Byzantine Icon Painting

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Sun 15Dec
Sat 21Dec

Ancient Byzantine Icon Painting with the Prosopon School

Facilitator: Deacon Nikita Andrejev

Students will work from several traditional images of St Nicholas, to analyse elements of classic design, to produce their own sketch of a shoulder-length bust icon of the Saint. The focus of the class will be on the face, exploring what makes the holy faces powerful, yet calm. Beginners will be guided step by step to complete their first icon. Continuing students will appreciate the exploration of design & sketching, the opportunity to model a larger than usual face & to tackle the techniques needed to paint beards.

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


Event time: Sun 15th Dec 2019 at 4:00pm - Sat 21st Dec 2019 at 2:00pm

At a glance

  • Step by step guidance for beginners.
  • Learn to see & analyse the design of a classic icon.
  • Draw your unique sketch of this saint.
  • Focus on the skills of painting a large icon face; exploring how to develop calm yet powerful expression.
  • Learn fine points of painting beards.

Participants will gain

  • Guidance in egg tempera painting
  • Consideration of meaning for each step

Join us at Hawkwood in December for this seven-day residential retreat learning the skill of icon drawing.

The course will teach the essentials to the creation of powerful icons. Icons can be enjoyed as works of art, but have an appeal that goes beyond superficial beauty and technical skill. There is a general hunger for spirituality in the West. The rediscovery and appreciation of the Eastern Church’s Orthodox iconography is very much part of this. An icon is at base a spiritual portrait, suggesting the mystery of the divine – yet whatever one’s beliefs, what could be more universal than a simple yet attentive depiction of a human face?

Naturally, we desire to move quickly towards working with the beautiful coloured pigments of this practice. The introduction of an element of drawing into the Prosopon School courses attempts to address this, letting us slow down and enjoy the process.

Drawing from the classic images, our own unique expression of the saint deepens or engraves the saints qualities within us. The icon that emerges from your unique drawing will be a living expression, a link in the chain of creation from the prototype across time and space.

As the Prosopon School system has defined the painting process step by step so too there is a system of drawing making it achievable to each participant.

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

Please note, there will be no gilding on this icon to allow the class to focus on exploring design & drawing of the sketch.

Price Options

£635 Non-Residential
£755 Residential Shared
£875 Residential Single


7 available

Practical Information

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

Nikita Andrejev is an iconographer-instructor who has learned his craft through a lifetime immersion. For years he apprenticed to his father, Vladislav Andreyev, complementing this experience with postgraduate theological studies in Paris and the United States. As a member of the faculty team of the Prosopon School, Nikita has contributed to the development of unique teaching methods. The resulting workshop experience enables participants to create and grow through their icon making, developing spiritually through each icon. Since its founding in the 1980s, the School has rediscovered lost techniques of the ancient art of liquid egg tempera and has helped ignite a renewed interest in icons across the USA and the western world. As an ordained priest, Nikita brings a calm, patient and spiritual approach to his teaching. Each day begins with prayers.

Visit Tutor's Website

Sharon Seager

Sharon Seager helps to organise Nikita Andrejev's courses and is an experienced student of icon painting.


A wonderful balance of theory and practice. The tutor was patient with a big 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.

Informative, exciting and initiatory. Expert guidance on pigment choices.

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.

Tutor was humble, clear and empowering. It took me to my next step as an icon painter.

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