Icon Painting Course

Icon Course

A 3-year, part-time foundation course.

About the Icon Painting Course

Applications for intake in 2019 are now closed. The next intake will be in 2022.

Icons in Orthodox Christianity are liturgical - that is to say they offer a means of communion between heaven and earth.

Traditional icons suggest a material world transfigured, radiant with divine light and love, seen not only with bodily eyes but also with the ‘eye of the heart’.

Although primarily associated with the Orthodox Church, broader demand for icons has grown steadily. The School of Traditional Arts established its Icon Painting course in 2009 to offer aspiring iconographers a structured foundation course.

What the course offers

Our Icon Painting Course is taught by Aidan Hart, a professional iconographer, with over 30 years of experience, author of Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting.

The course encourages thorough understanding of

• iconographic form through monochrome studies

• the Orthodox Church’s theology of the icon

• egg tempera techniques for icon panel painting

• techniques for pigment and panel preparation and gilding

• business skills

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion outlining what they have achieved.

Click to download the curriculum for 2019 to 2021.


The course runs from October to September, for three academic years. Students gather seven times a year for intensive three-day sessions, usually at the end of each month. They are also expected to spend about four hours each week studying and practising at home.


The classes are held in the beautiful county of Shropshire, England at The Trinity Centre, Church Road, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, SY3 9HF.


The fee for the 2019-2022 programme is £2100 per annum.

This fee covers tuition, lunches, refreshments and evening meals on Monday and Tuesday.

Students are expected to provide their own materials, at an estimated cost of up to £400 per year.

Accommodation costs are not included in the course fees. We provide a list of reasonably priced, recommended local B&Bs and students are responsible for finding their own accommodation.

About the Tutor

Aidan Hart has been a full-time icon painter and carver for over twenty-five years.

He has works in more than twenty countries of the world and in many cathedrals and monasteries. His aim, in accordance with the Byzantine icon tradition, is to make liturgical art that manifests the world transfigured in Christ.

Aidan has published two books, "Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting", widely regarded as the foremost work on the subject, and “Beauty Spirit Matter”, a collection of essays, both published by Gracewing.

How to apply

To allow sufficient time and attention for each student, only 12 places are available on the course.  Since demand is usually high, a selection process is used.

Selection for interview is based on each applicant's portfolio and written application. The final selection is based on the outcome of the interviews.

The course beginning in October 2019 is now open for applications.

Please download the following application documents:

A fee of £30 must be submitted with all applications.


For answers frequently asked questions about the course, please click here.

For further information, email the tutor.