Iconography Workshop

Icon of Angel with Golden Hair

September 24 to 28, 2019

Hosted by the Monks and Nuns of New Skete.  Instructed by Philip Davydov from Sacred Murals Studio in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

 This particular workshop is universal.  It's good for beginners and  advanced level iconographers, who still trace linear drawing and wish to  be introduced to professional iconography.   At our workshops like this we do our best to open the horizon of  possibilities, dealing with the main professional problems and issues  and discuss ways to resolve them. 


Workshop description: provided by Philip Davydov


We organize our workshops for iconographers, who want to learn  writing / painting icons on their own, leaving the tracing paper behind  and stepping up to the next level. Our aim is to give our students  practical skills, visual grammar and working principles they can use at  the workshop and in their future images of any kind.

          At this particular workshop we plan to lead our students  through the process of painting the icon of Angel with Golden Hair from  start to finish. The method we use in our studio and share with our  students is based on four fundamental steps: 1. creative research 2.  selection of models 3. thoughtful planning 4. careful execution and  control of the image.

The practical sessions will begin with the basics of  anatomical drawing to let students learn (or experience one more time)  the process of constructing a human head en face and three quarters (as  these are the two most common face positions in iconography). After the  exercises on paper the students will be suggested to draw Angel's head  and continue the painting process on icon boards.        


            Intense and disciplined practical work (series of drawing  and painting exercises) will have breaks for  lectures and talks with  slideshows. During the day there are usually 2 or 3 lectures introducing  students to main theological and theoretical aspects of iconography.  They are made to demonstrate how theology is embodied in colors and  gold, to illustrate the history and theory of iconography, and to share  solutions to some typical problems of iconographers of our days. 



We chose this model to introduce our students to one of  the two oldest methods of face'painting, so-called "Sankir-less", so we  will follow the drawing and painting methods used professional  iconographers, going through difficulties and issues they face every  day.

            As certain details of the image are unclear, we will have to  find them on other models and study how to use them well for our icon.

            We always plan our programs to be filled up with practical  exercises and theoretical lectures, and yet we believe that in spite of  the mentioned multiple tasks by the end of the workshop every student  will be able to finish his or her icon. 

  A Bonus:
            Those interested in post-workshop individual work at the  end of the workshop will receive a link to our own "Iconographer's  Manual" listing all the steps, one should consider in order to create a  powerful image.  

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

About the instructor

 Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia).  They both hold M.A. 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.    Philip currently is a professor at the Institute of Theology and  Sacred Arts and the head of The Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg,  Russia.

            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.


Icon Workshop Daily Agenda

7:15 am – Matins – Holy Wisdom Church
            8:00 am – Breakfast – Emmaus House
            8:30 am – Workshop - Emmaus House
            12:15 am – Dinner – Monks’ Refectory
            1:00 pm – Tersext
            1:15 pm – Workshop – Emmaus House
            4:30 pm – End
            5:00 pm – Vespers – Holy Wisdom Church
            6:00 pm – Supper – Monks’ Refectory            

Cost, Terms, and Conditions

$925 include instruction, all materials, 6 light continental breakfast, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, coffee hour on Sunday.

Payment schedule:
$300 deposit at time of registration
Balance due in full by August 24, 2019.

 The class size will be a minimum of 6, maximum of 15. 

 Fee includes:

6 light continental breakfasts at Emmaus House

5 lunches at Monks' Monastery

5 dinners at Monks' Monastery
1 Coffee Hour at Monks' Monastery

All Materials 

*Please bring your own apron.

Students are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.  

 Due to the small class size of this workshop, 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.  (Reminders will be emailed.)  Balance must be paid in full by August 24, 2019.  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. 

You will automatically be redirected to the secure, online credit card processing site to make your deposit.



Guest Rooms at New Skete

Guest Rooms at New Skete

Guest Rooms at New Skete

Great room at Emmaus House

Limited number of guest rooms at the monastery.  $80 per night donation.

All rooms at monastery have been reserved

Motel Cambridge

Guest Rooms at New Skete

Guest Rooms at New Skete

Room at Motel Cambridge.

5 miles from the monastery.  A block of rooms is being held at the special rate of $99 per night.  Recently renovated.  518-677-2453  


Area Information

Guest Rooms at New Skete

Area Information

Eagleville Covered Bridge in autumn