The Bethlehem Icon Centre is honoured to announce the international class of the globally acclaimed Belarusian master iconographer, Ekaterina Daineko, from July 6th till July 17th, at our centre in the Old city of Bethlehem located on Star Street, a few hundred meters from the Nativity Basilica. During this course only 8 students maximum will be participating for a preferential rate of $400/per student due to the special circumstances and arduous conditions of living of the Palestinian people. On Saturday July 11th and Sunday July 12th, all students will recuperate, pray and/or take pilgrimage at the Christian sites of the Bethlehem and Jerusalem area or entertain themselves together or on their own, and we shall organize everything for them if they so wish.

Ekaterina is from Minsk, Belarus, and has worked as an iconographer for 20 years. She taught icon courses in Eastern Europe, England, the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and now for the first time in Bethlehem, Palestine.
The icons of Ekaterina stand out for a wonderfully fluent, dynamic and soft painting style and an exceptionally subtle and transparent use of colour and highlights, which remind one of the masterpieces of the famous medieval Russian icon painter Saint Andrej Rublev.
We warmly invite you to learn the art of icon painting with the highly professional help of Ekaterina Daineko. In a professional atmosphere and under individual supervision, you will be taught to paint an icon of Christ or the Mother of God. During 10 intensive working days. You will also learn to better understand the holy art of icon painting, its language, beauty and meaning. The course will be taught English. To consult her work access her website at:
And facebook:
Here is a message of Ekaterina to all of the potential students who would like to attend this international course:
“My class is totally different from anything you have seen before. Very small group of  individual work with 8 students to achieve optimal result. I am a professional artist: I studied at the Academy of fine art of Minsk, Belarus and i hold a Master-degree in history of arts. Thus, we shall cover all aspects of iconography, as anatomy, composition, rules of the use of colors and lights, which are absolutely the same in ICON-painting, but due to the absence of a good foundation, people don’t know how to improve their level and they remain at an amateur level. During this course, you will learn a great deal of completely new information and, in the end, you will take back home a beautiful and complete icon of The Theotokos of Christ. The classes are for all levels, from beginners to professional Iconographers from all over the world. As we take maximum 8 students, we do individual supervision and can follow every student depends on his/her skills. »
Hereunder, some comments of students who have participated in my course:
Gloria Squires‎ (USA): «..I have yet to move beyond three words to describe my experience: ‘Surreal, intense, and holy, holy, holy.’ It has been not only exposure to excellent iconography training through Ekaterina, but also an immersion into orthodoxy.»
Yvonne Anne Hajdu-Cronin‎ (USA):
« …I was very happy with the quality of the instructions. Especially the discussion about beards, hair, and the “grape cluster” model of highlights and shadows/contours. »
Rijo Geevarghese‎ (INDIA): «…I will define this workshop in one line:  ‘What I learned in 10 days I didn’t learn in yearssssssss.’  So thankful for these 10 days and infinite knowledge it shared. Continue inspiring others and spread this beautiful tradition.. »
Barbara Leck Thornton (USA):
“.. It was an experience of a lifetime. I have attended other classes like this, but there is no comparison. This was by far a top-of-the-line workshop. »
Sister Maria-Victoria De Lepanto, Genova, (ITALY):
« We are grateful to Ekaterina for all she has done for us. We made contact with her for the first time because we admire the beauty of her work. As we advanced in her course we found out the true mastery in her technique as well as great pedagogy.  On top of this, we should add the fact that she has always been available to us even at a distance…»
Ulrike J. Schatzmann (AUSTRIA):
« Vorletzte Woche durfte ich an einer Ikone-Meisterklasse in Zürich teilnehmen. Während 7 Tagen hat Ekaterina die Klasse in einer konzentrierten und entspannten Atmosphäre eingeführt, wie eine Ikone von Grund auf gebildet wird. Informationen zu Aufbau, Linien, Farbenlehre und fundiertes Hintergrundwissen haben zu erstaunlichen Ergebnissen geführt. Ein großes DANKE Dir Ekaterina! »
Marzena Staszewska‎ (POLAND):
Niesamowite warsztaty, wspaniały czas – i trudny (poziom masters faktycznie!), i pełen wiedzy, emocji. przemyśleń, rozwoju duchowego oraz….. wow!!! Trudno w słowa ubrać uczucia i wspomnienia! Cały czas to we mnie żyje – chodzę trochę jak na haju…. Codziennie patrzę na moją ikonę i nie dowierzam, że taką zrobiłam!!! Piękne coś co zostało mi dane i żyje sobie we mnie! Inaczej patrzę na ikony, podziwiam istotne szczegóły, o których wcześniej chyba nawet nie wiedziałam. »
Alex Kozachenko (SWITZERLAND):
For over a year I have been self-learning iconography with very little progress. Thanks to your calm, methodical and detailed teaching, I am not able to look, analyse and paint icons in a real Byzantine way. Painting with you has opened my eyes to a whole new world, which until now was hidden away. »
For further information for international students, please contact Ekaterina Daineko by e-mail:at:
Or you can find her on her Facebook page:
Or by phone at Tel: + 375 44 77 22 932
For further information for Palestinian students, please contact Muna Bandi Khader by email at:
Or by telephone on WhatsApp at:
+970 597 872 711
In the Peace of Christ!

Stay Paint Pray!

 2020 Intensive Courses:

Subject Date Price

A reflective time set aside with Christ and the saints through the holy icons. Seven days of intensive tuition in the heart of the ancient city of Bethlehem.

A time to paint, pray and drink deeply from the Presence of the Lord.

What the Course is all about

The courses introduce you to everything from drawing and geometry, to painting in egg tempera and water gilding. The April course also includes preparing a board with gesso. All levels of experience are very welcome.

We have been running these courses since 2010, and brought together icon lovers from Australia to Canada, Mauritius to France.

With expert supervision participants experience all aspects of icon making, while receiving spiritual and theological insights into the world of iconography.

The group has full use of the Icon Centre, a tranquil oasis at the heart of ancient Bethlehem. It is a very safe location close to Nativity Church, though participants should always note govt travel advice and take out their own travel insurance. We have a beautiful chapel.

Costs & what you need

Tuition cost for seven full days: £250. This is payable upon arrival in Israel Shekels.

We provide some materials but please see the list below for things you will need to bring, or else purchase when you get here.

Participants must arrange their own accommodation, transportation to and from Bethlehem, flights and insurance. Please arrive in time for a prompt 9am start.

Participants will need to provide their own pigments, brushes and for the Autumn course a gessoed board. This leaves you free to keep the costs low or to invest in better quality tools and materials as you are able. We do have cheap supplies of small quantities of pigments that can be bought on arrival, and from time to time sets of brushes. Boards can also be ordered from us, usually for an additional cost of £35.
If you wish to gild your icon then you will need to bring gold leaf with you. We can advise on this if asked.

Intensive Course – What You Need to Bring:

The following supplies are needed to participate on one of our intensive courses. Most can be purchased from us upon arrival, though please warn us in good time so we can make sure we have what you need in stock.

Pigment Set: Ivory Black, Titanium White, Raw Umber, English Red Ochre Light, Mars Red/ Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre, Avanna Ochre, Terre Verte, Lapis Lazuli/

Azurite/ Ultramarine, Vermilion, Italian warm Ochre/ Havanne Ochre, Caput Mortum, Burnt Sienna. 


Excellent quality Kolinsky sable brushes, size 1 & 3

See Rosemary & Co for their range of excellent brushes.

Gold for gilding

For water gilding – loose leaf gold, at least 22ct, and ideally 23.5ct extra thick.

For oil gilding – either loose leaf gold leaf or transfer gold leaf any type.

Available from Wrights of Lymm.

Drawing equipment

Ideally 4B, 2B, 2H and 4H pencils, more if desired.

Putty rubber and hard eraser.

Ruler & compass (with ink nib desirable).

Notebook suitable for making illustrated notes.

Lunches are included and are social occasions, time to make friends and share stories.


Bethlehem is awash with everything from AirB&B to four star hotels at reasonable prices that can easily be found via the internet.