Sonya Chau
I prepare and paint the icons following the traditional byzantine technique
 
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България (Bulgaria) 




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During the academical years and after, I painted in group frescoes in several churches and monasteries. I also worked with some mates for the restoration of 2 churches. These experiences at the wall painting and restoration helped me to improve my icon painting. The final enrichment of my icon technique I owe to an expert in Byzantine Art, who allowed me to work in his studio for a while.
During the last years, I took part in personal and group icon exhibitions. Icons painted through me are in public and private collections in Romania, Greece, France, Macedonia, Spain, Germany, U.K., Italy, U.S.A., Canada, Hong Kong. Tehnique - athonite byzantine
I prepare and paint the icons following the traditional byzantine technique, as it appears in Erminies. It is necessary to have a well dried lime wood on which I stick canvas with glue. After that I prepare a solution which contains bone glue, water and chalk powder; this must be laid down with a brush in 6 - 8 layers, one per day. After the complete drying, the wood is polished with fine emery paper. Then the drawing must be done . For the gold leaf is necessary to put 4-5 more layers of bolos. After the bolos is dried enough, follows the gilding (the sticking of the gold leaf) with a solution containing alcohol, water and glue. The gold leaf must be carefully handled; the next step is polishing with a special agate stone. This kind of gilding requires time and experience. The gilding is ready: the gold leaf is like a jewel.
Then the painting must be done. I use water colors, tempera pigments, and egg yolk emulsion. The first layer, proplasmos, is made of the darkest colors of the icons, shadows. The other layers of colors go from dark to the light colors; finally, the drawing- which is the darkest color, and the final lights- which are the lightest colors. After many days , when the colors are very well dried, follows the final varnish, a layer of a solution which protects the icon against dust and water.

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