Today was our 4th of 6 sessions in the iconography class I've been taking during the past weeks. Class discussion today started with a presentation about icons of the Theotokos - this icon was displayed for the discussion.
Practically speaking, today we added the robe lines to the garment of the father. Garments are hard - at least I thought so. The fluidity of a garment in motion is important, yet difficult to depict. We used the same technique for the green robe as we used for the landscape last week, building the colors and giving the fabric depth by adding layers of paint in lighter and lighter hues.
It was important to note, our instructor said, that the lightness - the brightness - must come from within the person wearing the garments, not necessarily from a consistent angle of light from outside the person. And where the garments bunch, more light layers of lighter color are needed.
Also, I had apparently ommitted a little portion of homework from a previous week. At some point I was to have painted the garment of the son white. Because the board was white, it was easy to miss the fact that I hadn't painted it. In consultation with the class instructor, instead of just painting the son's garment white, I asked if I might do the color build up that we had done on other portions of the icon - it seems to add a great deal of depth to the colors. She encouraged me to do so, mentioning that she'd only omitted this step on the son's garment to save time (six class periods is not alot of time to paint an entire icon, even one as simple as this one). So with her permission, I started painting the sons garment with blue and got it built up to light blue. I have several layers to go until it's white, but I am glad to do them.
So here's this weeks progress. First, the icon as it was before class today:
And then after today's session:
Homework for next week is to finish building up the white garment of the son and to add the garment lines. At some point, either this week or next, I will need to straighten the lines which frame the icon, too - perhaps sooner is better than later.
Next week we will do the faces and the exposed flesh of both father and son. The instructor warned us that it will be an intensive week. Giving them faces is what has made me the most nervous of all, but with God's help and some extra prayers, I'll do it next Monday.
The final week will be adding the gold leaf to the nimbus of the father. But I have much work to do before then.
Pray for me!