Iconography Apprenticeship Year 3

Iconography Apprenticeship Year 3 is the third of the 6-year Apprenticeship Program. The Year 2 focus will be on the turned face, and students will complete an Icon of the Archangel Michael on a 12X16” board. As with the Workshops, the students in the Apprenticeship Program approach icons as a “prayer of the hands” and use the traditional media of egg tempera and gold leaf and hand-gessoed traditional boards.

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. The Apprenticeship is “skills-based,” meaning we will do plenty of preliminary exercises
to internalize the skills before applying paint to the board. 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 color, composition, the iconographic “style” as it manifests in facial features, etc., and how to “draw on the right side of the brain.”

Apprenticeship Year 3 Students will work toward the demonstrable goals of:
1. freehand-drawing a bust on bust geometry
2. Drawing and highlighting the 3 foundational patterns of clothing folds from memory
3. Identify the iconography of angels
4. (Time and skill-level permitting) Gold assist, or the gold detail that is done on top of
paint, e.g. on the Archangel Michael’s wings and/ or clothing. (We will use garlic size, so
no additional purchase is needed.)

These skills will be assessed in a final one-on-one oral exam with the instructor.

For more information about Mrs. Sider-Rose’s studio and approach to iconography, please visit her website: www.immanuelicons.org

Parent Testimonials
Here’s what parents have to say about the Iconography Apprenticeship:
It is so much more than an art class. My daughter has been fascinated by the ‘historical art parameters’ within which the art is birthed: the use of egg yolk, rock
pigment, champagne chalk, rabbit-skin glue! Making her own gesso board this past summer was like a field trip to a medieval monastery. It is a slow, intricate and meticulous (in the best sense) form of art that teaches the virtue of patience and fosters spiritual ‘breathing’; both the media and the intricate processes give space for the contemplation of the subject matter, which is probably the highest goal of any art, but in this case, of the highest art. In short, that which she works on is, we are witnessing, slowly being worked into her.
Scott, parent of a 12-year-old Apprentice

My son told me after his first class…”I think I found my thing, Mom”. He is 13 and has wanted to be a Roman Catholic Priest since he was 3 years old. Who knows what this will do for his future? Mrs. Sider-Rose is such a patient and encouraging mentor and teacher. She has helped my son to view icons in a more spiritual manner and to pull out the theology in the images. His faith is enriched by the depth of the theology woven into the classes and the process of writing the icons. He is a more virtuous child because of the Iconography classes.
Jessica, parent of a 13-year-old Apprentice

Student Expectations:
● In addition to weekly classes, students should expect about 60-90 minutes of homework between classes. This homework may include a continuation of the
painting as well as the discipline of sketchbook assignments, reading, or practicing on Quizlet.
● The Apprenticeship Year 3 requires a few additional supplies in addition to what was purchased for Years 1 and 2, including a book. Please see the “Course
● Each student will complete a Spring Project.

Enrollment Restrictions:
● Students must have completed the Apprenticeship Year 2 Program and have been promoted by the teacher to Year 3.
● The Summer Board Building workshop is required before Year 3.

Iconography Apprenticeship Scope and Sequence
The student who is able to meet the measurable goals of Iconography Apprenticeship Year 3 with its focus on the bust figure, can look forward to a sequence of classes in the pprenticeship Program, each of which will build on the foundation of the year before.

In brief, the levels are:
Iconography IV The Bust Figure, continued, including the geometry of the bust, clothing highlighting, and more sophisticated gilding techniques, designing an icon of a lesser-known saint or when we have photographs of the canonized saint.

Iconography V-VI-Turned and Standing Figures, including the geometry of standing
figures as well as the geometry, landscape, and other aspects of festal icons.


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Required Materials

  • Please see the course materials list here

*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.

E-mail: rsiderrose.raphaelschool@gmail.com

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

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they 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 an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebCam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
WebCam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

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.
Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

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.
To download Zoom:

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


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