Icon Elements

New Icon

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.


About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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3 Responses to Icon Elements

  1. Patty Roland says:

    I am so very impressed! I didn’t know you were an artist, & what an amazing specialty! I look forward to seeing your own Icons, ~ & art work.
    How interesting that the same ingredients are used now, that were used thousands of years ago. Connects the world, old & new, East & West!!
    In pottery, we also use ancient ingredients from the earth, whiting being one, to make glazes. We use ancient recipes also, that were used by potters hundreds of years ago. Different fireing methods, but the same earth.
    Thank you for this blog!! Good Job!!

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you, Patty, I had not made this connection between pottery and icons. It is a wonderful thing to feel the continuity between all peoples and eras through artistic expression.

  2. anne sekul says:

    I am impressed and think this is just great! I honestly had been thinking of writing to you but have been kind of busy. Have to go but wanted to say good for you and beautiful Pantokrator More later

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