Sunday, October 30, 2016

An Icon Tracing Challenge

Starting on Tuesday, November 1st, Hilda Kleiman, a student of the Institute and an associate professor at Mount Angel Seminary, is doing a 31-day icon tracing challenge, and you are invited to join the challenge as well!

Visit her blog, Incarnate Beauty, for the simple guidelines for the challenge.  All are welcome!

The prototype of an icon of the Nativity from a calendar for a tracing.

A tracing of the above icon of the Nativity

Monday, October 17, 2016

Student Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

by Hilda Kleiman

Phyllida Drummond, a student of the Iconographic Arts Institute, shares this icon she recently finished of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Thank you, Phyllida, for sharing your work with us!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tour of Russian Iconography

by Hilda Kleiman

Orthodox Tours, the company used by the Iconographic Arts Institute and Institute instructors Kathy Sievers and Mary Katsilometes, has announced its season for 2017.

The tour "Russian Icon: The History of Russian Sacred Art and Architecture Through Millennia" will be July 10-30, 2017, and is an comprehensive study tour of major Russian icon collections, as well as less famous yet important collections.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students of the icon!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Figure Drawing during the 2016 Institute

by Hilda Kleiman

With the focus on drawing for the 2016 Institute, the advanced and intermediate students spent the second half of their first full day working on figure drawing with Mary Katsilometes.  They discussed and worked with the S-curve, a tinker toy method for understanding the joints of the body, and simplified geometry for their figures.

The goal of each of these aspects of drawing is to give the students greater freedom in their work with the geometry beneath the figures in their icons.

Mary Katsilometes demonstrating during the figure drawing session.
The rest of the day, the students chose from and worked with photos of various well-known sculptures:




Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Drawing a Focus for the 2016 Institute

by Hilda Kleiman

This year for the 30th session of the Iconographic Arts Institute, the instructors focused on drawing skills in their work with the intermediate and advanced students.  The first group session was led by Claudia Coose, who reflected on the importance of drawing for the work of an iconographer and drawing as an expression of the Incarnation.

Her talk also included reflections on the icon of the Theophany, the Baptism of Christ, which was the focus of the work of the advanced students.  The intermediate students worked on bust and standing figures of John the Baptist.

For her presentation, Claudia offered various images of the Theophany.  She also asked for a handwriting sample from each student to illustrate her points about the Incarnation:




Claudia, Kathy Sievers, and Mary Katsilometes also shared from their own sketchbooks:




Posts in the coming weeks will share more about the 2016 Institute.  To register for the 2017 Institute, which runs from June 23 to July 1, visit our website

Friday, June 10, 2016

15-Minute Scheduling and Communication Tasks for Iconographers

Welcome to the sixth and final installment in a series of lists of 15-minute tasks for iconographers that the instructors and students of the Iconographic Arts Institute have compiled over the past two years.  We have shared tasks pertaining to boards, drawingpaintingresearch, and organization, and we conclude with tasks for scheduling and communications.

Scheduling:
  1. Schedule regular times to work on iconography
  2. Write time to work on iconography in your calendar
  3. Create an email reminder for scheduled time
  4. Schedule next lesson with your iconography teacher
  5. Register for the Iconographic Arts Institute
Communications:
  1. Contact another iconographer and offer support
  2. Contact another iconographer and ask for help or support
  3. Create an information sheet about icons to hand out as opportunities arise
  4. Make prayer cards and bookmarks about iconography
  5. Create a blog post for your own blog about your experience at the Institute
  6. Send photos of your work or work-in-progress to share on the Institute blog
  7. Subscribe to the Institute blog
  8. At the end of the day, give your kids, spouse, community members, and friends a hug for supporting your work on the icon

Thursday, June 9, 2016

15-Minute Organization Task for Iconographers

Welcome to the fifth in a series of lists of 15-minute tasks for iconographers that the instructors and students of the Iconographic Arts Institute have compiled over the past two years.  First we looked at tasks pertaining to boards, drawingpaintingresearch, and now we have tasks for keeping organized!
  1. Reshelve books
  2. Sharpen pencils
  3. Clean and treat brushes
  4. Clean paint dishes
  5. Organize pigments
  6. Take inventory of your paper, pencils, pigments, and other supplies
  7. Order needed items
  8. Organize prototypes in an easily accessible manner
  9. Organize photocopies or articles and images
  10. Dust and clean prayer corner
  11. Reorganize prayer corner
  12. Purchase a journal to record spiritual insights
  13. Dust studio
  14. Vacuum studio

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

15-Minute Research Tasks for Iconographers

Welcome to the fourth in a series of lists of 15-minute tasks for iconographers that the instructors and students of the Iconographic Arts Institute have compiled over the past two years.  First we looked at tasks pertaining to boards, drawing, and painting, and now we have tasks for research:
  1. Read about the life of an iconographer
  2. Read about a saint who you would like to paint
  3. Consider who among your family and friends might like an icon
  4. Discuss the icon subject with family member or friend
  5. Decide on a prototype for an icon
  6. Do an internet search on one icon or subject
  7. Look at five icons of the same subject and print them off
  8. Note composition differences and similarities among the images, such as geometric proportions, color palette, value range, expressions, highlighting, etc.
  9. Compare the sizes, locations, and materials among the different icons
  10. Create wish lists of books about tools, pigments, and books on iconography
  11. Look for used (or new) icon books
  12. Look for information on particular icon schools
  13. Create a budget for investment in iconography
  14. Photocopy your hand in an icon pose and draw it
  15. Read a section of The Icon: Image of the Invisible
  16. Visit the Mount Angel Abbey Library and look at icon books
  17. Read an article on Orthodox Arts Journal
  18. Read books about the Orthodox tradition
  19. Attend a service at a Byzantine Catholic or Orthodox parish
  20. Start planning a trip to Russia, Greece, or the Balkans
  21. Get or renew your passport
  22. Visit the websites of museums that have icons
  23. Visit websites of cathedrals and other churches with icons
  24. Consider icons for different locations in your home or workplace
  25. Read sections of Steven Pressfield's The War of Art

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

15-Minute Painting Tasks for Iconographers

Welcome to the third in a series of lists of 15-minute tasks for iconographers that the instructors and students of the Iconographic Arts Institute have compiled over the past two years.  First we looked at tasks pertaining to boards and drawing, and now we have tasks for painting:


  1. Paint a quick color study with watercolors on a photocopy of a line drawing
  2. Make an icon out circles of colored construction paper
  3. Fingerpaint an image; paint with a child
  4. Mix egg emulsion
  5. Cut up mat board for color swatches
  6. Paint color swatches
  7. Practice brushstrokes with sharp beginnings and sharp endings
  8. Practice brushstrokes on the palm of your hand to learn how to lightly handle the brush
  9. Cut a square out of the middle of a piece of paper, place it over a portion of your favorite icon, and analyze it
  10. Do small shading exercises with paint or pencils
  11. Do a value study
  12. Reline your icon
  13. Make a correction to your painting
  14. Apply a wash
  15. Apply one layer, highlight, or shadow to a portion of your icon

Sunday, May 22, 2016

15-Minute Drawing Tasks for Iconographers

This is the second in a series of lists of 15-minute tasks for iconographers that the instructors and students of the Iconographic Arts Institute have compiled over the past two years.  First we looked at tasks pertaining to boards, and now we have tasks for drawing:

  1. Practice drawing straight lines
  2. Look at good models and practice gold assist lines - sharp, fine, and expressive
  3. Sketch tinker toy figures of icon prototypes
  4. Find photos of classical Greek or Roman sculpture
  5. Use tinker toy method to analyze a photo of classical Greek and Roman sculpture
  6. Draw lines on mat board for color swatches
  7. Transfer a drawing onto mat board
  8. Transfer drawing to sketchbook
  9. Create circles to draw a head
  10. Draw a head
  11. Draw a portion of an icon
  12. Change the expression on a icon with tracing paper over the top
  13. Practice hands in sketchbook
  14. Practice feet in sketchbook
  15. Practice noses, eyes, and mouths
  16. Trace an icon
  17. Make a photocopy of tracing
  18. Create basic geometric structure for 2:3, 3:4, and 4:5 icons and keep on hand for future addition of circles, etc.
  19. Find photos of heads - frontal, 3/4 turn
  20. Enlarge head photos and analyze with 2-circle and 3-circle method