Christ is Risen!
I'm trying to recover a sense of this blog as my art/ studio/ iconography blog, so I thought I'd put some "stages" photos up of recent projects. The archangel you see here is now completed, along with its companion. To the right you can see the (underpainted) edge of the Christ Enthroned (also completed, a long time ago). The dark yellow is the underpainting for the blue robe. Ultramarine blue cannot be trusted to go onto white gesso on its own. It's hard to explain.
If you are new to icons, the greeny colour of the face and hands is called sankir (gotta look up what that means literally -- never thought about it!) In iconography you work from dark to light, so the faces seem very dark and depressing at first. As you put on the highlights the face comes to life and seems to glow from within. It is a wonderful and humbling process to participate in!
As I look at this drawing it's interesting for me, because I've not seen it without colour for a long, long time. The drawing seems weird and top-heavy, and I'm not sure whether that's the photo, or whether I changed the drawing, or what. I think it's the angle of the photo. Ha ha, no pun intended -- angle. Ouch.
So, in the next while I will put up the photos of the angels completed (and any mid-process photos I find -- there are a few) as well as some more 'stages' photos of my next projects. These are 'secret' commissions by clients for their loved ones, so I have to be a bit cagey about what they are in case said loved ones check out this blog! I also have a Sign icon (more on what that is later) for a dear friend in Fife, Scotland, whom I've not seen in far too long. Could have something to do with her living in Scotland. I will put up some photos of that too, very shortly. The icon, not Scotland. Scotland you need to see in the flesh.
Oh: Dream projects for when I get time, or someone sponsors me to do them, HINT HINT:
St Euphrosynos the Cook for Jamie Oliver (a hero of mine, although I hate cooking. I actually think he is a saint of sorts.)
St Maria Skobtsova (the former atheist) for Ricky Gervais (who said in a podcast that he thought icons were incredibly beautiful -- made my hair stand on end!)
Sts Boris and Gleb AND St George for Mikhail Ryabko (greatest living teacher of Systema -- Russian martial arts -- from what I saw of his home chapel in a documentary that cat needs a few original icons!)
St Vladimir for Vladimir Vasiliev, greatest student of Mikhail, teacher of my teacher!
St Thomas for Fr Thomas Hopko, dear to my heart.
St John Chrysostom for Dr Jeannie Constantinou, my scholar-priest's-wife-kick-ass-take-no-names Scripture heroine!
Whoa, this is way too fun. To be continued!