Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

Special effects of thangkas with a golden background

Details created without color only by polishing the gold surface Second example Third example Each color is made from scratch using blocks of dye which are crushed and mixed Gold granules which is transformed into golden ink, are used for the most expensive thangkas

To create the gold background of this scroll painting, powdered gold is mixed with glue and applied to the canvas. Only a small number of colors is used in this rare style of gold-background [Tib.: gser thang] thangka.

The detail shown above contains glossy areas, which are a special feature of this type of scroll painting. The Thangka artist polishes the gold surface of the painting with a sharp, semiprecious stone to create symbols and shadings on the surface without using colours. It is very difficult to capture this effect in a photograph. To create the gold background, goldpowder mixed with glue is applied on the canvas. Only a few colors are used for the painting process.

To show these polished areas as well as possible, the photo shown above was taken at an oblique angle to the surface.

Also important:
The special property of gold is the reflection of light. Of course, this cannot be reproduced realistically on a computer image. The realistic representation of this gold effect on the computer monitor is extremely difficult.

From for this reason the reproduction of our gold ground thangkas differs from their real colours. All scrolling images with a gold background [only 100% real gold is used for this] have a uniform gold tone throughout the entire image, which does not differ from image to image.

If you notice color deviations in the detailed photos on our website, these are exclusively due to the aforementioned problems of color reproduction.