A new icon starts with a clean wooden board. The board is coated with gesso made from rabbitskin glue and whiting, a powdered talc. This is sanded smooth to a perfect finish. The drawing is painted on, it is gilded with gold, then the application of color is begun. The paint is made from ground/powdered minerals mixed with the egg yolk. Once completed, the painting cures for a couple of months, then a protective finish coat is applied over it. This final coat can be either olifa–made from linseed oil–or pure beeswax.
It can be said that the icon is made from elements of the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, formed by human hands, led by the Holy Spirit, all joined together for the praise and glory of God.
In my own icons, there is often, to my consternation, a doghair or two imbedded in the paint, not noticed till it is too late . . . They, too, praise their Creator.