Icon Painting Courses

the courses are ongoing

a sample course is detailed below

or see my new icon class site 

    Christopher Castle

return to
home pageHome.htmlHome.htmlHome.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1

September-October 2015

The Mystical Icon

a course in egg tempera painting in the Byzantine tradition

(with an option of adding a gilding extension)

with Christopher Castle


egg tempera course

•  4 Sundays with two sessions of 3 hours each per Sunday,  from 10am-1pm, 1.30pm-4.30pm.3/29-4/19/15

•  First session: Sunday March 29th 2015

•  Cost:  $600 for the full course of 24 hours. (With Gilding extension course: additional $300)

•  Materials: $50 materials fee if students do not have their own.

•  A deposit of $200 is required by the deadline. The remaining $400 is due at the start of the course.

•  The deadline for registering: Sunday March 22.

•  You will receive a 10% discount if the full amount is paid by the March 15th deadline.

gilding course

An extension of the course can be added to include instruction in gilding techniques, an integral part of traditional icons. Cost for two sessions $300.

•  Two additional Sundays with two sessions of 3 hours each per Sunday, 4/26-5/3/15

•  Location is my studio in the East San Francisco Bay Area. Details on registration.

Payment over the phone by credit card is possible for a small additional charge.

You can also pay vis PayPal or by check.

Please let me know your interest and I will provide a full description of the sessions and a list of materials and equipment needed. email: c.castle@hotmail.com


If full fee is a hardship, please ask about other ways to pay.

For further information

please call:  (510) 241 5578

or email castle.art@sbcglobal.net


The egg tempera course

This is an introduction to the little known transformative technique of egg tempera panel painting as used in the ancient Byzantine tradition.

Students first develop an image based on a traditional prototype. The following techniques are then learned. Each step is a complex of processes offering its own revelations.

• panel selection and preparation

• image transfer to hardwood panel

• first layers in 'petit lac' technique

* dry brush method, and other refinements

* final details, finishing, naming.

The gilding course

This is a separate course for those interested in learning to gild with real gold leaf. Water gilding provides the highly burnished surface characteristic of ancient sacred painting of both Eastern and Western iconographic traditions. Oil gilding gives a more matte surface. The course introduces students to the techniques and the cosmological meaning of gold in icons.


  1. The course is for a small number of students and takes place in an atmosphere of focused and relaxed concentration.

• Participants may be experienced painters or beginners.

• Some work on the panel preparation and painting will be necessary between sessions. Time should ideally be allowed for this. Some time should also be allowed for work between the two gilding sessions.

• Materials fee depends on the supplies individuals have. A list will be provided to participants along with a full course description.

                          *  **

Icons are images of the divine and are found in all cultures throughout time. The archetypal stories and characters they represent find a deep reflection in our consciousness and open the doors of our perceptions. Participants will work in a quiet atmosphere, developing their own icon and learning the technique of egg tempera painting, the traditional medium of Byzantine iconographers. Though based in the traditional art of Eastern Christianity the depth of the imagery and the alchemy of the technique will enrich the understanding and appreciation of many cultures' art and spirituality. Gilding and

Christopher Castle is a contemporary painter and printmaker. He has studied icon painting with Guillem Ramos Pocqui and at monasteries and museums in Poland, Crete, Greece and Romania. His icons are in several Romanian churches and private collections in the U.S and Europe, while his paintings and prints are in private collections worldwide and are represented in many public collections such as the British Museum and the Ashmolean Museum in England and National Museums of Scotland and Wales. With his painting and printmaking he explores the consciousness seen in ancient traditions of iconography and the land from many cultures. His current explorations are amongst the prehistoric and Byzantine iconography in Romania.

contact: castle.art@sbcglobal.net                                                               home page

copyright © 2017 Christopher Castle. All rights reserved.