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We will decide which is the face of the icon, and thus it will be seen as final image and we will quote it as Face 1. We will quote the back as Face 2 and this is practically the side on which we are working the back of the icon.

In a first phase, we make the drawing with black ink and gold pen. Depending on the thickness of the line that we want to plot, we can use pens with thicker or thinner nib for the same icon. The drawing must be done according to a previous template that is put under the glass. The linear laying out of the subject requires accuracy and handiness. The potential changes or retouching are almost impossible without ruining the final effect of contour's fluidity. After finishing the drawing, the work looks like a grid of lines that close between them surfaces that follow to be filled with colour.

In this phase, the actual oil painting starts.

The existing drawing must be thickened in black here and there. Follows to line out in white the finest details, light flashes, the plies of the robes, the details that determine the expression of the faces. In the next phases of painting, these will no longer be seen because they will be covered by the colour ranges that we proposed to use in direct connection with the theme and subject.

Step by step, more and more ample surfaces are approached with the different colours that we have decided. Hence, the glass perks up by using a diversified chromatic scale, as well as the colour layers that overlap, one over another. Let's not forget that the details laid out in the beginning are hiding under them … Between such various phases of colouring, the time needed for colour drying (10 to 14 hours) must pass so that the layers keep their identity and don't coalesce. The colours are generally spread in pure tones but sometimes, in order to obtain certain effects, various layers of transparent coats or gradients could be overlapped.

More we get close to final, more ample become the colour areas. The beginning details have disappeared under the higher colour ranges. Now all the blank spaces are being filled-in, except for those that the gold leaf will be set on. The glass remains transparent and, thus, it will only be visible on such surfaces that the gold leaf, the precious element of the work, follows to be set on, with lots of care and an expert touch.

On the surfaces that remained transparent, a layer of adhesive must be applied to glue on the gold leaf. We wait until the time needed by full dry-out (3 to 12 or 24 hours, depending on the type of adhesive used) passes and start setting-down the gold leaf. Using it requires handiness and long practice due to its fineness and brittleness asks for strict rules of use.

This is how the icon looks like when it's finished. However, let's not forget that this image is the surface that we have painted on, the Face 2, as we called it in the beginning, the back of the icon. The true face of the icon, the above called Face 1, only reveals when we will turn it.

... and this is how it looks. Now we can see everything that we have painted in consecutive phases, we can see the details, the shadows, the big colour ranges and the surfaces that the gold leaf was applied to.

In such painted icons, the glass fulfils a double role, of support and protection layer for the painting