Online Icon Painting Summer School
/ News & Events / Online Icon Painting Summer School

Icon Painting School “Radruzh”
at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine)
invites you to join its 16th annual Icon Painting Summer School online

July 5-17, 2020 (Weekly Schedule Link)

Icon Painting School ‘Radruzh’ is named after an old Ukrainian village (in today’s Poland) from where come some of the oldest preserved icons in Western Ukraine (14th-15th c.). This tie to historic roots is very important for the School’s mission: we are one of the few places in the world where you can learn traditional Eastern Christian iconography in its authentic medieval technique and style. We are also a part of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Ukraine’s leading ecclesiastical learning institution, which places us in a unique intellectual, theological and spiritual context. Over the last two decades we have been offering numerous programs to international students from all over the world: USA, Canada, Western Europe, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Brasil, Peru, the Philippines, Hong Kong…

Detailed information about our approach to icon painting and our programs can be found here
This year our traditional Icon Painting School moves online! This is a challenge for us, but also it’s a great opportunity to join our program right from the comfort of your home! We have made all necessary preparations to make the process of learning iconography at distance as effective as it can be:
• we prerecorded many high quality videos illustrating the process of making an icon step by step;
• prepared “iconographer’s kits” with all necessary pigments, tools and supplies to be mailed to you;
• worked out a way to use modern communication platforms and teaching technologies (Zoom, PowerPoint, Canvas, etc.) to assure great learning experience and best results!

The School program has two essential parts: theoretical introduction to iconography (its theology, spirituality and history) and practical icon painting workshops (drawing, painting, gilding, technical skills).

Accordingly, the program will consist of 2 courses:

Theology of the Icon: Introduction, History, Overview: 15 hours of online real-time video lectures (also available for viewing later in recording); students’ individual work is estimated at no more than 30 hours. The course will be taught by Taras Tymo (PhD candidate in Theology) on the basis of PowerPoint presentation and other visual media (images, videos). An essential component of the course besides the lectures is reading some texts on theology and history of the icon (provided by the instructor in electronic form, as scanned pages of books or articles – in total not exceeding 150 pp. per course). For more detailed list of topics, covered in the course, please see below – Weekly Schedule.

Practical Icon Painting: Technique and Style: 15 hours of short real-time lectures, discussions of the daily assignments, and other related matters. Students’ individual work comprises 30 hours in total for doing their home assignments. The course is taught by Natalia Fedyshyn, an iconographer with 10 years of experience in teaching practical icon painting and theory.
The painting process is based on prerecorded video-tutorials (in Ukrainian with English subtitles) with the most detailed, real-time online instructions (Zoom video meetings), and personal tutoring by an experienced teacher of iconography. We meet every day in the morning time ( 8am Pacific Daylight Time) for 1,5-hour session. In addition, students are expected to put in at least 3 to 4 hours per day for homework. The course is quite intensive, yet we split complex tasks into manageable parts, making the daily assignments to be easily accomplished day by day.

There are 9 real-time meetings and 3 days off schedule (weekend between the 2 working weeks). Those 3 days could be dedicated to accomplishing homework as some processes in icon painting require more time to be completed. Also there is a possibility to arrange an additional meeting with the instructor.

We will be painting two icons of different levels of complexity:

St Archangel Michael and St Nicholas – both based on old Ukrainian prototypes of 15-16 c. To those who are attending this school for the first time, we recommend starting with the icon of Archangel Michael. In the course of completing this icon students will learn about the basics in egg tempera technique (using mineral pigments), including working in layers from dark to light, fine brush work, dry brush and glazing.

At the second level we will paint the image of St. Nicholas, adding the techniques of engravings while also exploring different ways of modeling the face and garments.
We provide students with painting supplies and materials needed, video tutorials (accessible any time after the live session) and reference images (hi resolution pictures).

Application deadline: please register as soon as you can

To apply (or to request any additional information), please contact us at and we will send you the application form!

Cost of the program: $520 USD (includes all icon painting materials and supplies, postage, tuition). Upon successful completion of the program you can receive academic credits (ECTS), accepted at most universities in the US and Canada (total of 3 ECTS for 2 courses).

We kindly ask you to make an advance payment of $200 USD (due upon registration). This sum is a part of the total cost of the school and covers materials and supplies, which we send to you right after you register for the course, postal expenses, and administrative/registration fee. The payment can be made via PayPal or Western Union (contacts for the transaction will be sent to you upon request).

Other available options:
1. For those who want to physically come to Lviv this year there is a possibility of organizing a 10 days intensive program for individuals and small groups (3-4 people). The program will be available starting from August 2020. For more information, please contact us at

2. If time does not allow you to join us for the summer program described above, we run an online course of iconography with continuous intake. The groups of students for online tutoring are formed regularly. More information and samples of our video-lectures can be found here: