The teaching program for beginners at St. Elizabeth Icon Studio consists of an Introduction to Paint Mixing and Pigments Class (3 consecutive days) followed by a Beginning Project Class (weekly on Saturdays for 10 weeks). All classes are taught live on Zoom and are recorded, and students have access to the recordings for at least 3 months after the last class ends. Some students take the classes live and use the recordings for reinforcement of for making up classes that they miss. Other students cannot attend the live classes because of scheduling conflicts, so they work completely from the recordings. Both approaches seem to work.
Our beginning series of classes always starts with the 3-day Introduction to Paint Mixing & Pigments Class for those students who do not know how to mix their own egg tempera paint. This class covers the techniques of mixing paint for the three main applications used in the process: roskrish, highlights and floats. Students will complete a series of painting exercises for each of the applications. There are also two sessions of Pigment Study covering the names and characteristics of the major pigments used in our school of icon painting. This class provides the fundamental knowledge that students need before they can successfully undertake the study of icon painting online. Unlike live classes where the student can depend on the teacher to mix the paint for the class, in online classes even our beginners must be able to mix their own paint. Some might say this is both a blessing and a curse! It requires that students develop the ability to make their own paint at the beginning of their study, which eventually leads to a greater independence on the part of the students to pursue later painting.
Before the Paint Mixing class begins, all students receive a package of instructional materials and supplies which are included in the cost of the class.
The first Introduction to Paint Mixing & Pigments Class in 2024 will be held on January 25-27: Thursday – Saturday, 10am-noon & 1pm-3pm Central Time.
Following the Paint Mixing Class, we offer a 10-week Beginning Project Class that starts on February 17: Saturdays, 10am-noon & 1pm-3pm Central Time. In the project classes, the student paints a small icon with the teacher, step by step. These classes focus on developing the fundamental skills of the applications of the various steps of the process, and at the end of the class, the student has a completed icon. The day before each class, the students receive an email containing written instructions and step photographs for the work that will be undertaken the next day. During each live Zoom class, the teacher guides the students in mixing their paints and in applying the paint to the board. Some students choose to paint along with the teacher, and others prefer to watch the demonstrations and then complete the work later from the recorded videos. The evening of the class, or the next morning, students receive another email that contains a link to the Zoom recording. Again, they will have access to these recordings for three months after the last class.
The Beginning Project Class for the Winter/Spring session (February 17 – April 27) will be the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel is one of the seven great Archangels who serve as intermediaries between God and humankind. Gabriel’s particular missions in Scripture and Tradition were those of a messenger angel. In scripture it was Gabriel who appeared to the Virgin at the Annunciation to tell her of the impending birth of Christ. Tradition holds that it was Gabriel who brought the joyful news to the shepherds in the fields on the night of the Nativity. Tradition also places Gabriel as the messenger angel who appeared to both St. Anne and St. Joachim to announce the birth of the Virgin herself, and Gabriel was the messenger who appeared to the priest Zacariah to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son to be named John (the Baptist).
Our second Introduction to Paint Mixing & Pigments Class in 2024 is scheduled for June 27-29. The Beginning Project Class for the Summer/Fall session will begin on July 20 and end on September 28. The project will be the Mother of God (The Theotokos). For those students who choose to paint both beginning project classes in 2024, the two icons of Gabriel and Our Lady can be hinged together to form a diptych of the Annunciation.
FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION ON ALL OF THESE CLASSES, PLEASE GO TO THE “CLASSES” PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE AND CLICK ON THE INDICATED LINKS.