6 August 2012/ ISBN 9781844487943
by Rachel A Hyde
This book differs from all the other art books I have reviewed in
two respects. Firstly, this is not secular but sacred art and secondly,
the materials are in the main totally different. Forget your oils
or watercolors, these are real art materials that have been used
for this type of work for centuries. This is not a book for the
total beginning painter either, as some artistic talent and knowledge
is taken as given., Working through the steps it is not too hard
to produce something that looks like the finished image.
Maybe I would also add a third difference, that this is not art
as free expression of the painter’s own personality but the
depiction of Christian imagery. The book opens with some icons from
the classic era and the story of how they came to be. This includes
a brief summary of the symbolism of icons, and then it is on to
the practical part of the book. Learn how to make the actual wood
and fabric base for the painting (see, I told you this was a different
sort of art book) and what you need to obtain for the whole process.
Be warned that some of the items are highly toxic, and much care
is needed in using them. Find out what part an egg plays in drawing
with a paintbrush, and work through a good example of an icon--gilding
and all--in usual Search Press style through staged photographs.
There are other icons to paint too, with a simplified system of
how they are painted in stages that reminded me of the How To Draw
series, and finally a gallery of work to admire and be inspired
by. This is a truly unique and lovely book that ought to result
in a flowering of many icons.