Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Here is the latest progress on my icon. It is modeled after Panselinos' "Christ Enthroned."

I haven't been taking pictures at each step for this icon because the camera on our ancient Android broke and I'm too lazy to get our even older digital camera working. I think in the future I will wish that I had taken pictures, because I'm using a different method than I did with Sts. Katherine and Nicholas. My teacher (I'll just call her Mother because she's a nun and she doesn't want to have an internet iconography presence) was a student of Ksenia Pokrovsky for several years, so in class we used Ksenia's techniques, which employs many many different pigments, takes a very long time, and to me, felt a bit arcane. Of course the results were always beautiful, but it was a pretty complicated process.

But whether by providence or coincidence, Ksenia's passing in June 2013 (Вечная память) occurred just as Dr. George Kordis came to town to paint, lecture and teach. So Mother took it as a sign that perhaps she was being given a new mentor, and she's taken off like a rocket. Kordis' method is much faster, only uses 4 pigments, and I personally find it much more intuitive. Modeling volume quickly with a dry brush makes more sense to me than slowly building up layers with thick wet paint and sitting around waiting for it to dry. And limiting the palette to four pigments means not only that I can afford to paint at home, but that mixing colors is simply a matter of ratio. With Ksenia's method, you could have a medicine cabinet full of pigments, and you'd just have to know how each one behaved in the presence of other pigments. The way of four pigments makes a lot more sense to my geometrical brain. I feel much more confident about being able to do this by myself at home than I was with Ksenia's method.

Mother says that Ksenia would say all this Is Outrage. But we honor her memory and move on.

Another nice thing about this is that Kordis is an academic, and has written books which we can read at home, and flits around lecturing. There's a lot more information available for his method.


  1. it does! thanks for sharing the George Kordis link :)

    1. thanks! Glad you like his stuff. actually the image at the head of my page is a painting by Kordis.