A Japanese artist paints Tibetan Thangkas in Spain.
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Thangka "Yum-Chenmo" ¡ÁPart 2¡Á

Continuation from the last post ¡ÚThangka "Yum-Chenmo" ¡ÁPart 1¡Á¡Û

I'm painting two almost same Thangkas in a different way of coloring. Painting as normal full color Thangkas with the base color layer, and painting with "Washes" without initial color layer.


The first one painted in usual coloring process with initial layer.

The lining on the initial color layer and few parts of shading are done in the image.

The second Thangka painted without initial color layer.

The shading is done directly on the canvas.

The coloring process is almost done for this one and the next step is some motifs and lines with the gold before opening the eyes.


The eyes of both Thangkas are opened on the day of Dakini.


The gold is used to paint her body and polished the part under her neck.


Here are the images of second Thangka after gold details and finally opening the eyes.


A long time ago, before I started to paint Thangkas, I heard that a good painting always looks bigger than original size when you see it in a photo. Maybe because of good composition or strong impression of the painting but also how detailed it is.

So what size do you think these Thangkas are by seeing the images on your screen?

Maybe some of you are able to tell from the thickness of the lines or the texture of the canvas?


The one painted in the usual full color Thangka process is A5 size, 15x21cm.

One should be very careful to make sure that the painted surface of initial layer is smooth and flat specially when using mineral pigments which are much more coarse compared to poster color or acrylic color. The condition of the initial coat affect the lining and shading very much.

The comparison with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil.


The other one is even smaller. It's A6 size, half of the Thangka above.

It's not possible to make clear drawing with a mechanical pencil in this size. Lining small details such as deities face were done half on the picture in my head. 


The two Thangkas of "Yum Chenmo". Polished part of gold reflect the light.

Often people accept unbalanced face of deities, irregular lines or significant short-cut work when they see Thangkas of small size and this can be said also to the ones who paint it.

Painting as tiny as possible is not the goal for the Thangka painter. Though one should always try to do it correctly even for the tiny details where no one but the painter himself see.

"Small" Thangka isn't so difficult to paint, but "Small & good" one is always a challenge.




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