I’ve had an almost life-long interest in iconography, and so after many years I finally decided to try my hand at it. But, iconography is not something you can just ‘do’ on your own. There is a process, actually many different processes or schools to explore.
I found (online, of course) a school that taught week-long workshops all over the U.S. and so I decided to sign up for one that was taking place not too far from home. I have a full, detailed accounting of my experience learning to write an icon here in this blog. I enjoyed the process very much and wanted to take another workshop. You really need to write (paint) many icons under the tutelage of master iconographers. Our icon for this course would be the Guardian Angel.
In November of 2017 I travelled to Chicago to the Monastery of the Holy Cross (Benedictine Monks in the city) to attend my 2nd workshop with the Prosopon School (Просопон). Our icon for this workshop was the Archangel Gabriel.
Here is my finished Guardian Angel on the left, after ‘curing’ and oiling (olifa) several months later. On the right is the Archangel Gabriel.
As much as I like the Prosopon approach/method, I thought it would be good to explore another ‘style’ so in 2018 I decided to find a ‘Byzantine’, i.e. Greek class to take so that I could compare and figure out which I liked better. I found Theodore Icons online and discovered that Theodoros Papadopoulos would be teaching 7 workshops all over the U.S. The workshop in Flemington, NJ (at St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church) was the closest that I could drive to and that is the one I signed up for. The subject for this workshop would be Christ Pantocrator:
There are, of course, pros and cons of both methods, but I’m leaning toward Theodoros’ method, especially as a beginner and only occasional practitioner it is easier to achieve a good outcome, especially in the facial/hand features.
Other posts related to Iconography:
Icon Writer’s Prayer – Iconographer’s Prayer