It is a rare treat to see the work of Fr. Patrick Doolan in progress. A renowned iconographer trained by Leonid Ouspensky, Fr. Patrick is a master of true fresco. For a number of years, he and his assistant, Fr. Moses, have worked to fresco St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, CA (OCA). Their work there is recognized as among the best iconography in our hemisphere.
After many years of anticipation, they have now begun to fresco the dome. The project is only begun, but their progress photographs sent to us so far suggest that this will be truly an extraordinary work. The photos are highly interesting for showing Fr. Patrick’s technique and preparatory drawings. We will post them periodically as the work progresses. Completion is expected in the spring of 2014.
The sepia preparatory drawing was done several years ago when the dome was first plastered.
The iconostasis is covered and the scaffolding installed.
Fr. Patrick prepares a more refined drawing on paper.
Elements of the original sepia drawing that need to be saved are traced onto paper prior to application of plaster.
The drawing is taped to the ceiling for final consideration.
Fr. Moses begins the finish plastering. All the painting must be completed before this plaster dries.
Fr. Patrick transferring the drawing.
The final sepia drawing takes shape on the wet plaster.
Painting in the colors.
Shadows are added.
Plastering for the next session.
Before plastering the robes, Fr. Patrick sketches in some changes to the drawing.
The robes are plastered over and the final drawing applied.
The apse mural at the church – the first phase of painting, completed by Fr. Patrick a number of years ago.