The Nativity of Christ
2016, egg tempera, levkas, wood board, kovtcheg, gilding, 40 x 40 cm
Egg tempera - the most durable technique, next to wax, in which the dye binder is organic. It can be wine, vinegar or water mixed with egg yolk (egg tempera). This technique has been known since ancient times and is most popular in the Middle Ages. Unlike oil painting, paint dries quickly, shines when dry and is more difficult to select and mix colours.
Lewkas (gesso) - (from the Greek word leukos, i.e. white), glue-chalk primer used in board painting and in gilding. It is applied on the icon in the hot, usually in about twelve layers. One layer for one day. The prayer of the ritual then turns its attention to the Apostles (one for each layer). He reminds us of their deeds and asks for intercession.
Kowczeg - shallow indentation in the middle of the front side of the board. In the Orthodox Slavonic language the word kowczeg means ark and refers to the Ark of the Covenant. It indicates the sacred character of the painting itself as a kind of relic. In the kowczeg the main image was placed, and at the edge of the board, called the icon field, small scenes and figures of saints (glue) or inscriptions. Often the field remains empty, or a part of the painting enters it from the kowczuga (e.g. a halo). A slight curvature between the icon field and the kowczeg is called a lyre.