A Japanese artist paints Tibetan Thangkas in Spain.
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Material for the canvas
The smooth shading which the color fade gradually and absorbed into the initial coat at the end, fine and flowing line or very delicate depiction of details.  In order to achieve these seccessfully preparing a good canvas is essential.

The canvas for thangka painting is called "Re-Shi" in Tibetan and usually 100% cotton cloth is used as support.

In Nepal where there are many thangka painters, normal fabric shop knows what we want.  I could just ask to shop "cotton cloth for thangka" and they would understand. But not here in Europe or Japan.  "100% cotton white cloth" is just a category here. There are plenty of choice in this category. Each time I pass to fabric shop I ended up buying few different cotton cloths and now I have a big collection.  So the first thing I do to prepare "Re-shi" now is choosing a cloth from my collection.

As you can see below there are big difference between each cloth.

The one I was using in Nepal is the second one from right.

The texture is quite loose and very simple.

I had a chance to touch some old thangkas while I was living in Nepal. I helped to roll up the thangkas with some monks in Shechen monastery. There I found the Re-Shi of these old thangkas were so thin! The monks told me to pull stronger when we roll up the thangka.  But I couldn't. I was afraid that the Re-Shi was so thin compare to what I knew, on top of that the thangka was already very old and certainly very rare and precious one.

Remembering that I have choosed the one quite thin this time.

I bought it in Bruxelles if I remember well but never have used it. The glue solution I use to mix with the mineral pigment is quite strong. I hope this thin cotton cloth is strong enough for that. Let's see.

The cotton cloth will be stretched on the wooden frame. Cut the cloth in good size for the wooden frame and wash it once. Better wash gently in order to prevent fluffing.

One more thing I pay attention when I prepare the material for the canvas is the direction of the ccotton cloth.There is a direction which is more elastic than the other when you pull it. I use the elastic side as horizontal.


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