Icon Workshop Day One

It's a bit hard to tell from this photo, but today we laid the groundwork for our icons in my most recent workshop. We begin by tracing a pattern onto the specially prepared panel; once it's traced on, we incise the lines with a sharp tool. We then place several layers of shellac around the image before applying the gilding size. After the gilding size dries enough, we apply 23 K gold leaf to the background. You can see the small squares of paper that the gold leaf comes on scattered around the icon. We carefully brush off the odd bits of gold leaf and gently burnish the surface. Tomorrow, we begin painting with egg tempera!

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