Working with Garments in Theology of Art

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

In the work with our sketchbooks in Theology of Art at Mount Angel Seminary, we started by focusing on the faces within an icon, their most important feature.  From there, we have moved to other elements that make up the rest of an icon, including the garments of the various figures.

Using several prototypes and our Stabilo pencils, we practiced shading exercises that helped us to analyze the values present in the garments, the base colors, the shadows and the highlights, the darkest darks and the lightest lights, and the values in between the two.


We also included several passages from the Scriptures in our reflections:

And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller could bleach them. – Mark 9:3

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.  For in this tent we groan, longing to be further clothed with our heavenly habitation if indeed, when we have taken it off, we shall not be found naked. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-2

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. – Galatians 3:27

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. – Revelation 12:1