Over a span of just five days, Lee Walker, Mi Young Kang, Danielle Divola and Paulina Zamarano who are studying the Bachelor of Visual Art and Design, learnt the art of creating an icon according to the traditional egg tempera method.
The workshop is a special opportunity made possible by world renowned Russian iconographers Phillip Davydov and his wife Olga Shalamova. Each year, Philip and Olga hold the classes at the ACU Melbourne Art Gallery and offer ACU arts students’ scholarships to take part in these workshops. The scholarships are offered to students who have excelled in the painting and drawing units offered within the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design degree.
Although Lee, Mi Young and Paulina had few expectations prior to the workshop, they came away from the course with an understanding and appreciation of how icons are painted and the underlying construction to them.
Now in its eighth year at ACU, the workshop is a mix of theory, demonstrations and practical elements. Philip and Olga guide students through the meticulous process of iconography, ensuring they complete each step to perfection before moving on to the next.
Reflecting on how the workshop will enhance their future art practices, the students agreed their learnings will help them in portrait drawing and painting, as the skills learnt are both adaptable and useful in creating contemporary art.
When asked to share a highlight of the course, this is what they students had to say;
Lee, “It’s hard to pick just one highlight from the workshop, as it was such an incredible workshop. To me it was more than just a painting workshop. It was more like a journey, and when we all finished the painting we had not only created something beautiful but had built up friendships with the other students and the teachers.”
Mi Young, “I had been drawing faces at home and felt that it was not easy to convey faces realistically without properly setting out the proportions first. At the beginning of the workshop, Philip and Olga taught us how to properly proportion the face. This had a significant impact on my portraiture. I felt a deep sense of pride at the completion of my icon and am very grateful to have had this unique experience.”
Paulina, “My highlight was the unveiling of the final resolution of the work after hours of layering and understanding how to manipulate the egg tempura as it dried. I also enjoyed the depth of technical knowledge that was given in such a short amount of time.”
Find out more about study Visual Art and Design at ACU here.
(Pictured above ACU students, Lee Walker, Mi Young Kang, Danielle Divola and Paulina Zamarano)