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Hosted by the Monks of New Skete. Instructed by Philip Davydov and Olga Shalmova, from Sacred Murals Studio, Tbilisi, Georgia.
This particular workshop is good for students at all levels, from beginners to advanced iconographers. This 5-day workshop will teach student iconographers free-hand drawing and painting, so that they can paint their own icons without tracing.
The course will focus on face proportions and structure, so we will start by drawing from different medieval images of the Mother of God from different models. We will try several options in composition and color combinations, and become familiar with the techniques of face-painting. The final image will be painted with egg tempera on board.
The workshop program is very intense and consists of various activities. Demonstrations performed before every drawing and painting session will be interspersed with theoretical presentations; explorations of the theology, theory, and history of iconography; and discussions of some problems and issues of contemporary icon painting. All practical activities are always taught and practiced in a focused and concentrated way without any distractions such as conversations or music. This enables the icon to evolve at a slow pace, enabling us to live and understand each step deep in our being.
The workshop will begin on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at 8:30 AM and end at about 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 18. Every day we will work according to a daily agenda from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with a one-hour break for lunch and tersext and two or more short breaks for lectures with coffee or tea. We will start our study by drawing frontal face proportions, construction, and structure with pencil on paper. We will begin drawing frontal faces with pencils and egg tempera and learn the construction of the garment. We will discuss the traditional concept "Light versus Color" and try the main traditional methods of face-painting. On the second or third day the students will start painting an image of the Theotokos (the Mother of God) on gessoed boards (provided).
The first 1.5 to 2 days of this course will be completely devoted to drawing with pencil and brush on paper. By studying different aspects of models, drawing, and combining colors, students will practice professional freedom and develop confidence in drawing the most characteristic details.
In the last 3.5 to 3 days we will draw and paint an icon of the Theotokos with egg tempera on a gessoed board, 12 x 9 inches. During this course we do not plan to use gold in any form, so as to save time for more creative tasks. This will help students to consolidate the knowledge they gain in drawing and painting, and to memorize by heart at least one method of face-painting for their future independent work. We hope that all students will finish their icons; however, the main goal of the course is to learn and practice as much as possible rather than to have the icon completed.
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (originally in Saint Petersburg, Russia, since March 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia). They both hold MA degrees 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. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts and the head of The Sacred Murals Studio in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Olga Shalamova 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 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.
$1050 for 5 full days.
The fee includes:
Professional instruction and all materials including board, paints, and brushes.
Students should bring their own aprons/smocks, notebook, and a pen/pencil.
Students are invited to join the monks for meals. A continental breakfast at 8:00 am available at Emmaus House, dinner at 12:15 pm, and a light supper following vespers.
The fee does not include accommodations.
The group is limited to 16 participants with two instructors and 10 with one, students are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
7:15 am – Matins
Holy Wisdom Church
8:00 am – Continental Breakfast
Emmaus House (guesthouse)
8:30 am – Workshop
12:15 am – Dinner with the Monks
1:00 pm – Tersext
1:15 pm to 4:30 pm – Workshop
5:00 pm – Vespers
Holy Wisdom Church
6:00 pm – Supper with the Monks
Due to the small class size, the cost of hosting this workshop, and the distance the instructor(s) will be traveling, we must adhere to a strict cancellation policy.
Your $300 non-refundable deposit must be received at the time of registration. You may pay the balance in full at any time.
The balance must be paid in full by March 14, 2024. All payments are non-refundable unless the workshop is canceled due to lack of participation.
Should circumstances require you to cancel, New Skete will make all reasonable attempts to fill the vacancy. If the vacancy is filled, New Skete will refund all but the $300 deposit.
There are a limited number of guest rooms at the monastery.
A list of inns, hotels, and motels will be emailed upon registration.
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