Icon Painting in the Russian Byzantine Style

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Event Postponed
Mon 23Nov
Mon 30Nov

Ancient Byzantine Icon Painting with the Prosopon School

Facilitator: Deacon Nikita Andrejev

In this year’s class, Deacon Nikita Andrejev will guide participants through the process of drawing and painting a forward-facing, shoulder-height female saint. After studying classical images from a variety of sources, each participant will choose and sketch a particular female saint. The design will then be painted on traditional gessoed icon boards in the liquid egg tempera technique of the Prosopon School. There will be no gilding offered in this class.

To find out more about Iconography and tutor Nikita Andrejev please read the interview published on our blog here

Event time: Mon 23rd Nov 2020 at 4:00pm - Mon 30th Nov 2020 at 2:00pm

At a glance

  • Draw & paint a female saint based on saint of your choice
  • Paint in egg tempera developing facial expression through attention to light & shadow
  • Take a step forward in your connection with your inner life through creativity

Participants will gain

  • Experience in drawing a front facing female saint & painting bust length icon
  • Experience the beauty of liquid egg tempera technique of icon painting
  • Paint with a group of people dedicated to learning this sacred art

This year, the class will work with a front-facing female face. Participants will first analyse proportions and then shape and refine a classical iconic face, learning to work with the underlying geometry of the face, focusing on axes, arches, ovals and other patterns. There will be time to practice drawing each element and feature of the face. During the painting of the icon, the enlarged shoulder-length bust will give ample opportunity to practice sculpting form with light, honing the perfect relationship of light and shadow and fine-tuning the Prosopon School “floating method.” Participants will work towards creating a meaningful expression of the face of the saint. The process is fully accessible for absolute beginners, but returning participants will appreciate the deeper insights into the drawing and painting of a larger-size, shoulder-length icon. As always, theological considerations revealing the meaning of the icon and its techniques will be offered.

Women saints are most often shown in the Byzantine style wearing a hood or head covering. Examples are Mary the Mother of God, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Anna, St. Elizabeth and nuns. The choice of subject will be from among this type of female saint. The instructor will bring examples and prototypes to the class, but returning participants are encouraged to think about a subject that resonates with them and collect a few good ancient prototypes of icons or frescoes of a saint for general reference. Eastern saints or Western saints from the first millennium (pre-Schism) that resonate with you and are depicted in the above-mentioned manner are welcome. The drawing and icon you will make will follow the classical Russian Byzantine style as interpreted by the Prosopon School, but the end result will be unique.

To find out more about Iconography and tutor Nikita Andrejev please read the interview published on our blog here

Price Options

£660 Non-Residential
£800 Residential Shared
£940 Residential Single


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Practical Information

All drawing & painting materials provided, including specialised gessoed icon board. Returning students may like to bring their favourite tools & brushes if they wish. Please also bring an apron, a tea towel to cover icon & pack it to take home and a notebook & pen.

Please avoid bracelets & hanging necklaces & clothes with wide sleeves as these can mark the icon as you work.

Please note that prices are listed per person. Residential options are fully inclusive with all meals provided. Non-residential options include suppers, lunches and all refreshments and exclude B&B.

Deacon Nikita Andrejev

Following his immersive life alongside the Founder of the Prosopon School, Vladislav Andrejev, Nikita studied BA in Classics from Yale & then focused on Theological studies at Saint Sergius Orthodox Institute, 2005 & ten years later he completed his Masters in Theology at Saint Vladamir’s Orthodox Seminary, NY. From the daily contact with Vladislav Andreyev living the life of an icon painter, he absorbed the possible meanings of each step & as his father’s interpreter, Nikita has listened to students questions & their discussions for decades. Deacon Nikita’s teaching continues in Europe & the UK as well as painting church & private commissions. Nikita was ordained as Deacon of the Estonian Orthodox Church where he lives.

Visit Tutor's Website

Sharon Seager

When Sharon A Seager typed ‘painting for God’ into a computer, a journey began that would lead her to dedicate her life to Icon painting. Sharon’s previous studies, work as a scenic painter and practice in meditation, as well as the Jewish tradition from which she comes, all inform her current practice. She specialises in Russian Byzantine Iconography and is linked to the Prosopon School, where she continues to study under a number of their notable faculty instructors.


A wonderful balance of theory and practice. The tutor was patient with a wide range of abilities. Inspiring and gifted and amazing in keeping us to task completion.

The course was very well organised, illuminating, thought-provoking and tremendously enjoyable.

I appreciated everything about Deacon Nikita Andreyev, really. His personality and professional skills, his humanity and kindness. It is really invaluable to paint with him, to follow his demonstrations and learn, learn, learn.

The teaching was beyond my expectations. Fantastic setting, great course and a great group of students. Very satisfactory overall. I would recommend it to other people.

Nikita Andreyev has great talent and is able to bring out talents in others. As a beginner, everything was new and of benefit. There was a daily learning curve, but somehow we all got there!