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Icon Painting Workshop

Icon Painting Workshop model - Icon of Our Lady Igorevskaya

Workshop schedule:

Monday 13 - Friday 17 January 2020, 9:00 - 17:00 with one hour lunch break around noon.


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

Workshop description:

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See the photographs:

Every year we choose new images and design new programs for our icon painting workshops. This year, for the first time in our practice, we have decided to use an icon of the Mother of God with the Infant Christ as as our model. We hope that this will be a great opportunity for our students to learn how to work with the two faces together, and how to find the best place in the composition on the board for these two interacting complex figures.

The icon "Our Lady of Igor" (Igorevskaya) currently belongs to the collection of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. This particular image was painted in the middle of 16th century after an earlier icon of the same type - a reduced version of "Our Lady of Vladimir" (Vladimirskaya) icon, and adjusted for a smaller size board for personal devotion.

In this context, considering the current tradition of teaching iconography, we believe that even the most careful copying will never allow us to understand and transmit the power of the model through a copy. This is because the actual 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 our images work today we need to take this into account. To avoid the effect of such copying, we always dedicate the first days of our workshops to studies of drawing options. In the beginning, we will draw both types of faces, then study the options for the best composition to suit the proportions of our boards, and also consider the colors required to render the chosen composition.
In addition to the current model, we will work from several other images with similar iconography (i.e. the position of the figures), to learn how to see the original concept through the gains and losses of each image, and also assess the integrity of those images through the remaining small sections and restorations.

Icon writing workshop We believe that a thoughtful approach to drawing and painting will give our students new opportunities for their future work - the freedom to choose other models for their icons apart from those that are well known, including those 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 they will understand the construction and forms of the image much better.

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 visual grammar instead of patterns. As a special note we have to mention, that at this workshop we will do our best to start and finish the icon, but we can not promise this to everyone. In short: Our goal is to teach how to work, rather then to help our students execute lots of lovely details on their icons. If you wish to learn how to carry your work forward in a professional way, wisely considering a great number of opportunities - you are most welcome to come!

The payment options:

Please email us if you wish to be added to the Waiting List
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The full cost of the workshop is 800 Australian dollars (same as the last year - 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.

*** Icon drawing 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.


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