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Extended Icon Painting Workshop

Image of Crucifixion - model for Icon Painting Workshop

Session two:

Tuesday 28th of January - Saturday 1st of February 2020, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM with one hour lunch break at about noon.


Australian Catholic University (ACU)
Art Space, 26 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065, (Victoria), Australia
See the ArtSpace on Google maps >>

Extended Icon Painting Workshop
Session Two

Please email us if you wish to be added to the Waiting List
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( See Session one here).

We will commence the second week of this workshop by showing our students how to generate new ideas, fully using their creative freedom through colour sketches. We hope it may open wider professional horizons and save energy and time in their future work.

After trying different colour solutions, the students will be asked to discuss their results. We hope to hear individual thoughts on how each of the colours work, both individually, and though their interacting relationship with the neighboring colours.

On basis of this discussion we will suggest to our students several specific colour schemes to choose from, and demonstrate how to fine-tune the results of their research to achieve the most from them. We also plan to hold a special lecture about the role of the sketches for the final result.

In addition to allowing our students to make their own choices of colours, we are happy to let our them make their own decisions regarding the variety of the traditional options for this image, especially for the major details of the subject. The students are invited to decide whether, for example, they wish the head of Christ to be straight or bent; which colour is the best for the loincloth; the postures of the feet and hands etc.

Drawing the figure of Christ at Icon painting workshop
There will also be several other decisions to arrive at when studying the various images, posing a question: What exactly is the kind of a Crucifix I wish to create?
Do I want it to have a lot of tension or to be tender and lyrical?

Should it be "speaking" about the victory of life over the death, or about the humility of Christ?

What are going to be the special accents I want to put in my image?

What are the best means to achieve my goals and to accomplish my mission?

The aim of the workshop is to teach to see and “read” icons and other images more consciously because it will teach us how to search, to notice, and to consider as many options as possible. We will also share our own methods of arriving at crucial decisions: how to choose the best among many; how to filter the unnecessary, and save the most decent ones, for the future!


After the sketching research, we will invite the students to bring together all their previous experiences and, step by step, build up a good and responsible drawing of the Crucifixion directly on gessoed board. We hope that the exercises of the first session will give enough confidence to do this work on a decentlevel.


Icon writing workshop Even though the painting process may look like an easy routine, after such a serious and multi-faceted investigations we will still have a lot to do. Primarily we will focus on the face, since it is the most meaningful and expressive detail. However, the hands, feet, and the rest of the body will also need a great deal of our care and attention.

We believe that all our common efforts and researches, blessed by the Holy Spirit, may help us to produce a good icon, and we hope that the students will use their Crucifixion icons for church or home devotion when they are finished. The boards for the workshop will be in the shape of a cross. They will be made and gessoed as our regular solid wood gessoed boards with only one difference - their shape.

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.

Technical notes

As stated above, the workshop day starts at 9:00 and finishes at 17:00. An hour-long lunch break is usually around midday. We urge punctuality in consideration of all participants. It goes without saying that, at all our workshops, every step is always demonstrated, explained, and supervised closely by the instructors. 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 are always taught and practised 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.
Crucifixion, fresco from Church of the Holy Virgin, Monastery of Studenica, 1208
The image (on the top of the page) we have selected is a sligthly modified version of Crucifixion, fresco from Church of the Holy Virgin, Monastery of Studenica, 1208. There will be a number of other Crucifixion images, from other sources, available to study at the workshop. We think that this one (due to its blue background) is the best one to illustrate the effects of your initial research and its subsequent effective results in the icon painting, which are the goals of the workshop.

Who should attend:

The Extended Icon Painting Workshop is designed mainly for advanced level students who have at least some experience in painting icons. However, we are also happy to welcome people with serious art experience, who have a strong desire to start learning iconography and have the required energy and patience. But we do not encourage absolute beginners to attend this second session.

The payment options:

Please email us if you wish to be added to the Waiting List
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The full cost of both sessions of Extended Icon Painting Workshop is 1600 Australian dollars, or 800 for just one session (we keep it the same as the last year for one session - 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 for one session or 1500 Australian dollars for two are expected to be paid at any time during the workshop.


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.


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.

If you like to share the information about this workshop in your parish, we will feel honored if you print out a flyer. If you like the other one too - here it is.

For all questions regarding the registration and payments, please, contact Philip Davydov

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.

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

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. ***

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


Possibilities for housing:

North Fitzroy Homestay (B&B)
45 St.Georges Rd.
Close to Brunswick St. tram.

Phone: 03 9489 9661


Email bookings:


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