WARNING: This is an image intensive post!
I spent the last week at an intensive icon painting workshop and painted this icon of St. John the Forerunner (aka John the Baptist, "Forerunner" is how he is often referred to in Orthodox Christianity). The workshop was presented by the Prosopon School of Iconography, a school founded in modern times but based on the techniques of 15th century Russian icon painters, including the famous Andrei Rublev. Techniques learned in the workshop included gilding over clay bole and various techniques in working with egg tempera paint. I also experimented with texturing gold after my gilding did not turn out as smooth as I wanted (make sure the bole is totally dry before gilding!). I am looking forward to doing more painting!
Here is the step by step process (I forgot to take pictures of the bole application, gilding, and etching):
Base coat of all colors (roskrish)
Dark lines painted in
First float (look what this does to the face!)
Second float (still a bit damp when the picture was taken)
Reemphasis of dark lines, border painted, inscription painted (although this should more correctly be within the inner frame, not at the top)
Final highlights, white border on halo, highlights for eyes, all finished painting!
To finish, the painting will be sealed with a linseed oil mix called olifa. But I must wait a few weeks until the egg is thoroughly dry to do this.