To learn Thangka Painting at Dharmapala Thangka Painting School
The techniques of thangka painting are not easy to learn. They are very different from other painting techniques in art. Thangkas are scroll paintings, which means that they are rolled after their completion. Therefore it is important that the colors are durable for many years and do not separate from the canvas.
To avoid this, the paints are applied to the surface with a special glue-like liquid.
There is nothing comparable in the art of painting.
We offer three different courses of different duration in which these techniques can be learned. The language of instruction is English.
Apart from this technique, knowledge of Tibetan iconography is another prerequisite for students of thangka painting. These contents are also taught in the courses.
The success of the training also depends on whether you already have previous knowledge in the art of painting. If you have never held a brush in your hand before, you will have a hard time in the beginning.
There are two main categories in thangka painting:
Kangyur or "Translated Words" consists of works in about 108 volumes supposed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself. All texts presumably had a Sanskrit original, although in many cases the Tibetan text was translated from Chinese or other languages.
Sutra the Sanskrit literally means 'Direct teaching of Buddha' himself. It is called sutra. Originally, the word was used to identify oral teachings thought to have been given directly by Buddha.
There are three types of sutras:
During the forty-five years the Buddha taught, he granted thousands of sutra teachings to his disciples. Other teachings, directly inspired by the blessing of the Buddha and spoken by the great bodhisattvas, are also considered sutras. The most famous example of such a sutra is the Heart Sutra, which is recited by the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Sutras spoken through mandate are those which the Buddha instructed his followers to compile from the teachings they had heard.
Thangka Paintings that fall in the category of Sutra are as follows:
Thangka Painting that fall in the category of Shastra [Tengyur]
Shastras is an elaborated version of budhha's teaching in written form. It also refers to an independent treatise within Buddhism on a particular aspect of the Buddha Teaching such as Science, Medicine, Tantra, Astrology, Religion, Philosophy etc.
Shastra a treatise or commentary upon the words of the Buddha. In Tibet, many of the most important shastras composed by the great Indian masters of the past were compiled into a collection known as the "Tengyur", or translated treatises, comprising around 3,626 texts in 224 Volumes.
Thangka Paintings that fall in the category of Shastra are as follows: