Beneath the glitter

One of the big changes painters taught in the western tradition have to make is not looking at icons as a progression from light to dark, or top to bottom. I don't adhere strictly to the idea that we must begin with the darkest layer or proplasmos (which too often becomes a thick and impenetrable blanket of pigment) but I have learned to look past the highlights. It's tricky because our eyes are drawn to the light, the sparkles, the glitter, in all parts of our life. As an iconographer, we have to gaze past that and find the foundations, the simpler, solid tones our forms are built on. … [Read more...]


I have just started another icon of St Katherine, based on the icon from Mt Siniai. This is much earlier than the more famous one & will have scenes of her life & martyrdom around a standing figure of the Saint. So far I've spent four days getting the board ready to gild, from drawing, sanding, applying bole & then tidying up and polishing the final layers of clay, which cushion the gold leaf & keep it stick on the board. I can't wait to get started painting next week! Tomorrow I will post photographs of my latest completed commission & am planning a post on why icons … [Read more...]