Monday, December 10, 2007

Iconography Class - Session 5

Today was our fifth of the six sessions in the "Principals of Iconography" class I am currently taking.

Our class today began with a brief presentation on this icon, Pantocrator (which means Ruler of All). This particular Pantocrator (Sinai) was miraculously saved from the ravages of the iconoclastic period by St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. It is reputed to be one of the oldest existing icons of Christ. A large copy of this icon was displayed during class.

Practically speaking, today we worked intensively on the faces and exposed flesh of the figures of father and son in our icons of the Prodigal Son. It was the session I anticipated with much fear and trembling - faces are so hard. They say so much without saying anything.

Once again we utilized the building up of color to form the depth of the facial structure of brow cheekbones and chin. We started with a solid dark sienna (brownish) tone on all exposed flesh and worked to add several layers, building it up in those areas to paint the face. We added the outlines of the faces, hands, legs and feet of the father and the son, which helped considerably. We also added the facial features. The exposed areas of flesh still look a little rough on my icon - particularly the faces, but the instructor said that we'll smooth that ourt next week, and also add the gold leaf to the nimbus of the father.

So here's today's progress. First, the icon before class today:

And then after class today:

Homework for next week is to paint the scarf/headcloth on the father, and to straighten the lines which frame the icon (which I meant to do before today).


DebD said...

Your icon looks amazing.

Emily H. said...

It's looking very good, especially the green robe. I watched the video a couple posts down and it looks like you will have a LOT of work to do on the faces with all those layers. You'll have to give us a close up picture when you're done. :)

Mimi said...

It is coming along beautifully, I am in awe of your talent!

-C said...

Oh, Mimi -
That is so kind, yet it is not about my own abilities which are, in truth, very limited. It's as if the project has taken on a life of its own; as if it's not me doing the work, yet the work is getting done.

I admit that I am full of uncertainty and fear in some ways about many aspects of this project.