WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Inspirational Art
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:41 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Icons & Iconography

I've been writing/painting icons for almost 2 years, still learning. Are there any other iconographers here at WetCanvas? I'd enjoy seeing and talking with you here. :-) I checked and wasn't able to locate any other iconography threads, but please forgive me if there are some.

Here's a pic of two Christ Emmanuel icons I just finished. The carrier is 3/4 inch birch plywood, with true gesso made from RSG, marble and chalk dust. Paint is ET using dry pigments, and gold is 23K leaf.

Thanks, and hope to hear from anyone interested in icons/iconography! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:44 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Forgot to mention: text on the scrolls is Old Church Slavonic, and is from the Gospel of St. John, 1:1.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-27-2009, 11:30 AM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Here's a picture of two icons I did that hang on the wall above my painting table. I apologize for the image quality, but I don't own a camera and must rely upon the goodwill of friends to take pictures. (I didn't do the Cross.)
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-27-2009, 07:52 PM
gmarie's Avatar
gmarie gmarie is offline
A WC! Legend
A Californian! Coming Home Soon!
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,266
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Hi, Celadonite, these are really beautiful works of art.
The neatness, & exactness, & detail, on all 4, are remarkable,
and the vivid colors so very attractive.
I especially like the "marble",
and most especially like the "gold".

Thanks a lot for sharing.
__________________

Gladys Marie "I'm somewhere...in the future...and I look much better than I look right now!" ...KIM CLEMENT
Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Wonderful!!! ...MAE WEST
*WETCANVAS MEMBER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS THREAD*
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:45 AM
Tusitalo's Avatar
Tusitalo Tusitalo is offline
Senior Member
Taylor, Michigan USA
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 470
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

I've been on WC a long time, these are the first Icons I've seen on here. I know the painting (or writing) of an Icon are very exacting,

Can you point me to more information on their creation? Yours are very beautiful not only in their execution, but also their subject matter.
__________________
TUSITALO (that's how I sign paintings, you can call me TOM )
Ars aeternum, vita brevis
See my ART at:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/tusitalo/portfolio
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:24 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusitalo
I've been on WC a long time, these are the first Icons I've seen on here. I know the painting (or writing) of an Icon are very exacting,

Can you point me to more information on their creation? Yours are very beautiful not only in their execution, but also their subject matter.


I'm not sure if I correctly understand your question regarding the creation of icons---are you referring to the icons I did specifically, or to the creation of icons in general?

I didn't document much of the painting/writing of these icons, indeed only a couple of pictures were taken of one of them while in production. I'll include one with this post, though I'm afraid it won't reveal much save that one works from dark to light while painting them. This pic shows the icon with only the gold leaf and "roshkrish"---underpainting--done.

I will try to answer any question you have, as best as I'm able, so please do ask! Just uncertain, as I said, if you were referring to my icons or icons in general. It's a very large and interesting subject!
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-29-2009, 12:09 PM
Tusitalo's Avatar
Tusitalo Tusitalo is offline
Senior Member
Taylor, Michigan USA
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 470
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celadonite




I'm not sure if I correctly understand your question regarding the creation of icons---are you referring to the icons I did specifically, or to the creation of icons in general?

I didn't document much of the painting/writing of these icons, indeed only a couple of pictures were taken of one of them while in production. I'll include one with this post, though I'm afraid it won't reveal much save that one works from dark to light while painting them. This pic shows the icon with only the gold leaf and "roshkrish"---underpainting--done.

I will try to answer any question you have, as best as I'm able, so please do ask! Just uncertain, as I said, if you were referring to my icons or icons in general. It's a very large and interesting subject!
Yours and Icons in general. The subject interests me and I would like to know how you go about it. For example where do you get your subject from, posed from a live model or through research into ancient icons? You use gold leaf, how is it applied, glued? What is your primary media, oil, egg tempera, water based color? What do you underpaint with, what do you prime the board with? Do you follow the icon painters or use your own ideas? Sorry I don't mean to put you on the spot...really but I've seen icons in documentaries and they really don't explain anything about HOW they are created....
__________________
TUSITALO (that's how I sign paintings, you can call me TOM )
Ars aeternum, vita brevis
See my ART at:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/tusitalo/portfolio
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-30-2009, 01:00 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

There are several main schools of iconography, with numerous regional variants to be found within those schools. The main schools I am aware of are Greek, Russian, Ethiopian. There are also stylistic changes that have occurred over the centuries, such as those introduced into Russian by the authority of Peter the Great in his "westernization" campaign.

I would say that the icons of Christ Emmanuel, shown below, are illustrative of a more "westernized" version of style, rather than a simpler, purer Novgorodian-Russian style.

I'm painting on 3/4 inch birchplywood, which is an accepted modern practice in iconography. Traditionally, wooden planks are used, glued together when necessary to form a panel, into which a "kovcheg"--a carved recess--is applied to where the actual painting is done.

I've done panels with kovchegs, and quickly realized that I needed more practice painting than I needed woodworking, so moved to panels I cut from birchply. I intend to return to recessed plank panels when I feel more confidant regarding my painting technique.

Gold Leaf is applied over "bole", in this instance red bole, which is a clay. (other colors of bole such as yellow are available, too. ) It's mixed with--in this case--liquid hide glue and a bit of water, and applied to the areas to be guilded with an ordinary artist's round brush. Once dried, it's sanded smooth and the gold is applied.

There are two types of gold leaf, "loose (or 'water')" and patent. Loose, which I'm using, is traditionally applied using a "guilding brush" which is a cardboard card sporting long squirrel hairs with which one carefully maneuevers the leaf onto the bole--small puddles of water pre-applied to the bole suck the leaf onto the bole as they evaporate, leaving it well-fastened in the best instance.

There is a MUCH easier/quicker method for manipulating and securing gold leaf which master iconographer Vladimir Andrejev teaches in his dvd set "The Icon". This involves using wax paper and works brilliantly. The demonstration of this one technique alone is well worth the cost of the dvd set (roughly $99, if I recall correctly).

I used this method in the icons below. The gold leaf is easily applied to wax paper which can then be cut and simply manipulated onto the bole. In this method, one breathes onto the bole, the moisture from one's breath being sufficient to secure the leaf to the bole.

Anyways, back to the chase.

I use pictures and drawings of old icons for inspiration. I find these in books or online. A drawing or tracing is made--for me usually a laborious task as I'm not a particularly proficient drawer, and then I usually photocopy the drawing--reducing or enlarging it as needed. I use the photocopy as a "template" to transfer the image onto the gessoed panel using graphite paper. Or, I darken the back of the transfer with ordinary pencil lead.

The plywood panels: cut to dimensions appropriate to the drawing. I use talatan cloth, glued to the panel with rabbit skin glue. This takes a day to dry and next day I begin applying gesso made of rabbit skin glue (RSG), chalk, and marble dust. There are numberless recipes for gesso available online and in books. I've used several, and have found gesso to be more forgiving than one would think. Sloppy solutions, though messy, have worked fine. More creamlike solutions have worked perfectly. I've only noticed several causes for caution: too much RSG will leave a distinctively "plastic" feel and appearance to the gesso. This is usually salvageable by sanding the panel and readjusting the ratios of ingredients in the gesso. The other thing I've found is (for me, at least) it's best to allow the gesso to dry between coats, lest cracks appear. There are several opinions current as to the best way to gesso, I can only tell my experience regarding this. Applying all the requisite layers takes several days, so it's best to gesso several panels simultaneously, a "batch run", if you will.

8-11 or more layers of gesso are generally recommended. The icons below have 6 and 8 layers, respectively. I've used as few as three coats on practice pieces and have "gotten away" with it, but it's not preferred practice.

Sand the layers of gesso. Some authorities suggest sanding between every layer. I've found this unnecessary, at least for my purposes at this stage of practice. I usually sand when I determine where layering is uneven and I choose to adjust it before it gets too far out of whack. When the final layer has dried, I sand. As much as possible, I use a hand held sander, 100 grit for the first sanding, working my way down to handsanding with 600. One can pursue sanding even further, using finer and finer grits. The final finish 600 produces satisfies me.

The paint and underpaint I use are egg tempera. There are numerous "recipes" for egg tempera emulsion, and I've experimented with several. Currently I'm using egg yolk mixed with white wine and the necessary dry pigments. Water is added as necessary to dilute pigments for floats.

I hope I've somewhat answered your questions, and not confused you. There are a number of good books available and websites online pertaining to iconography and the painting/writing of icons. Egon Sendler's "The Icon" is very scholarly book and a great foundation for an understanding of what's going on within an icon. The book's out of print but can be found in used book agencies, though generally pricey. (My copy cost me $110, alot of money but I don't at all regret having gotten it.)

Vladimir Andrejev has a school, http://www.prosoponschool.org/ which I've not attended as yet. I have viewed his dvd, "The Icon", and it's wonderful. I've talked with people who've attended his classes, and they've all held him in the highest regard as a teacher and as a person.

One note: I love Kolinsky brushes, and use them exclusively in painting. I do beleive there's a difference. I suggest their use in iconography, as other's before me have suggested.

Let me know if you have other questions or if I've been unclear!
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-02-2009, 02:39 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

I glued cloth to 4 panels today, and took some pics.

I used 4 tablespoons of Rabbit Skin Glue granules/powder soaked in two cups of cold water. I let it soak for a couple hours, until the water had been absorbed. I then got my cloth cut to approx. size, gathered my tools together, and heated the RSG/water mix to 110 deg. F.

Beginning at the middle of the panels, I worked outwards, straightening any wrinkles as they occurred.

I was out of the tarlatan cloth I prefer, so used a 100% cotton cheesecloth (99 cents a yard, as I recall) that I washed/dried before using. (There are different makes of cheesecloth, I want something that feels relatively soft/flexible after washing, and not stiff/coarse like nylon!)

The process for gluing up the cloth for 4 panels of fairly similiar size occupied about an hour. That includes reheating RSG between gluing cloth to each panel to maintain roughly 110 deg. F. glue. I washed the brush as the glue re-heated. I used Kirk's Castille soap and worked up a lather using the brush as if it were a shaving brush. Then work the soap into the brush bristles by hand, and rinse thoroughly. I'll let the panels dry overnight and then use an X-acto knife to cut excess cloth from the panel. I also took steps to ensure the dog couldn't get to the panels and go after the RSG as it dried! I've found dogs and cats both will lick egg tempera paint if left unattended with a drying painting, and am sure RSG is a delicacy to them, too.

Next Step: Make and begin applying gesso. This may happen tomorrow, or this weekend, and I'll try to document it with pics.

Last edited by Celadonite : 10-02-2009 at 02:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-04-2009, 11:47 AM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

1st coat of gesso on three panels this morning. Soaked RSG overnight so it was ready, gathered materials together and had at it!

Took about 30-40 minutes. No problems beyond the occaisional hair that would materialize from nowhere and land in the gesso. Easily removed and not a big deal. Reheated gesso to 110 deg. F between gessoing each panel. Gesso brush was immersed in a jar of water as the gesso reheated, in lieu of cleaning thoroughly between each panel.

Nothing remarkable to see, but did take a pic of the setup: measuring cups with 2 cups of marble dust, and 1 1/2 cups of chalk. Note the wooden spoon partially hidden at bottom of pic, used to gently stir/mix the ingredients into the RSG.

Depending upon how things dry, will do a second application this afternoon. If drying is slow, then tomorrow.

Last edited by Celadonite : 10-04-2009 at 11:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-04-2009, 11:16 PM
aolaranora's Avatar
aolaranora aolaranora is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Harrisburg, PA (almost!)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,088
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Very interesting thread! It is so good you do it stage after stage, so we can see the progress. Definitely would like to try someday. :-)
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:57 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Thanks, Aolanora! Hope this thread will give you some ideas/inspiration to start painting/writing icons

I realized I should post a pic of the drawing that's going to find it's way onto the panel featured in the pics below.

It's the Virgin of the Sign. I found a tracing of it at http://www.icon-art.info/hires.php?l...type=1&id=1527 and made a drawing from it. Added seraphim above each of Mary's upraised hand, per a pic of the same type of icon in a book I had.

Had a bit of difficulty drawing the Seraphim. They have six wings, and I had a difficult time determining the relative placement of each wing--which side of the Seraph's body was it on relative to every other wing? The picture I had to work with was small, not much detail. Finally, I determined to label each wing R(ight) or L(eft), according to my best determination of which side of the angel's body it lay on. Perhaps a bit illogical, but it worked for me.

After several false starts, I made a satisfactory drawing and put it onto tracing paper to mirror-image for the second angel---I'm not a good enough drawer to have hoped to draw a second seraphim to match the first!

I left space on Mary's head and shoulders for the stars that are traditional there, signifying her virginity before, during, and after the birth of Jesus.

It worked fairly well, as you can see.

I'm especially looking forward to painting the Seraphim. They're to look like burning coals, and that shall be fun to strive for!


Last edited by Celadonite : 10-05-2009 at 01:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-06-2009, 01:04 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography





1st sanding today. After 3 coats of gesso, I decided it was time to knock off the high spots.

Pics of my setup are above. I used 100 grit aluminum oxide 3M paper and a DeWalt sander. (The sanding can be done by hand. This takes much longer, but is nice when you're in a contemplative mood. I was jazzed-up on coffee and have done so much hand-sanding in life I now avoid it whenever possible--the romance is gone!)

When sanding, don't bear down on the sander. (Too much pressure puts an undue load on the sander's motor, and you're more likely to sand thru the gesso.) Let the sandpaper do the work, not any pressure you're applying. Keep the hand holding the sander in constant small circular random (but NOT spastic) motion--this aids with the sanding process and aids against sanding through the gesso. Don't concentrate too intently on one particular area. Better to slowly even out an area by many returns to it than to try to get it level all at once.

You'll note in the picture I didn't bother to wear a dust-mask. I made this choice as a gentle breeze was blowing and most of the gesso dust was carried away from me. Still, not a smart thing to do, but that's the way I roll. Much smarter to wear a dust mask, and I advise you to "do as I say, not as I do" in this matter.

So, first sanding is done, and more gesso to be applied

(Note: I used a total of 3/4th's of a sheet of sandpaper to 1st Sand three similiarly sized panels. Time including setup: about 40 minutes.)

Last edited by Celadonite : 10-06-2009 at 01:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-06-2009, 02:57 PM
aolaranora's Avatar
aolaranora aolaranora is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Harrisburg, PA (almost!)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,088
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

I think you did just fine with their wings!

Love this thread. Very informative.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-06-2009, 03:37 PM
Celadonite's Avatar
Celadonite Celadonite is offline
Senior Member
Artists Are Never Annoying Until They Come OUT of Their Studios.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 206
 
Hails from United States
Re: Icons & Iconography

Quote:
Originally Posted by aolaranora
I think you did just fine with their wings!

Love this thread. Very informative.

Thanks, Aolaranora. Glad you're enjoying it Hope you'll get around to doing an icon soon. As nicely as you paint, I'm sure it'd be beautiful.
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:43 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.