Usually you have to leave the good bit until the end but not in Icon writing! Got to do the guilding next (so it doesn't stick to the paint that follows)
Painting on the bole (a sticky paint mixture!) for the gold leaf to stick to
The gold leaf is applied over the dry bole which has been sanded lightly to make it smooth.
The first layer of Egg Tempera goes on. This is a mix of 4 pigments, egg, white wine vingear and water! It goes on unevenly (I guess we will find out why soon!). Icons are always worked from dark to light and there are four painting stages. This is the first, the painting of the background colours.
The green headress is painted next ithe same uneven way.
Mary is ready for her face!
More interesting Icon facts:
Hands are always blessing, praying or pointing to God.
The red/brown of Mary's clothing represents humanity, the blue green of her headress, Divinity.
The border on an Icon separates the Divine from humanity (i.e. us!)