Christos Anesti! Surrexit Christus!
In the period between Christmas and Pascha, I have been putting a great deal of thought into how to best keep in contact and develop the group, so that everyone who is signed up is getting a bit more content and more 2 way participation.

This is what is happening:


I have just set up a closed group on Facebook, to which you will all be invited to share drawings and icon/liturgy practical tops and know how, both directly with the tutor/s and among yourselves. This is open to anyone who has previously signed up, is pending, or is currently signed up. It is called ‘Online Icon Course’ and you can message me at Petra Clare, if you are waiting for an invite and it hasn’t come. Some invites will be given to other iconographers and teachers in the field and participants in related courses.

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I have wanted to do this for a long time. This will start out, as soon as we can manage it, with monthly sessions going through the content of the Online Icon Course. I find, looking at my own diary and time zone restrictions, that 2 conferences would be necessary to span the globe. As a starting point, a conference set for the UK at 12noon BST will be picked up Melbourne at 8pm. At 8pm in London it would be picked up in Los Angeles at 12noon. Thessaloniki is two hours after London. A 12pm and 8pm Conference from London once a month would seem to give the widest viable options for participants in multi-time zones to join in.
I would like to know who would be interested in this, and will hope to have discussion with possible attendees in the Online Icon Course closed group on Facebook. From time to time I hope to invite guest speakers and teachers. Most likely, I will opt for Skype as the best platform for this as we can screen share and – like Facebook – most people are on it and have experience of how it works!

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Subscribers have access to all the course materials. Non-subscribers will only see parts of the course shared during a Webinair or occasional sample units posted on the closed group page. The Closed Group and Video Conferences are open to all subscribers, but by invitation only to non subscribers or lapsed subscribers.
New Material on the Online Icon Course
I am currently sending the first 2 lectures on bole for gilding to the webmaster (under Technique in the website toolbar), and the rest of that section should follow on. i am also preparing a proportions of the body Project, and that is involving some fascinating research. One of the great things about the Facebook closed group is that we will be able to share links to research sources and useful books, during the study process. There will also be an opportunity for Users to contribute their own studies and expand the value of he website.

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The one-to-one video tuition has started. This is personal workshop tuition from home with screen share and drawing corrections in real time ( screen sharing a drawing app. This is a paid service comprising three conferences and tutors feedback via email and pdf docs. £100.00 per 3 sessions.
There are two options:
1. Follow the Units of the icon Course
2. Personal tuition on an icon, or technical skill, you are working on and need help with.

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I think that updates everyone!
I hope to see and hear more from you all this year. It would be great to start to build up a participatory Icon and Liturgy studies interaction and exchange over the next year via the Closed Facebook Group and Web Conferences.

Posted in News

Online Icon Course: Designing Old Testament Saints

PROPHETS SLIDESmulti.002-001  Of course, we call Old Testament Saints the Holy Forefathers or Patriarchs or Prophets, but these modules are about designing any Old Testament Saint. The problem is – ‘How do we make a portrait of someone we do not have any kind of portrait of? We start with the Bible study principles outlined in B1a. We then follow on using the
four levels of Scriptural interpretation from B1b.

IMG_0187Through this process we gradually identify the key elements of the spiritual portrait. There are actually 5 sections to the Old Testament module (B1) and the first part is all about how to develop the picture of the saint from the Verbal Iconography contained in the Bible and the early Church Fathers. The second part is practical Design, with suggestions for individual and group exercises, including making your own Pattern Book for Saints and Prophets. Ezekiel is given as a sample exercise: i) Creating the ‘type':  ii) Choosing the colours: iii) Freehand drawing: iv)Finished brush drawing.

Posted in News

Revised & expanded: Icon Perspectives 1Project

OIC_projectA1e_icon_perspectives1_page6 copyThe Projects are in the form of photo albums which you can riffle through online, or download one or all pages onto your desktop to try out the design exercises. They are accompanied by high quality jpgs of specific icons which demonstrate the subject of the design exercises, and can be printed out as high quality icon models.

The new unit on perspectives in icons is OIC_projectA1e_icon_perspectives1_page2 copymuch more comprehensive than it’s predecessor. We start with an illustrated comparison of the three types of perspective – reversed, natural (vanishing point in the distance) and flat earth, with various examples. There are also slide lectures in mp4 format which explain these in greater depth.

The most important thing for us as iconographers is that, just as the meaning of the word OIC_projectA1e_icon_perspectives1_page14 copyof Scripture defines the shape of the chant, the meaning of the image creates the
‘perspective’ in which you see each person or event. Multiple and reversed perspectives are used freely and creatively in icons to display the true meaning of the event. On the whole, reversed perspectives make a saint immediately and dynamically present to us -much more so than if they were receding in ‘natural’ perspective.  The icon also presents the event from a multiple set of viewpoints – as if we were walking around the subject, looking at it from a number of angles, just as one does when one is meditating on a text of Scripture.

OIC_projectA1e_icon_perspectives1_page16 copyPerpectives part 1 includes  a number of projects based on common objects found in icons  – chairs and table ware, fonts and beds – together with architectural and landscape settings. The aim is to get together a sketchbook of drawings which will form your personal design resource, as you develop your skills in painting icons.
The download images are especially fine examples, largely from the Novgorod school, and it is worth coming onto the site simply to get a good collection of icons to print out as models for your icons – or even for veneration.


Posted in Online Icon Course Update

Online Icon Course – Sign up now Ready!

As far as we can see and test ‘all is now ready’ and you are invited to partake! Many thanks to the person who alerted us to sluggish sign up this morning ( UK time) and thus enabled us to move along. Please try out your access and get back to me if you have any issues. Also, first impressions are valuable- the first to gain access and give feedback was delighted with the studies site! However, please don’t expect everything at once – these goodies will be gradually available! Please read the News Page first, as this gives an idea of the overall development plan.

Posted in News

Online Icon Course open for Sign Up!

PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST SUBSCRIBE TO ACCESS TEACHING MATERIAL!The main thing we have done while we have been offline is to totally change the layout of the site, making it much clearer to see the resources we have and the resources we plan in the future. So you have, effectively, a course outline in which some pages have only a promise of things to come, while others are densely packed! There is huge amount of new material in the pipeline, but the first thing has been to get a smoothly running site and accessible layout in which the ongoing content can be updated on a regular basis, for the foreseeable future.


Previous subscribers will find most of the new material since they last logged in are in the MODULES section, in pdf format. I will be concentrating on completing these pdf modules, which form the backbone of the teaching structure, during the coming academic year. The practical projects in various icon techniques now come under PROJECTS –  they have been thoroughly revised and should be ready to post by the end of this week. There are a couple of revisions of existing units and some new material also queuing up to be posted, so expect quite  a bit more to happen before we resume the podcast slide lectures with the section on Hellenic Judaism.


This break has given me considerable time to get into the relation of Judaism and images, as well as the general way in which Judaic elements have been incorporated into the Liturgy and form a sub strata. a useful book, which will form a key resource for the Hellenic Judaism section is ‘The Frescoes of the Dura Synagogue and Christian Art’, a Dumbarton Oaks study by Weitzmann and Kessler.


We have kept the pricing low, so that it doesn’t make a big dent in the monthly pocket! As each module does take ages to prepare, if you can afford it, and find the site useful, please think about signing up as a Friend or/and giving a donation. One to one teaching via the web will cost more, and we are still finalising tutors, but it is important to register your interest as soon as we can, so that we can try to match tutor to your icon school tradition. If you are interested in one-to-one, you need to be a subscriber, and explore the material on the site, so that you know if this is for you.

Watch this space!

Posted in News