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Fall Iconography Workshop: John the Baptist

Term: Fall Semester 2021–22, 10 sessions starting October 4, 2021
Target Grade Level: 7th–12th, 10-12 year-olds with parent assistance
Schedule: 1x / week, 90 min.
Price: $200.00

Course Sections
Section 1: T 2:30 p.m. ET with Randi Sider-Rose
Section 2: F 12:15 p.m. ET with Randi Sider-Rose

Ongoing Enrollment

While our courses are no longer available for purchase on the website, St. Raphael School is open to inquiries about enrolling in courses at any time during the year.  If you wish to enroll in a Yearlong course for the 2020-2021 school year after the official add/drop deadline (September 21), you will need to contact us directly.  We will consider each request on a case-by-case basis after considering several factors, including size of the class, the preparedness of the student, the willingness of the instructor to accommodate a late addition to the class, and the content of the course.  If you would like to submit a request for enrollment in an ongoing course, please visit our Contact Us page.

In the Iconography Workshop, students will complete an icon in the traditional medium of egg tempera, gaining a foundation in the spirituality and artistic practices needed to continue in iconography, if desired. Students who take this course receive instruction in both the theology of iconography (sometimes called icon writing to stress the kinship with theology) and the artistic practices intrinsic to traditional iconography. For students interested in a class with greater commitment, consider the Iconography Apprenticeship, which can be taken alongside any 10-session Workshop such as this one.

Each lesson will start with prayer, followed by a brief discussion and a warm-up technique exercise. The bulk of the class will be spent painting the icon, and in the process students will learn to “temper” the dry pigments with egg and apply the paint in each of the many stages of building up an iconographic face. Since iconography is a living tradition, students will learn about the dynamic relationship between using historic models and understanding for themselves the aesthetic principles of iconography. Therefore students must gain an understanding of composition, the iconographic “style” as it manifests in facial features, etc., and how to “draw on the right side of the brain.” All of these tasks will be broken down into small, structured steps and are manageable for people of all ages and abilities.

Parents who have students in this class are invited to be as involved as they are able, including helping their student with the materials, even extending to working alongside their student if they wish. If a parent wishes to actually be a student themselves, including having a webcam pointing at their work, submitting assignments, and receiving feedback, they are invited to sign up for Adults-only Iconography Apprenticeship course.

If you are intrigued but unsure about the prospect of your student beginning iconography before adulthood, please see the article by Mrs. Sider-Rose, “The Holy Practice of Iconography: Why Start Young” (see page 8).

Please see the instructor’s website for more information about the traditional practices of iconography:

Class Expectations

  • No prior artistic experience is expected or required.
  • This class requires students to have two webcams and to purchase various art materials. (Please see the Course Materials tab for details.)
  • In order to stay on schedule and for students to get the most out of the course, students will be assigned 30–60 minutes of homework after each class. The straightforward assignments will be either a repeat or completion of what was done in class or will come from the worksheets developed by the teacher. No new painting will be done between sessions.
  • Most importantly, before each live class session, students must set up their work space with all their materials, including the ones from home (water jar, paper towels, etc.).

Enrollment Restrictions

  • All children younger than 7th grade (or 10–12 years old) must be accompanied by a parent or adult who will help the child set-up for class and attend every session with that child.. Parents and adults who are partnered with a child aged 10–12 will not be charged for the course.
  • Even parents of students older than 7th grade will likely be needed to help with the extensive preparation for the first class, such as gathering household supplies and mixing up dry pigment color mixtures. (Recipes distributed before the first class.)
  • If multiple students in one household are registered to take the class, they should be prepared to purchase supplies and materials sufficient for each registered student. Note that each person should have his or her own computer so the teacher can watch and give feedback as the student works.


Course Syllabus

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Overview Video

  1. Overview of all the classes (0.00)
    • The classes as listed on the St. Raphael website
    • The difference between the Workshops, the Apprenticeships, and the Summer Camp
  2. Description of the different offerings in more detail (2:32)
    • World Iconography Camp, (2:35)
    • Apprenticeship (9:00)
    • Age requirements for all the classes, including Workshops (11:40)
  3. Summer Board Building Workshop (12:27)

Please e-mail the instructor if you have any questions about the right class for you or your student:

Required Materials:*

  1. Second Webcam and Flexible Arm: Students must purchase a second webcam to point at their workspace so the instructor can observe them as they work. The webcam built into the computer functions as the first webcam.
  2. Drafting kit: purchase here. (You may also purchase the individual items: triangle, compass, spacer, and ruler, from other sources and in larger sizes, if you choose.)
  3. Dry Pigments from Sinopia: purchase here.
  4. Painting Supplies from Blick:
  5. Household Supplies: At least two weeks before the course begins, the instructor will send a welcome letter that includes a list of the things that students will need to gather from around the house (paper towels, jar for water, egg, etc.).

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

Randi Maria Sider-Rose began painting icons over 20 years ago when she was able to travel to learn from different iconography teachers across the country. Since then, she has married Michael Sider-Rose and completed an MDiv at the University of Chicago Divinity School. As well as taking commissions from churches and individuals, Mrs. Sider-Rose loves to walk with students on the journey of learning to see better and more intentionally, using this “prayer of the hands” to grow in holiness, with God’s grace. Homeschooling her four children in an urban fixer-upper strewn with books, art projects, and Legos helps keep the whole operation real.

Mrs. Sider-Rose and her family attend Saint Moses the Black Orthodox Mission Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she has been blessed by His Grace Bishop Thomas to serve in the ministry of iconography.


For more information about Mrs. Sider-Rose’s process, please visit her website at



Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be a much better solution, as such devices enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkTwo Webcams: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer for your first webcam. The second webcam must be able to be pointed downward at your painting work surface so the teacher can observe your work.

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:


  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. Students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.


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