[Updated April 12 2012]
What are Icon paintings?
An icon (from Greek ????? eik?n “image”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches. More broadly the term is used in a wide number of contexts for an image, picture, or representation; it is a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy, as in semiotics; by extension, icon is also used, particularly in modern culture, in the general sense of symbol — i.e. a name, face, picture, edifice or even a person readily recognized as having some well-known significance or embodying certain qualities: one thing, an image or depiction, that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religious, cultural, political, or economic standing. [from wikipdedia]
Here are some examples of Icons, both Western and Eastern.
Chose someone influential someone you respect- could be contemporary or historic. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A RELIGIOUS FIGURE!!! This project is about having you use symbols to tell the story of the person you choose to paint. We will talk more about this in class.
How to proceed:
- List of potential subjects
- Two pages of Icon’ish sketches
- Decide on who you are doing
- Write their story and chose symbolic images from the story to include in your painting.
- Two pages of sketches
- Full-size draft.-w/ colour
- Final painting.
Non-traditional icon paintings:
- Although not a traditional halo or nimbus it works! What device could you use in your painting?
- Even more simplification yet this image still participates in the Icon tradition.
- And then there is this.
- A saint for everyday life?
- This is pretty interesting!!!
And here is a link to a contemporary icon painter named Nicholas Harper
Artist N.C. Winters blends modern characters from ’80s movies, classic video games and other pop inspiration with with traditional symbols and 1970s psychedelica to create rich and surreal paintings that explore the line between classic and kitsch
How to make a traditional Icon painting-
step by step, linked to Atelier-st-andre.net
Choosing the wood
Calculating the size
The carved board
Preparation of the glue
Gluing the board
Mounting the linen on the board
The Levkas, Gesso
The first four layers of levkas
Double layers of levkas
The finish layer
Fissures and cracks
Choosing and preparing pigments
Egg tempera preparation
Painting a face
Lining with a brush
The basic sanquir
The first highlights
The second highlights
The last highlights
The technique of gold assist
traditional Russian Icons