The Principals of Iconography course I've been taking resumed today after a one-week haitus for Thanksgiving break. This week's class began with an interesting presentation on Rublev's icon of the Trinity - a large-scale icon from the seminary's sacristy was displayed. There was some discussion about which figure in this famous icon is really the Father and which figure is the Son. The text we're reading suggests the exact opposite of what I'd always been told, and there seems to be compelling information to support different theories.
Would be interesting to get to the bottom of that somehow ... someday.
Anyway, today we worked on the detail of the landscape surrounding the figures of father and son. Now it doesn't look like I made alot of progress in this session, but I feel like I learned an enormous amount. We were taught today how to use multiple layers of paint in increasingly brighter shades of color to add texture and depth to what we are painting. It is a technique we will use again when it comes time to work on the faces of the father and the son (that's the part that scares me!!)
So using this technique we learned today, as it applies to the landscape, we added crags and texture to the opaque solid background of our icon by building portions of it up with lighter shades. Like this:
I also added a second coat of sienna to the exposed skin portions - it looks as though I will have to add several more coats until it is opaque. This will make the skin and faces very dark, but using some of the technique we learned today, the facial features and and flesh will brighten and take shape as additional lighter coats are added.
So here's the progress I made today. Before today's class:
and after today's class:
Homework for next week is to work on the hands, arms, legs, feet and faces of the figures, adding layers of paint until they are completely opaque - and to add the fold lines to the green portion of the father's garment.