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Icon of Angel with Golden Hair. Golden Hair Angel - model for Icon Painting Workshop

Icon Painting Workshop
The workshop is over. See the photographs


Tuesday 24th - Saturday 28th of September 2019
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM with one hour lunch break at 12:15 PM
Click here to see proposed agenda


The New Skete Monastery

273 New Skete Rd Cambridge, NY 12816

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Workshop description:

We organize our workshops for iconographers, who want to learn writing / painting icons on their own, leaving the tracing paper behind and stepping up to the next level. Our aim is to give our students practical skills, visual grammar and working principles they can use at the workshop and in their future images of any kind.

At this particular workshop, we plan to lead our students through the process of painting the icon of Angel with Golden Hair from start to finish. The method we use in our studio and share with our students is based on four fundamental steps:

  • creative research
  • selection of models
  • thoughtful planning
  • careful execution and control of the image

  • The practical sessions will begin with the basics of anatomical drawing to let students learn (or experience one more time) the process of constructing a human head en face and three quarters (as these are the two most common face positions in iconography). After the exercises on paper, the students will be suggested to draw Angel's head and continue the painting process on icon boards.

    Intense and disciplined practical work (series of drawing and painting exercises) will have breaks for lectures and talks with slideshows. During the day there are usually 2 or 3 lectures introducing students to main theological and theoretical aspects of iconography. They are made to demonstrate how theology is embodied in colors and gold, to illustrate the history and theory of iconography, and to share solutions to some typical problems of iconographers of our days.


    We chose this model to introduce our students to one of the two oldest methods of face painting, so-called "Sankir-less", so we will follow the drawing and painting methods used professional iconographers, going through difficulties and issues they face every day.

    As some details of the image are unclear, we will have to find them on other models and study how to use them well for our icon.
    Icon writing workshop
    We always plan our programs to be filled up with practical exercises and theoretical lectures, and yet we believe that in spite of the mentioned multiple tasks by the end of the workshop every student will be able to finish his or her icon.

    A Bonus:
    Those, interested in post-workshop individual work at the end of the workshop will receive a link to our own "Iconographer's Manual" listing all the steps, one should consider in order to create a powerful image.

    Who should attend:

    This particular workshop is universal, it's good for beginners and advanced level iconographers, who still trace linear drawing and wish to be introduced to professional iconography. At our workshops like this we do our best to open the horizon of possibilities, dealing with the main professional problems and issues and discuss ways to resolve them.

    If you wish to learn iconography drawing, you may consider rather signing to our icon-drawing workshop in Holy Cross monastery in West Park (NY) : "Full Figure Drawing".

    The payment options:

    The workshop fee is $925, it includes Instructions, all materials, 6 light continental breakfast at Emmaus House, 5 lunches at Monks' Monastery, 5 dinners at Monks' Monastery, and 1 Coffee Hour at Monks' Monastery. The class size will be a minimum of 6, maximum of 16.
    The lodging portion for the participants will be separate from the workshop fee.

    Please note, iconography workshop participants are kindly recommended to bring their own aprons, - we do not provide them.

    To reserve a space you should visit the New Skete web-site:

    The group is limited to 16 participants with two instructors and 10 with one, students are accepted on a first-come first-served basis.


    Icon painting workshop For all questions regarding registration and payments, please, contact Ida Williams

    or Philip Davydov

    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 the 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.

    Proposed Icon workshop Workshop day Agenda:

    7:15 am – Matins – Holy Wisdom Church
    8:00 am – Breakfast – Emmaus House
    8:30 am – Workshop - Emmaus House
    12:15 am – Dinner – Monks’ Refectory
    1:00 pm – Tersext
    1:15 pm – Workshop – Emmaus House
    4:30 pm – End
    5:00 pm – Vespers – Holy Wisdom Church
    6:00 pm – Supper – Monks’ Refectory

    To see detailed information about the workshop and/or to register,
    visit the New Skete web-site: