor(s). We will switch between hands-on demonstrations, practical work, lectures on basics and most crucial issues of iconography, and discussions.

Technical notes We will do our best to start and finish the icon, but we can not promise this to everyone. As stated above, the workshop day will start at 9:00 and finish at 17:00. An hour-long lunch break is usually around midday. The disciplined practical work will have breaks for a series of lectures and talks on the main theological and theoretical aspects of iconography during our daily short tea breaks at around 10.30 and 15:00.

Drawing and painting will always be taught and practiced in a focused and concentrated way without any distractions such as conversation or music. This enables the icon to evolve at a slow pace, enabling us to live and understand each step deep in our being; this is achieved most effectively in a quiet and silent environment. We also urge punctuality and readiness for a thoughtful immersion in consideration of all the participants. Icon writing workshop

We hope that a sharing our thoughtful approach to drawing and painting we give our students new opportunities for their future work, firstly -the freedom to choose other models for their icons apart from those that are well known, including even the ones, which previously may have seemed totally alien.

And, if after this workshop our students will still want to trace a linear drawing, we are sure that even the tracing work will have much better results since they will understand the construction and forms of the image much better, - they will understand what the old masters meant by their shapes, lines, colors, and other means which on the first glance seem totally abstracted.

We believe that all our common efforts and researches, blessed by the Holy Spirit, by the end of the workshop may help us to produce a good icon. We hope that the students will use their icons "Salus Populi Romani" for church or home devotion when they are finished. There is a lot of work to do, and this is the reason why we ask our students to have a good rest before and during the workshop, so you have enough energy to work well.

The payment options:

The full cost of the workshop is 800 Australian dollars (same as we had in Melbourne for some years now - 550 US dollars), it covers teaching and necessary tools and materials provided.

To reserve a space you can pay $70 US dollars (approximately equivalent to 100 Australian dollars). The rest - 700 Australian dollars are paid during the workshop.

Please, choose the amount
Icon drawing workshop

The group is limited to 10 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.


Registering for the workshop, make sure you give us your actual contact information. We will only use it to communicate with you about the workshop and nothing else. We never use any personal data of our students/subscribers in any other way nor for any other purpose.

About the instructor:

Philip Davydov is a co-founder of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Philip works together with his wife Olga Shalamova, they both hold an M.A. in Art Theory and History from the State Fine Art Academy of Saint Petersburg. Philip 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.
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
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.