Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

Sketching of Thangkas

Sketching of Buddhas Head Different parts of  Buddha's body Proportional grid of seated Buddha, source Jackson 1984, 57 Finished sketch Green Tara sketch Life of Buddhas sketch

Sketching the thangkas To sketch the figures in a Thangka, the artist must be an expert in the measurements and proportions of Buddhas, Boddhisattvas and deities, as outlined in Buddhist iconography.

The pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism includes thousands of different figures. No artist, however experienced, can know all the characteristics of each deity. A grid of coordinates therefore serves in many cases as an aid for a free sketch of the main figures.

In The basic scheme of such a grid is a central vertical and two diagonals, the intersection of which forms the center of the picture. In addition, [depending on the type of picture] circles and connecting lines are added, which together already give a rough impression of the later figure.Thangkas having more than one figure, there will be additional circles and connecting lines, to contrast the main icon with the background figure.

The grid divides the overall picture into segments, which stand in fixed relations to each other. If, for example, a picture is to be created in triple the size of the present Raster, only these units of the original raster must be tripled on the original.

The following pages should give you an impression of the thangkask sketches.

High resolution: Display [1.2 MB, 2109 x 2500 px.]