A Japanese artist paints Tibetan Thangkas in Spain.
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Lotus pond "Dewa-chen"

It's been a while since the last post. Here is an update from beautiful sunset Malaga.

I have been really busy trying to finish my recent work before the end of 2017. On top of that, my camera suddenly showed "Error" sign and had to send to repair.

Now that I've finished my new painting after months of work and the camera is back from repairing, here is a report about the new painting of lotus pond "Dewa-chen".

The theme is Sukhavati or Dewa-chen in Tibetan.

The beautiful landscape of the western pure land covered with lotus flowers of different colors. Red, blue, yellow white, crimson. The leaves are full of vitality, none are withered, all are perfect.

Hazy mountains with the clouds of Karma Gardri style Thangka painting in the scenery far behind the lotus pond.

Shading of the gold on the horizon of the lotus pond.

Close-up image of scenery.


The color shading on this Thangka, example for the mountains and clouds, are made by countless of small lines of Indigo and Japanese Sumi ink.  Depend on the tradition the shading can be made by tiny dots. Either way if it is well excuted, one can create beautiful shading which we don't realize if it was made by lines or dots.

A bamboo-leaf boat.


In fact, the painting images above are the second version of the lotus pond painting. The images untill last post on this blog were all from the first painting which is still unfinished.

The first painting.


Though I used the same drawing for both paintings they are very different in terms of the color and it may be interesting to compare.

The first difference between these two paintings is the color of the canvas. The canvas for Thangka paintings are usually made by painter himself or his pupils with clay powder and glue solution on cotton. Some of painter put ocher in the mixture or paint tea on the canvas to create more yellowish darker canvas.

In the mixture for the first canvas, I put some of ocher so the canvas of the first painting is much more dark yellowish compare to the second one. As a matter of course, all the colors used for the first one are very low brightness and saturation. One would even think some of those colors are just dulll grey color if it were painted on a bright white canvas.

Another difference is the pigments, specially the pigments used for the leaves.

The mixture of earth pigments such as yellow ocher, green earth and white clay are used for the first painting, while for the second painting, mineral pigments which have stronger color are used.

Close up image of the first painting.

The earth pigments are very fine pigments and easy to apply flat. The painting surface can be quite smooth and easy to make fine lines or tiny details on.


Next image is a close up image from the second painting.

The green color is called "Pang" in Tibetan, made from Malachite stone. We can see the painting surface is quite rough  because of the coarse particle of the Malachite pigment.

The surface of the crushed and ground malachite reflect the light and we can see as white dots in the image.


We may not realize the difference of the colors when we see it separately. The colors are really relative in our eyes. These difference are very obvious when we see a picture of two paintings together under same condition of light.


I can't say which one is better or I like more, however I'm sure the second one fits better to the order this time.


Everytime I finised a work I clean the place, tools and pigments. The pigments are mixed with glue solution to use and leaving it till the next work will make the colors dull so it is recommendable to remove the glue from pigments, cleaning with warm water and prepare for the next work. (I haven't seen a Thangka painter doing this though.)

These are not all the color pots I used for this painting. Most of the pots are pigments of malachite but all different tones. The nature is great.


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