Byzantine Iconography: Drawing the Face 1: Introduction to Line, Rhythm and Drawing the Face | Julia Hayes | Skillshare

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Byzantine Iconography: Drawing the Face 1: Introduction to Line, Rhythm and Drawing the Face

teacher avatar Julia Hayes, Byzantine Iconography Tutorials

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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

4 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. 1.1. Introduction

    • 2. 1.2. Line and Rhythm in the Byzantine Icon

    • 3. 1.3. The Face in Full Frontal Pose

    • 4. 1.4. The Face in Dynamic Frontal Pose

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About This Class

This is the first in a series of iconography tutorials where we will study drawing the face in a variety of different poses. In this tutorial you will be introduced to the importance of line and rhythm in Byzantine Iconography and will learn to draw the face in the full frontal and dynamic frontal poses.

These drawing tutorials are aimed at beginners and intermediate level iconographers.


Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Hayes

Byzantine Iconography Tutorials


Hello, I'm Julia. I'm a South African born byzantine iconographer with 16 years experience. I live and studied iconography in Greece with teachers including master iconographer George Kordis. I have also studied Theology and done post-graduate studies in Liturgics at the University of Athens.

So what are these iconography tutorials about?

This is not a standard weekend iconography workshop where you simply learn to  trace an icon and "paint-by-numbers". It was never the tradition of the Church to make "photocopies" of old icons, but sadly this modern "tradition" is destroying the creative tradition of the Church. Every period of iconography from the Comnene to the Paleologian periods to the Cretan School has it's own style within the Byzantine system of painting ... See full profile

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1. 1.1. Introduction: way. Hello. Welcome to our first iconography tutorial. Before we get into learning to draw and paint icons, we first need to understand what the purpose of icons is so we can understand why they painted the way they are. The Byzantine men of painting was bad for a reason, and that is to express the liturgical and ecclesial experience of the church. God is with us. This is experienced in the divine liturgy when the Holy Spirit comes down from her gift, transforming them into the body and blood of Christ. The report cycle it is expecting the architecture of the church which is built in the form of a cross in square with a dome above square, signifies the earth and created world. And don't heaven with the outcome of Christ Kratom who came down to Earth and can men for our salvation. The whole structure signifies Christ in her divine and human natures were united. So the building is an icon of Christ and an image of the church which Christ with crisis Ted and the saints of the body. The primary function of iconography is to express respect. The judge is decorated firstly to show through art that the church signifies Christ and his body and the union of UN created and created. And secondly, it reveals through artistic means that Christ in the same are present with us. One often hears icons being referred to as windows to heaven. But this is a Western understanding images that has only recently infiltrated the Orthodox Church. I can't don't reveal to us another world the Kingdom of heaven, otherwise hidden away. This is characteristic of Western art that using death perspective creates a separate world behind the surface of a painting justice in the liturgy. We aren't lifted up in some kind of mystical ecstasy into the kingdom to partake with boiling blood of Christ. But rather Christ comes down to us and we partake of him here and now. Likewise, icons make prison Christ in the ST here and now in the same time, and space is the viewer and making prisons and allow it to enter into a relationship with him. The Byzantine men of painting makes is possible through artistic means. This is what icons don't have background or Dave perspective. They're both from the surface of the painting out towards the viewer and we will be looking at how this is done. In these tutorials, you'll be doing the basics of the Byzantine painting system that will give you that soul. To be able to work creatively was in the Orthodox tradition. If anyone seriously wants to learn, I could not feel you need to learn to draw and not simply trace. Making photocopies of all icons is a modern phenomenon that was never part of the tradition of the church on the country. It destroys the creative tradition of the church. Every era, school iconography had its understand but still years, the same Byzantine system. And here I would like to thank my teacher, George Quarterly's for teaching me the system, but I'm able to pass on to you. 2. 1.2. Line and Rhythm in the Byzantine Icon: the primary and used to make the persons in events depicted presence in the same time. Spaces Beholder is lying is the Byzantine traditions use of line that distinguishes it from all others. I sent John of Damascus it. The first thing we perceive when looking at Icon is coming in Byzantine iconography. All the forms of people and things are essentially made up of common because they're retarded. Perspective. It is line that defines that car and gives it its form and Lagos its reason for existing. In theological terms, color can be understood as the essence and line is what gives it its high prosthesis. Two objects could be painted in the same car a table in the front, for example. But it is line that defines what each object is. So when we're drawing redefining units color, anyone seen practice Life is also used to move the color from the surface of a painting towards the viewer. The various elements that make up perform have an internal movement that is a motion. The creator relationship between them and also relationship to the viewer is the point of reference of everything in the icon. A Nikon is not something passive in relationship to the viewer. But something active that moves towards the viewer and from Hamas response is required to enter into a relationship with the person depicted this movement or energy that becomes rhythm. There's a fundamental characteristic of Byzantine art and chief through line line plays, an important role in uniting the various elements of the composition resume. Not only does it define the outline, but also the internal structure, creating the rhythm and into relationship life is a fundamental element used to predict the form offer surface and into the same time, and space is the viewer. This is why visiting system avoids the use of the frontal view and profile because these stances are stated and doctor now reforms to move off the surface towards the viewer, and as a result, they don't allow relationship between the person depicted and the viewer. This is what objects are placed trance firstly on surface vertical and horizontal lines, prosthetic and lifeless. But if we do or die immediately begin a sense that there is movement. But the lioness is falling when we add another line transfer city. Then suddenly, a dynamic relationship between the lines is created both kinds of falling, but they're also holding each other up. There is still a sense of movement, but the line support each other, giving a sense of stability as well. The transports principle is the bracing rule when drawing because it allows the line to create volume, projection and perspective. Byzantine iconography renders plasticity by using the dynamic nature of the trance first line in relation to the vertical and horizontal axes. If we drove, for example, a sleeve using horizontal and vertical lines, the result is lifeless aesthetic. There's no sense of plasticity. I can't move off the surface towards the viewer. When we start using trance first lines to draw the same sleeve there, it will start moving off the surface and come to life. The transfers line is found at all levels of Byzantine art, from the overall composition to the final person, media or highlights on the face. Learning to draw and use line properly is fundamental because color alone, even if applied in a Byzantine manner, is not enough to bring the figure off the surface towards the viewer. A badly drawn icon that Lex with rhythm created, my line creates an internal conflict and discord that distracts the viewer. A single line always exists in relationship to other lines. I don't want. The former loses its rhythm. You'll never find a line by itself hovering aimlessly. Lives need to be plastic and supple and give us into floor. It's important in the beginning to practice, drawing good fluid lines, you need to be able to draw a good line in order to be able to paint a good line. This is a lifeless line. Hey, is this? This is a fluid supper line. It takes time to practice, drawing fluid, supple lives. We also don't draw lines like this when painting icons. Byzantine iconography is characterized by fluidity with all the elements reform flow and into penetrate the other elements. Nothing is discordant. Fluidity doesn't mean curvature. Curves are broken down into smaller straight lines, creating flow and rhythm. So instead of this, we don't. This, as you could see in the sleep, would do only I'm sure you Boston here draw us. There's no sense of flaw in this line and their points of conflict here in here. Compared to this, where this is harmony float drop form. The line is also characterized by a sense of continuity where one line flows into the next and doesn't give the impression of being closed off. There isn't the sense of this. The winds will flow into each other, something like those. 3. 1.3. The Face in Full Frontal Pose: Now that I've had a look, a line and hard works, we could move on to join the face. The first thing we do whenever we draw a face or a full figure, any composition. As we start off with an excess line, we know in the face we always start off with an audible, and it's good to practice. Drawing ovals get, get a novel, take shape, and that's all we divide into three parts. Roughly everything is divided roughly. Never use a ruler, either, for making the Texas line off for the dividing. Measuring everything needs to be approximate. If your years of ruda it gives a sense of something dead and lifeless. The middle section of the novel is what will become the nose, and it's usually slightly longer than the top of the bottom sections. We take that middle section and we add it to the top of the head for what will be the head and also to the bottom. What will be the neck and your hair will go here, and then over here we will draw Nagy, the arm brows, and they would divide the nose into four. And then on this life we had the eyes roughly with nostrils. Normally I draw with and H pencil, which is quite hard because it gives a bit of line, but for the purpose of being able to see one underlying reason. HB, which is but softer and tends to break on me. And this line over here should always be operable with the I the top line, the I, the mouth over here and the lower left will be four halfway between the nose and the chin, joining us at a strange angle. So my hands are coming out where they should be. The years between the top of the I in the bottom of the nose. - Now this face is drawn in the full frontal cars, and I'm doing it now. Show you why we don't draw in full Frankel close. If you look at that, you'll see that it's very stepped. There's no movement. Step on the surface of the the paper, even the gays. Although seeing talking straight ahead, it seems to be looking through the viewer. Not at the viewer. It's it is balance but aesthetic, and it's unearth. There's no energy, There's no movement. It's lifeless. This full frontal figure was used in the pre acronym Plastic period quite often, but after iconoclasm another, we're going was used but is able to give life to the face and to the figure and to bring it off the surface, and we will not see how we do that. 4. 1.4. The Face in Dynamic Frontal Pose: again. We start off that excess line and we draw level, and this time we add about eighth the width of the novel on the right hand side lines and at the hairline talk and again on the side, we're gonna end about eight to the head. Same thing will happen with Nick. Instead of Nate coming down here, it will come down here before we move on to actually drawing the features on the face. This was have a closer look at how we draw the eyes and the nose, starting with a nose, because there's a little draw first. Often you'll see beginning I've ethnographers will draw on those that look something like this. The bottom of this isn't a court, it's a straight line, and there's no sense of flow and harmony, and it immediately causes discord and attracts the eyes to the viewers eyes to close for the wrong reasons. So we want to create a nose that uses the transfers principle but uses transfers lines on that has flow, and that is harmony. So how do we do that? You start out with a line of top and that and then a lot, someone just lines and lines, and you can see these transfers, movements and this flood between the nostrils and the others. We're doing the other directions well. Bain's not cooperating. Now let's have a look at how we draw the I. Often beginners will make eyes that look something like those sort of Armand shape. But this it'll explode when we make it, don't I? We start off with inaudible shape and using that oval shape, we draw top line like this and the bottom line like this talk one more year to be usually pick up and there will be another line parallel to the top line and then withdraw the iris . Usually I have When you find him, it'll have a dark line on the bottom and the people around will, and then you have one of us. Now it's and these features to the face. So as we should the right side of the face. It's one on the left and thus creates a movement that the face is actually moving in this direction to the left. So we're gonna I don't knows over here in that direction, towards the lived and everything on this side of the face will be slightly wider on the side. So this eyebrow will be a bit longer than the other one again. Way eyes on this line and a lot of approximately nostrils. This one that's not smaller. This one. These are, You know, if these lines on parallel again of Christ a sense off conflict that looks if it makes you don't have a look. Okay, Rising. That's not okay. Now, this is where the trip to bring in the eye contact. Life comes in. We should The face is moving to the left. So what we do to create a sense off being a live sense of presence, a sense of movement is we have the gays looking in the other direction to the right. How do we do that? We're draw align the same time. But will, we're gonna draw the iris looking in this direction by doing what is about minutes, and it's not helping. And the person said golden mothers started the mouth on this chin. I don't like the way that flesh time will be Was a part of the shadows again. Years start from top of the I to the bottom of the Niners. Okay, get on the side of the slight day. Narrow, uh, on this Amador the neck. The next starts from just below that year, but on this side of the narrow side, from the corner of the eye, take a line down and look from here. And then we drove. Hey, come on! - And in the in the center of a fatal head Before it, we had a lock that goes, This isn't my chance. It's not just a headlock. Appear. It helps to create the rhythm, the sense of rhythm and movement. It's, as you could see here is also drawn using transfers principle. And as you're saying about the highlights, they were coming over here over here again, As you can see, forming transfers lines now, you can immediately see there's a difference between this face and the one that was in the full frontal powers. There's immediately a sense of movement, both movement and stillness, because the stillness has created, but the opposite forces, the opposite movement of the eyes and of the face. What is characteristic of this dynamic frontal partners is that the figures gaze follows the viewer, no matter where he's standing in relationship to the icon. There's creative, real sense of presence on a, since the person depicted is in the same time in spaces. The size of your allowing the relationship between and in the same icons are interactive because at the same time as you're looking at the icon, the icon is looking at you and is looking at each person individually and everyone all together way.