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TRACING THE ICONS

Masterpieces of Russian iconography


from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery


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Introduction
This book is organized in the form of a manual. Its stated goal is to present the role of lines
in iconography and to show the basis of graphic highlights with the help of patterns from the
collection of the State Tretyakov Art Gallery. Educational material, dedicated to the lines,
includes information about painting technique and exercises for self-practice.
The reproductions of ancient patterns of Russian iconography are represented in the manual. Some icons are damaged and, while creating the tracings, we had to restore the drawings.
That's why the tracings are not absolute and each iconographer, who uses tracings in his
work, should watch the drawings, when he copies ancient patterns, and make his corrections,
when it is necessary.
In the section Highlights on clothes you can see the examples of disposal and charts of
lightnings. For further visibility the tracings of ancient icons with highlights in negative are
represented in the book. Such tracings show the possible variants for disposal of highlights.
The book also includes exercises for practicing in making some elements of assists (the lines,
covered with gold leafs).
This book is just a supporting manual on iconography, not a teach-yourself book. Its stated
goal is to help a beginning iconographer. And, of course, wonderful reproductions of masterpieces of iconography from the State Tretyakov Art Gallery won't leave anybody indifferent.
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Lines thickness depends on the angle
of inclination of the paintbrush relatively the paper: the lines are thinner,
when the angle of inclination is more
vertical, the lines become wider, when
the angle of inclination is bigger.

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Hand position while painting long lines. Footing on your little finger.
The wrist is relaxed.
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The start of painting the line. Hand position is almost vertical.
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Gradual pressure on the paintbrush for the line's widening.
3. .
Pressure strengthening on the paintbrush.
4. .
Smooth lifting of the paintbrush for finishing the line.


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You can paint both thick and thin lines

with the same paintbrush, the width

depends on the power of pressure.
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Hand position during painting the icon
in vertical position on the easel.


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Take the paintbrush the way you take a
pen, closer to its tip, try to hold it vertical relatively the paper.
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Start the line from the sharp tip, increase
pressure on the paintbrush gradually, finish with the drop. If you want to paint the
line from the drop to the sharp tip, you have to put the paintbrush and to press on
it, then continue to paint the line smoothly, reduce pressure on the paintbrush
gradually.

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The
application
of tracing
paper is on
the tracing,
fixing with
adhesive
tape.

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We start
to pain lines
watching
the drawing.

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The pattern
of cloth
painted
in classic
style
the folds are
depicted with
the help
of light
and shadow.



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The same cloth
in iconographic
style the lines
come one from
another.

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The pattern
of lines
on the face:
eyes,
nose,
mouth.

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/Content
/Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 3
/About the lines.................................................................................................................. 6
- /Copying of tracings through the tracing-paper ............................ 10
/Highlights on clothes .............................................................................. 14
/Assists ............................................................................................................................... 22
/Illustrations:
1. ( ) /
The Holy Trinity (by Andrey Rublyov) ............................................................................................ 26

2. ( ) /
The Saviour from Deesis (by Andrey Rublyov) ............................................................................... 32

3. /
The Saviour ....................................................................................................................................... 36

4. /
The Saviour not made by hands ...................................................................................................... 40

5. /
Christ Pantocrator ............................................................................................................................ 42

6. /
The Theotokos of Vladimir ............................................................................................................... 46

7. ( ) /
Out Lady of the Don (The Theotokos of the Don) (by Theophanes the Greek) ............................ 50

8. () /
Theotokos Hodegetria (by Dionisius) ......................................................................................... 54

9. /
The Theotokos Petrovskaya ..........................................................................................................58

10. ( ) /
Michael Archangel (by Andrey Rublyov) ...................................................................................... 62

11. ( ) /
Apostle Paul (by Andrey Rublyov) ................................................................................................. 66

12. /
Saint George and the Dragon ........................................................................................................ 70

13. /
Simeon God-Receiver ..................................................................................................................... 74

14. /
Basil the Blssed ............................................................................................................................... 78

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