Icon Painting Course: FAQs

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Icon Painting Course. Below you will find answers to questions commonly asked applicants.


Applications are currently being accepted, until 1 April 2022. From the applicants, we select about twenty people for interviews and then choose twelve from them. Only one group of twelve is taught for each three-year programme.

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted for the interview stage by April 21st, at which time those to be interviewed will also be offered an interview time.

Interviews will be held during one day at the beginning of June at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, 19-22 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3SG.

Interviewees will be informed whether or not they have been accepted onto the course within a week of the interview.

Portfolio Preparation for Applications

We ask applicants to submit good photos of any art they have done - iconographic or otherwise. From the portfolio we are chiefly looking to see the degree of the applicant’s native artistic ability, so a variety of works is useful. They need not be icons.

Some people ask what they can do to prepare for the portfolio. It is a good idea to do some egg tempera monochromes of icons on watercolour paper (some examples by previous students are attached). The tutor strongly recommends using as prototypes the works of the contemporary Russian iconographer Father Zenon. They are clear and the forms are well modelled. You can access his works through this Dropbox link.

If you have the book Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting, by the tutor Aidan Hart, you will find a lot of pointers on how to paint monochromes, particularly on pages 226-276.


If you are not able to provide an academic reference, you may provide one from a former employer/colleague.

How much time and money?

This is three-year part-time course, each year having seven sessions, each of three full days (from a Monday to Wednesday), 9.00am to 7.00pm including the evening meal, except Wednesday when we finish at 5.00pm.

Students are also given homework studies, which are expected to take around four hours a week.

The sessions are a held on a Monday to Wednesday, on or near the last weeks of October, November, February, March, May, June, and September.

Students must be able to self-finance the fees, travel, artists' materials and accommodation costs for the three years.


Sometimes bursaries and scholarships are available, but they cannot be guaranteed. All applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can self-fund all costs.

What is the Certificate?

All students who complete the course and produce the requisite number of studies and icons receive a "Certificate of Completion" by The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts. This is not a university accredited certificate but is awarded by the School.

The Certificate will say:

Icon Painting Certificate

This certificate confirms that the following student has completed the three-year certificate in Icon Painting offered by The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts in accordance with the programme description and criteria set out overleaf.

This course is among the most in-depth icon painting programmes available in the English­speaking world. However, being only 63 days in total, the programme should be considered a foundation course and not of sufficient duration to train students to a full professional standard. Archimandrite Zenon, a leading contemporary iconographer has said that 20,000 hours are required for this!


The School of Traditional Arts requires proficiency in the English language. The interview would show this, as well as your written application.

Examples of students' monochrome studies in egg tempera on watercolour paper

icon, student work, tempera on paper

Icon course: Student work, tempera on paper