I attended an icon workshop this weekend and had the best time. I have always been interested in early christian art, and recently I started to learn about icons. We covered Byzantine icons in my Medieval Art class this semester, and I found both the imagery and the theology surround the Christian icons very interesting.
The Eastern churches today follow the same traditions and rules for icon writing as they did during the early Christian and Byzantine periods. So the class was very traditional, and as you can see, all the students icons look very much the same (we all copied the same 13th century icon of the Mother of God).
In addition, I got to learn about egg tempera, which is surprisingly a lot like watercolor, and I had my first successful attempt at gilding. It was very neat.