Drawing Stars and Working with Gold

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

After we draw hands and feet from various icons in History of Art at Mount Angel Seminary, we turn to the stars on the garments of Mother of God.  The three stars indicate the virginity of the Mother of God before, during, and after the birth of Jesus.

Once the students have drawn several stars, we work with putting down some gold leaf, the incredibly thin sheets of gold used for the gilded backgrounds and halos in an icon.  Gold left is also used as gold assist, lines of gold added to the garments and other objects closely associated with a saint in an icon.

The Mother of God with her three stars and gold assist on the trim of her garment.