Prosopon School Of Iconology Icon Painting Workshop In Byzantine-Russian Tradition June 13-18

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ART News:

The Prosopon School of Iconology Icon Painting Workshop in the Byzantine-Russian Tradition is June 13-18 at St. Anne Church in Santa Fe. The workshop is hosted by St. Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church.

This expanded course offering involves the study of the ancient floating technique of icon painting in the Byzantine Russian tradition, which reached its height in the XV-XVI centuries. Students will study the many-stepped method of layering egg tempera under the instruction of a teacher from the Prosopon School of Iconology. Gesso application, gilding on bole, and final olipha application will also be taught. Each step has a symbolic and theological basis as a liturgical art. This basis will be taught parallel to the technique. Normally, each individual student completes an Icon by the end of the course. A background in art is NOT required to be successful in this course. Beginner and Advanced students welcome.

Daily Schedule of Classes

  • 9 a.m. to noon – instruction
  • Break for lunch
  • 1 to 4 p.m. (estimate) – instruction


  • Explanation of the preparation of the board with gesso ground, levkas
  • Transferring the Image and its engraving: preparation of the surface under the gold (red clay application)
  • Gilding and burnishing
  • First layer of color, roskrish
  • Redrawing of the outlines; first highlights, vokhrenie
  • First float of transparent color, plav’ 
  • Second highlight
  • Second float
  • Second redrawing; third highlight, enliveners, ozhivki
  • Linseed oil application, Olipha
  • Questions, make-up, review of the process, and instructor’s comments regarding each icon

Beginning students will commence their studies on the image of the Archangel Michael and work in a step by step process towards its completion. Along with the technical application and instruction, the theological understanding of the Icon will be presented. This icon is the first of the curriculum which is structured as a progression of icons that reflect the growing skills and spirituality of the student. The icon of the Archangel Michael is followed by the icon of the Archangel Gabriel. The next two icons in the series are the icons of John the Baptist and the Theotokos, the Mother of God. If the student has already completed these four icons, the student should inform the School at the time of enrollment and instructors will provide advice of which icon is to be completed at the workshop.

Advanced students will continue their studies with a more complex icon selected by the instructor – or an icon that they have selected – and will work towards its completion. Instruction will concentrate on more advances methods and refinements with a focus on highlights, blending of pigments and geometric proportion of figures. Taught along with the technical painting will be the theological unfolding of the icon. Advanced students may bring their own brushes and other supplies. This year advanced students may select icon of the Resurrection or another in consultation with instructor.

The Bible; Liturgical Books, i.e., writings of Saint John of Damascus, Saint Theodore the Studite, Saint Gregory Palamas; works of Leonid Uspensky and Pavel Florensky; “The Iconpainter’s Pattern Book”; “The Icon” by Egon Sendler which contains both theologyand technical information. Some titles will be available for purchase.

Tuition for the workshop includes Instructor tuition, Gessoed “student” (9×14) board. gold leaf sheets (3), pigments, brushes, etc. Tuition is $650 if paid by May 15; if paid after tuition is $665 Advanced students icon board please add $15 Deposit of $325 assures a place in the class (enrollment is limited); the balance is due by June 13. All deposits are non-refundable unless the workshop is under-enrolled, in which case all deposits will be returned. Make check payable to: Icon Workshop-Saint Job Orthodox Church, 2270- 39th St., Los Alamos, NM 87544.

Saint Anne Church
511 Alicia Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501

For additional information or any questions you may have, call Elizabeth Bezzerides at 505.660.9113 or email

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