There is disagreement among iconographers these days as to what is the proper media in which to create icons: the traditional egg tempera or the modern material: acrylic paint. I myself usually opt for the traditional: handmade gesso, a carefully prepared wooden board, and mixing my paints with powdered pigments and egg. I find the rich glow of the tempera paints and the perfect surface of the gesso to be most beautiful. But there is much to be said for the convenience of modern inventions, especially under special circumstances. It all depends on the situation.
I am writing an icon for someone who lives in a thatch-roofed mud hut in equatorial Africa. The icon needs to be light enough to mail and will be small. I will paint it on cardboard rather than a heavy wooden board, and mail it disguised as a greeting card to avoid theft. I wondered about the high humidity there, and decided to seal it with gesso and paint on the front, back, and sides to protect the image from moisture. Tropical areas have healthy insect populations, so I figured that the plastic qualities of acrylic paints might be less prone to damage than an egg-based paint.
So, here I go, repeating the same image that I have been practicing on, in an entirely different medium, but with the same hopes, prayers, and blessings with every brush stroke.