Advanced Icon Painting Workshop:


 Model for Icon Painting Workshop
- icon of            Saint John the Baptist

The workshop is over.

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Workshop schedule:

Monday 12th - Friday 16th of June 2017

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Location: Saint Mary's University, 14500 Bannister Road SE Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2X 1Z4, web-site: http://www.stmu.ca/sacred-arts/

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Workshop description:

This workshop is suitable for experienced students of iconography wishing to develop their drawing and painting skills.

The purpose of our workshops is to introduce the visual language of traditional Christian iconography and share our experience and way of thinking.

Our workshops encourage creativity and at the same time remain faithful to tradition. We never trace images but instead, teach participants drawing and painting techniques practiced by the most respected iconographers of our time.

We show participants how to divide complex tasks into simple ones and the strategies required for completing the work.�During a five (5) day workshop participants learn to plan the painting of an icon from the first to the last step - from the general to the specific, from sketches to drawing, from drawing to painting, from one detail to the next.

Each day starts with prayer followed by a lecture and/or a practical demonstration.

Then participants begin to work on their icons with personal supervision. At the completion of each step, Philip gives a detailed demonstration of the next stage to the whole group.

Icon writing workshop The workshop day starts at 9am and finishes at 5-30pm. We urge punctuality in consideration of all participants. There will be an hour-long lunch break around midday and short tea breaks at about 10.30 AM and 3 PM.

During the day there are lectures, visual presentations, Q&A and discussion that includes sharing experiences and ideas � an important forum for iconographers.

From the very beginning icon painting is taught and practiced in a focused and concentrated way without 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 done best in a tranquil and silent environment.

We have selected a fresco fragment of the image of Saint John the Baptist from Visoki Dechani because this year, in addition to our usual training in face painting technique, we plan to study different methods of painting hair, beard and fur.

This image fits the task perfectly and provides an opportunity to learn a variety of hair construction and painting techniques. Although the image has a gilded halo, we will not be including gold work in our instruction. The only exception will be a demonstration of the �garlic juice" gilding method.

The payment options:

The full cost of the workshop is 550 US dollars (approximately equal to 750 Canadian dollars), which covers teaching, a ready-to-use white-gessoed board, brushes and other tools and materials used at the workshop.

To reserve a space you can pay $50 US dollars (approximately about 70 Canadian dollars) using the button below. The rest 680 Canadian dollars in cash or 500 USD via Paypal can be paid upon arrival.

The group is limited to 10 participants with one instructor and 15 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.

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Things to be taught during the Icon Painting Workshop:

  • main purposes and goals of icon painting - linking the verbal and the visual

  • to plan the image: composition, values and colors
  • to define the basic forms through free-hand drawing and painting techniques
  • to understand methods of mixing and applying the egg-tempera
  • to use basic colors, to make shadows, highlights and glazes
  • to control the finer highlights and to practice writing proper lettering on the icon
  • to apply the final varnish on the surface of the finished and dried up icon

  • Icon writing workshop

    Who should attend:

    Even though this particular workshop is mostly made for advanced level students, who have had at least some experience in icon painting, it is not suitable for beginners.

    Topics of lectures and discussions:

  • Main purposes and goals of icon painting. �Functionality� of the image.
  • Main terms: Iconography as �Theology in Color� (linking the verbal and visual). What makes iconography spiritual art? Liturgical art vs Religious art.
  • Traditional liturgical arts (icons, frescoes, manuscript illumination): differences in characteristics and requirements.
  • Parameters for drawing / under-painting.
  • Ways to identify essential characteristics for the future image (sketches and other types of preliminary visual studies).
  • Composition, - building and binding the image together.
  • Values and scales: how to make them work.
  • Professional use of: pigments (synthetic and natural), wood, gesso, gold and other materials.
  • Latest period of history of iconography in Russia (XX � XXI century: - Grigory Kroug, Leonid Uspensky, Juliania Sokolova, Ioanna Rejtlinger, Anatoly Etenejer, Irina Zaron and others)
  • Iconography as actual art: possibilities for correlation with environment and time.
  • Canon and creativity.

  • About the instructors:

    Icon writing workshop

    Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Philip, M.A. in State Fine Art Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art, is a professional, second-generation iconographer with more than 15 years of experience, teaching professor at the Academy of Theology and Sacred Arts and head of Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Olga Shalamova, M.A. In State Fine Art Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art, Member of Union of artists of Russia, chief artist of embroidery workshop at Feodorovsky cathedral in Saint Petersburg, active participant of exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art.

    Philip's goal and the goal of his studio is to create icons and murals within the Christian tradition, while being 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.


    If you plan to join our workshop but have no possibility to make the deposit payment right now, please, send us an email and let us know. Then we put your name on the list and plan the group size more precisely. When the group gets filled up or the workshop period approaches, we contact you again and touch the ground about the payment details.

    Be sure to give us your actual contact information: first and last name, telephone number, street address and email address. It is important for us to be able to contact you.

    For all questions regarding registration and payments, please, contact:

    Pavel Kireyev (Calgary): phone 403-401-2819, email canada.icons@gmail.com

    Philip Davydov (Russia): email phildavydov@gmail.com