Drawing for icons with Peter Murphy


Ref: S3D11794

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About this course

Learn to draw classical icons as used by iconographers of the medieval Byzantine tradition using basic geometric principles.

Course Description

During the course you will explore examples of classic Byzantine icons to develop an understanding of the elements used to create the underlying drawing. Through a series of tutor led exercises and demonstrations you will make your own drawings.

You will begin by looking closely at high quality medieval icons to examine the overall composition, the geometry and the anatomy of the figures. You then start making your own drawings based on several classic figure prototypes, learning first how to grid up and transfer an image, to make it smaller or larger as required. The tutor will then demonstrate drawing the different elements from an icon, a head, a half figure, hands, feet and you will finally draw a full length standing figure from a classic Byzantine icon.

By the end of the course, you will have gained knowledge and an understanding of the composition, geometry and meaning of the traditional icon in terms of the underlying drawing and painting. You will have learned what is required to draw an icon and completed a drawing from different prototypes and examples. You will be inspired and informed.

If you are considering doing the icon painting course later in the year, you have the option of using the drawing you produce on that course.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Dividers and a protractor if you have them but not essential.
  • Any items you may have from the available to buy list.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Bow sprung compass
  • Drawing pencils
  • Erasers
  • Ruler – good quality at least 12 inches long
  • Plenty of A4 cartridge paper
  • 2 sheets of A3 cartridge paper
  • 2 sheets of A2 cartridge paper
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy was educated at Jacob Kramer College of Art and the University of East London, and trained with iconographer Guillem Ramos Poqui in London.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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