Icon-a-long with Anna 6: Completion

So, I don’t have a ton of pictures of this, mostly just the end result. The total was 3 floats of highlights, then the embellishments, inscription, shell gold, and border. Total amount of time on this one board: 15 hours. A “light” amount of work. @_@

After the 3rd day of painting.

Use of a pattern doesn’t necessarily mean a copy, so I decided to veer from the original and give a contrast border. The inscription is in Latin, rather than Greek, since the original had the same (from what I could make out).


I did have some issues getting lines thin enough with my brushes. I think it’s a combination of my own pressure, them wearing out, and just not being thin enough for fine line work on smaller details. For icons where I just do the head or bust, they’re probably still fine, but I need to invest in tinnier liners! I also got a bit carried away with the shell gold on the Hand of God, but everybody loves gold!

I’m also utterly surprised at how good the horse came out.


It’s now setting up to be oiled in a few weeks, and hopefully dry before Pennsic and delivery to its commissioner. I hope they love it!


Next up is the War Sew-a-thon, but I’m hoping to get some paint down on the icon of St. Nicholas next, which is doubling as a backlog scroll for my husband’s Order of the Silver Crescent.

2 thoughts on “Icon-a-long with Anna 6: Completion

  1. I am stunned at the patience you must have to do this kind of painting and to do it so well. Issues with gold leaf and humidity notwithstanding. Thanks for taking your readers through this process

    1. Thank you. My first icons were not great. This has taken some time and a lot of “throw aways” for practice that I don’t post. I’m an artist, I did go to art school for my first degree, but I’m not traditionally a painter. The fact that it’s basically “fill in the lines” versus start from scratch on most of these helps, but learning how to deal with the egg tempera was the real challenge. Now I understand why a lot of scribes buy their own ready-made gouache, because emulsifying your own dry pigments can be special.
      I also don’t “pray” into the icon as I’m painting it, because I’m doing this as a historical reproduction, rather than a practice of orthodoxy, so if I actually slowed down more, I could probably figure out more tricks.

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