Tuesday, June 4, 2013

St. Nicholas Step by Step

Here is what I have so far of St. Nicholas. Actually it does not include the most recent night of work, wherein I added the halo and border, because my phone broke for a little bit. I'll take a picture next week before I begin work so that I have documentation of that step.

This icon is for my fat little nephew, Lincoln, whose patron is St. Nicholas. The St. Katherine icon involved a lot more original composition, and obviously a lot of ornamentation. It was also my first, so there were several points when I had to take up everything I had done in a night and begin again. With St. Nicholas, I am following an icon by Georgii Gashev fairly closely, I began on a board someone else had gessoed, and the most complicated and time consuming part so far has been the hair. (But just like with the ornamentation on St. Katherine, I had the most fun with the hair. I'm not really a painter [yet] and I feel the most natural when I'm using the brush like a pencil, as with hair and delicate embroidery.)

So St. Nicholas is going pretty quickly, and I hope I'll finish him (or he'll finish me!) before we leave for Maine at the end of this month. It takes a while for the oil finish to cure well enough to travel, and it also needs to spend some time on an altar being blessed, so I may be cutting it close. Luckily it is SUMMER and I can drink lots of coffee and stay at class as late as the nuns will have me.

Apologies for my generally wretched phone photography. It's hard (for me) to get the same exact angle every time, so there is always a bit of distortion of the face. 

Cartoon (Ink on Gesso)

Base coats for all areas

First flesh highlight

Third flesh highlight (terrible photograph)

Building up the stole (ultimate effect will be white)

First layer of "pillows" for the hair. I was worried that he would look like a little old lady with a blue rinse.
Doing some renovation on the awkward third flesh highlight

Final definition on hair. Does not look like blue-haired old lady.
Close-up on face, because that's apparently all I did this night

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