Types of Thangkas

Pigment Thangkas (Tib.) tson-tangĀ 

These range of thangkas are the most commonly seen and created for meditational use in its religious practices. The colors are prepared by grinding valuable and precious stones into small particles or powder and then mixed with animal gluten and water before it was applied to the surface of the canvas.

Life story of Lama Je Tsongkhapa

Life story of Lama Je Tsongkhapa

Red Thangka (Tib.) mar-tang

This type of Thangka uses red cinnibar and corals as the base of the canvas and the painting was expressed using gold lines of different weightage with a variety of brush strokes. Gold is mainly used to outline the deity and elements in the thangka with a minimal usage of color pigment on the body and features of the painting. Agate brush was then use at the final stage to stroke the brilliance of the gold paint into different motifs.

Red thangka depicting White Tara as the main deity

Red thangka depicting White Tara as the main deity

 

Black Thangka (Tib.) nagtang

The making of black thangka is similar to red thangka except that the basecoat for this is matte black.

Black Thangka with Vajrapani

Black Thangka with Vajrapani

 

Gold Thangka/Silver Thangka (Tib.) weitang

The canvas are applied with a layer of gold/silver paint before its being outline with red cinnabar pigments.

Gold Thangka with Buddha Shakyamuni

Gold Thangka with Buddha Shakyamuni

Miniature Thangka (Tib.) tsakalis

The size of tsakalis are very small and it is no bigger than the size of our palm. They are normally not brocaded and cannot be rolled up as common thangkas. These thangkas are use in religious ceremonies and consecration materials of statues.

Small miniature Thangkas with Images of Gurus

Small miniature Thangkas with Images of Gurus

 

Pearl Thangka

These range of thangkas are extremely rare , the production process are complicated and it also requires a huge variety of precious stones of different sizes to be embroided onto the treated linen or brocade.

Rare pearl Thangka with Bodhisattva Chenrezig

Rare pearl Thangka with Bodhisattva Chenrezig

Skin Thangka

Skin thangkas are classified into two types; they are Animal or human skin. They are mostly hung up in Buddhist Protectors Hall in a monastery and are not shown to the public.

A Skin thangka

A Skin thangka

 

Embroidery (Tib.) tsem-thang

Embroided thangka are made by cutting pieces of colored brocade and sewed on the prepared ouline print of the canvas.

Embroided / Applique thangka

Embroided / Applique thangka

 

Blockprint colored Thangka

Blockprint colored thangkas started off with manually transfering the print from the block to the medium to be painted on asuch as cloth/canvas or paper.

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