Monday, 31 August 2015



February, October & November

Belmont Abbey, HR2 9RZ Hereford, UK.
We offer a series of six-day workshop, offering an opportunity to learn and practice the art of writing icons, in the contemplative calm of a Benedictine monastery, exploring the techniques and understanding of iconography. Each day will begin with a demonstration of the techniques to be used and the rest of the day is spent painting, with support and accompaniment from Dom Alex. The designs will be applied to the board, and the colour layers built up to complete the icon. We all do the same icon, with Fr Alex guiding us through the different stages (Maximum 9 persons per course).
Most of the painting materials, pigments, needed for the course will be supplied but participants will be asked to bring some items such as brushes. About three months before the course, students will be sent a list of materials which they will need to bring with them. They will also be sent a print of the icon that we shall be working on. Each icon workshop consists of around seven hours tuition per day (9.30 am – 5.45 pm, except Monday (12 m–5.00 pm) and Saturday (9.30 am -4.00 pm). The Divine Office and Mass will provide a prayerful framework for this workshop at beautiful and prayerful Belmont Abbey, Hereford. (

The tutor is Dom Alex Echeand√≠a Loro, a Peruvian monk and iconographer, who is currently working on a series of Icons for the Monastery of the Incarnation in Pachacamac. 

The cost for the teaching is £200 for each workshop, with a non-refundable deposit payable when booking. The price includes board, gesso, pigments and gold leaf when applicable.

Accommodation is in the Hedley Lodge Guesthouse. The cost for five days accommodation with full board is £300 for a shared ensuite room, £350 for an ensuite single or £240 for a simple monastic-style room, non-ensuite.
The nearest train station is Hereford Railway Station, two and a half miles from Hereford towards Belmont Abbey. From there the best thing is a taxi. For further information contact: The Retreat Secretary, Belmont Abbey, Hereford HR2 9RZ. E-mail:

Beginners Icon Workshop  
Monday 1st - Saturday 7th February
This year we will learn to paint the face of the Mother and Child, meditating on the compassion expressed through line, form and colour. In particular we will concentrate on the flesh colours of the faces and hands.

Intermediate Icon Workshop
Monday 22nd - Saturday 27th February
The subject of this workshop is the beautiful Virgin of Tenderness, the Belmont Theotokos. This will include oil gilding, garments and flesh-colours.

Icon Writing Techniques Gessoing and Gilding
Monday 17th - Friday 21st October
In this workshop we will learn how to apply gesso (the ground used in all icons) and prepare the wood board. We will learn different gilding techniques (oil and water). People can work on their own designs for a future icon, or prepare the icon of the Apostles for the following Intermediate workshop.

Intermediate Icon Workshop
Monday 24th – Saturday 29th October
We will paint an icon of the embrace of Saints Peter and Paul, a dynamic image of the concord of faith and love in Christ. We will work on the particular features of these apostles (Those wanting a gilded background would need to join the previous week).

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