Learn how to paint Byzantine Icons (Part 3) | Filip Gherghisan & Ramona Toader | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Learn how to paint Byzantine Icons (Part 3)

teacher avatar Filip Gherghisan & Ramona Toader, Painter

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (2h 30m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Preparing the colors

    • 3. Painting backgrounds

    • 4. Adding shadows and lights to clothes

    • 5. More shadows and lights for clothes

    • 6. Last details for Virgin Mary's clothig

    • 7. Details for clothes of Jesus

    • 8. Lights on the faces

    • 9. More layers of light on the faces

    • 10. Details on the faces

    • 11. First contrasting light lines

    • 12. Lips and eyes

    • 13. Final steps

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This is a  intermediate to advanced course (PART 3).

Please go through PART 1 and 2 before taking this course.

If you are interested in painting, if you want to learn how to paint in an historic spiritual style, this is the perfect course. You will have a step by step guidance from a pro and you will learn how to paint an icon from scratch (Virgin Mary and Child Jesus). This course has video lessons and a pdf file with useful infos. 

In this part, you will learn how to paint in egg tempera technique. 

Let's start our spiritual-artistic journey!

Meet Your Teacher

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to part three of the course, learn how to paint a byzantine icons. In this course, we will continue our spiritual artistic journey with learning how to paint an icon of Virgin Mary and Child Jesus. In this course, like in part two, we will use pigments mixed with egg. Before we begin. You have to know that the gilding part will not be taught in this course. As in our previous course, we added the guilded parts just to show you an overview of the icon, you will have step-by-step guidance in learning how to paint an icon of Virgin Mary and Jesus with egg tempera technique. Now, if you're ready, let's start our course. 2. Preparing the colors: Hello and welcome to a new Byzantine icon painting course. In this course, we will learn how to paint an icon of Virgin Mary and Child Jesus. After we draw and scratch the icon and also paint the golden background, like in our previous courses. We start by painting with egg tempera. Let's add the aura using a compass and a light red pigment mixed with egg. Here. This how to use the combats with the paint on white paper. You will have to use this exact type of compass to have space to add to the paint. You can find the model of campus in the attached PDF file. You have to make a symmetric circle around the Virgin Mary's head. And also for Child Jesus. The distance between the end of the head and the circle is approximately as long as the nose. Now let's start painting the clothing for Virgin Mary. We add the egg mixture, and then we add red ochre, cadmium red, ultramarine blue. Okay, it is recommended to use a palette of colors to see exactly what color you want to obtain. You can compare with the reference and get the exact color you want. You can also try your color on a paper until you find the exact mixture. This is the best method for getting a precise color when comparing it to a reference, you can find this kind of palette of colors in hardware stores. It is very useful of Virgin Mary. Mm-hm. 3. Painting backgrounds: After the first clothing is ready, we start to prepare another mixture of colors for the rest of the clothing. You can mix the colors at the beginning, or you can do it step-by-step as you paint. We recommend to paint all the clothing and backgrounds at the beginning for a correct overview of the painting. If you choose to work on a single part of the icon from the beginning to the end. Then when you will start working on another part of the icon, you will see that the conjunction of the colors will give a different overview of the entire painting. When you put together different colors, they tend to change depending on the ones next to them. That's why we recommend you to start painting the background and the clothing's at first. Remember to always keep the basic colors in separate containers for later use. We make the mixture for the basic skin color that it's a combination of yellow, ochre, ivory black, titanium white, and vermillion red. We also make them mix for the remaining of the clothing for the Virgin Mary is a combination of ivory black, titanium white, ultramarine blue. Now, the rest of the faces of Virgin Mary and Jesus. We 4. Adding shadows and lights to clothes: The entire clothing of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, with the mixture of yellow. All the backgrounds are painted. We then we start the first shadows. Remember to always keep the colors and make the mixtures for shadows and lights in containers. A The Virgin Mary. Oh. And Do we want to dry so you can see if the shade is the one you want. And gradually become more and more defined. This is done in stages after letting it try. 5. More shadows and lights for clothes: Titanium white. Uniform color contrast. 6. Last details for Virgin Mary's clothig: We use titanium white. Keep in mind. Don't make contrasting or bright. The light is gradually more and more light color. Okay? Okay. We find some of the oldest representations of the Mother of God from the second century. So as the Virgin Mary is represented, usually with her hair covered, we doubted the visible. The tunic is usually details. She has a darker red to Brown coat. This cloak covers the shoulders, head, and arms, and reaches to the nice. On her forehead and on both shoulders. She has as details, three golden stars that symbolize virginity before birth, during birth, and after the birth of Jesus Christ. Go. Why? For Jesus Christ did the basic color. Mm-hm. 7. Details for clothes of Jesus: This can be seen in Byzantine painting. The clothing's are not painted as naturalists. Paintings do not follow the contour of the body, but they create geometric shapes. Another important aspect is the idea that the light does not hit the painted subject, creating different shadows or light. Instead, it springs from inside the characters. We will use technique that we also use for different accents in virgin marries. 8. Lights on the faces: Now we will start to add the shadows of the face. And for that, we need the basic skin color mix. Twit. Remember to keep the basic skin colour intact for later use. Okay. To do that. Okay. I am. Right? We use for the shadows. And you can find out this way, you can go back over the shadow lines. And also correct with the basic color, the places where you went wrong. Thank you. Right. Okay. Mm-hm. We also use this for different parts. 9. More layers of light on the faces: We mix the basic skin color, yellow. Okay. Mm-hm. Yeah. Mm-hm. Why Okay. Okay. Right. Why? Ok. Mm-hm. And gradually, more and more light color. Leave some space to see the basic color anymore. 10. Details on the faces: For this, we use the same first light colored skin. Skin color to prevent it for being very light. If you want, you can also add a little bit of red in this mixture. For the accents of light. We use the first light colored skin. Now for this, we use pure black and we also add this color on the superior elite. Okay? And the rest of the overhead, we use a mixed the first light skin color. Okay. Okay. No. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. 11. First contrasting light lines: Let's start to add the details on the faces. For the light of the ice. We start with mixing white with the first light color we added on the face. We recommend to start with a mix that has a lot of water in it and then gradually insists on the area so that you get a transparent look at first, that it's easier to control. Now we add other details on the face and lighter zones of the eyes with the light color we used for the entire face. For the next light layer on the phase, we add white in the initial light color, and we start to add accents of light. We prefer smaller contrasts, but you can also make them more visible by adding more white in the first light layer. It all depends on the Byzantine tradition of the area or school from which the models we reproduce come from. Even if the byzantine icons have standard rules of painting. There is also an artistic freedom that you can follow without getting too far from the rules. The important idea is to find your own path by following different Byzantine schools of painting. To give you an example, you can compare different images of icons that you find online, like the ones of the famous painter Manuel pants silliness or the ones of the orphans, the Cretan, the icons from mountain photos, and the ones from Macedonia. There are also many more Byzantine artists and schools to discover. We repeated the process of adding light lines as you've seen the video. Yeah. It is preferable that can be done in one direction. And the forehead. 12. Lips and eyes: Now we draw the basic skin color and we define some contrasts. We read in the light color and paint the upper lip. We used to use for the light mixed. We use the same color for adding some details on the upper eyelids, noses. When mixed with water, we defined some dark details on the face. For our last flight on the face of the last light color, we never use pure white because of the contrast would be too big. You make a mistake. When I correct. This way, you can correct any mistake while painting. 13. Final steps: So so so okay. Yeah. Yeah. Try as much as possible to be very precise in painting the final details. That's why we recommended a gradual edition of light lines. So as not to spoil the context. You can add more contrast along the way when you're sure of the areas and shades yuan to obtain. According to tradition, look the evangelist is said to be the icon of the Virgin Mary. There are different models of painting, Mary and Jesus. But some of the elements that all of the Virgin Mary. Now we mix the second corner and we had some face as you've seen the video. Last step is to add the riding on the icon. And we will add with symbols and meanings for you to use them. You have to add them on the icon with the same color used for us.