I added a new link list on the right that is a list of some of my favorite links regarding supplies and techniques in painting, especially icon painting using traditional methods. The great thing about modern icon painting is that it is little changed from icon painting of the medieval and Renaissance periods, so techniques practiced today easily translate to period techniques. Most of the sites linked to on these websites are in English and the classes are in the U.S. but Iconofile has links to classes all over the world, including this site in the Netherlands. If you are in Texas you are in luck because there are workshops in silver repousse, icon writing and illumination this year so check out Icon Arts.
Kalish Finest Brushes has really nice brushes, my personal favorite. The Series 8 liners (scroll to bottom of page) are awesome for illumination and much better than even the Kolinsky sable brushes from major manufacturers that are sold in art supply stores. Not only are they better, they are cheaper!!
Natural Pigments has the most amazing supply of traditional artist materials. They even carry such traditional and hard to find (not to mention hazardous) pigments as orpiment, cinnabar, lead white and real Naples yellow. They also do the Iconofile website and hold annual workshops in iconography (Yaroslavl 17th century style) and traditional fresco. I'd love to learn fresco but I have too many irons in the fire as it is, unfortunately. Pesky job eats up too much of my time!
I study with Betsy Porter, a wonderful lady who volunteers her time twice a month to teach an ongoing workshop in San Francisco. The cost is only ten dollars per 4 hour session and she shares her bole and pigments with students as well as some of her tools. This makes the cost of getting started very minimal. She studied with the Prosopon School, which holds workshops all across the U.S. at various times during the year. I will be attending the 6 day class in Santa Barbara this summer and I am really excited!
The Prosopon School also released a DVD this year which contains over four hours of instruction in the creation of an icon from preparing the gesso panel to applying gold to painting and finishing. Check out their website to watch clips from the DVD, it looks really good. I think I may have to order a copy!
When I was first interested in illumination and tempera painting I had a hard time finding good references and suppliers and was really at a loss about where to begin. If I had known about these websites and schools years ago I would have been jumping for joy. I plan to add to the links as I find more and have time to look through all my bookmarks. I hope this is helpful to anyone who has a similar interest and if you know of other great places please let me know.