Phases of the creation of the icon

THE WOODEN BASES. Wooden tables constitute the support of the icon. There are different types of wood, but in this case the lime is generally preferred. The table is hollowed out and this phase is called "kovceg" (denomination which derives from the Holy Bible to indicate "the Ark of the Alliance")

PAVOLOKA. The term "pavoloka" refers to the flax cloth. It is the basis of the "levkas".

LEVKAS. It is the chalk priming and glue.

SKETCH AND GILDING. The creation of the image is preceded by its sketch on the levkas with a coal-pencil and with a needle. The "podlinniki", the models of sketches, are fundamental. Then a gilded layer is stretched on the surface.

PAINTING. For the painting of the image the natural pigments tempera is used. The tempera painting is a coating painting. At the beginning some preparatory coats are spread. They are called "roskryo" (from the verb "raskryvat": to reveal). Then other coats are spread, from the more dark colour to the clearest. On the dresses this procedure is called "probela", while on the faces it is called "ochrenie." The final phase of the tempera painting consists of strokes of the brush of pure white lead that is passed on the clearest places (in Russian "dvizki", "ozivki"). In some places of the dresses some gilded finishing touches, called "assist", are also passed.

COVERING OF THE PAINTING. To protect the painting, the icon is covered with some natural olipha, boiled in the flax oil.

Deacon Serafim 2001-2018 Moscow Icon-Painting center Russian Icon