Icon Painting Course

Icon Painting Course

A 3-year, part-time foundation course.

About the Icon Painting Course

Application information

The open date for applications will be 1 February 2025 and will close 20 April 2025.

Applicants will be notified by the end of April 2025 if they have been accepted for an interview.

Interviews are usually held during one day in the beginning of June, at The King’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, 19-22 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3SG.


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, the 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 2025 to 2028.


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 the month. They are also expected to spend about four hours each week painting icon studies at home.


The classes are held in the beautiful town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire.


The fee has not been set, but the 2022-2025 programme fee was £2,500 per year, payment being due the beginning of each academic year.

This fee covers tuition, lunches, and refreshments, as well as evening meals on all but the last day.

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. Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation.

About the Tutor

Aidan Hart has been a full-time iconographer for over thirty years, as a panel and fresco painter, carver and mosaicist.

He has works in more than twenty-five 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 three books, Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting, widely regarded as the foremost work on the subject, Beauty, Spirit, Matter, a collection of essays, and Festal Icons: History and Meaning, due out by mid-2022, all published by Gracewing, Leominster, UK.

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

The application for October 2025 will open on February 2025.

Please download the following application documents:

A fee of £30 must be submitted with all applications. This fee can be paid online here.


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

For further information, email the tutor.