Beginning…and Learning byzantine iconography

On my first icons, I was very disappointed when my icons did not remotely look like the model the instructor had pictured at the front of the class. Slowly, I began to realize that the drawing the students had been given was poor. In some places, folds of garments and such, this did not much matter, but in others…eyes–always, the drawing was critical–and off. In time, as I began to work on my own, I knew I would need a light box. I am a ne plus ultra fan of ebay, and was able to purchase a very fine used LED raised light box from a tattoo artist. The 14″ x 18″ has proven indispensable to me, and, as most iconography tasks, I find the tracing to be very meditative. Best done in the evening hours, with most lights off, your image reveals itself through the

Christ's First Blessing

Christ’s First Blessing by Olga Dytyniak

tracing paper in all its glory. Ah, but how to get the image? you say. Well again, the Internet rides in to the rescue, but you must have a printer as well, and a color printer is even better. The process is this. Find an image, copy and paste it into a document, size and print it. Voila! Yes, there is some cutting and taping for the larger sizes, a minor detail. While on the subject of tattoo artists, I would like to comment. Learn from everyone. Appreciate what they have to offer. Do not look down your nose in haughty fashion. Usually, they will have tools you need for iconography at a fraction, I emphasize FRACTION of what it costs in painting catalogs. Early on, I discovered that manicurists use very attractive pink glittery brush rests you can purchase directly from China for around a buck fifty. And, they also use very fine brushes. Take a look. We’re not all gazillionaires, and we’re certainly not Rublevs that need to use hundreds of dollars in supplies. I doubt that Rublev even did…think about it. People painted with what people had. None of this elitist stuff. What I have in plentiful supply is bottle caps. Jar caps. These I use as disposable throwaway pallette cups. Look around you. The love is everywhere.

                   see my icons at

About Olga Dytyniak

artist, librarian poet, byzantine icon painter, perennial student. Join me on
Aside | This entry was posted in sharing techniques and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Beginning…and Learning byzantine iconography

  1. Rose Cowell says:

    I read most of your outstanding posts. I am honored to share you, your friendship, talent, insight, wisdom and most of all your love. To the best friend a girl could ever ask for. Lots of love to you Olga. You know who. R


    • njacacia says:

      My dearest Rose, At this time in my life you probably know me better than anyone else in the world other than George, and even there you are in a dead heat because we share such a common history. I love you more than words can say. Olga


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.