Thangka Paintings

Thangka or the scroll paintings belongs to the budhist culture. The art of thangkas was first initia ted in Tibet in the 7th century from eastern India and neighboring countries. .Thangkas is objects of religious devotion. These scrolls are hung in the homes and at monasteries. Thangkas are usually painted on a cotton fabric and also on silk. Artist has to make his body and mind pure by cleaning himself and the room where he is going to paint his thangka.He will offer the prayer before he paints. Artist may abstain himself from eating poultry, meat and alchol.

Artist has to go through few steps before he finally begins his painting. First the artist stitches the cloth at four corners to a bamboo, stretches the bamboo to a ready wooden frame, white paint is used to paint the both sides of the cloth , rubs the sea shell till the fabric reaches the smoothness , sketches out the naked image with full concentration and then cloth of the image is applied .Unique feature is that the eyes of the image is painted at the end as part of an elaborate ?eye opening? sanctification ritual .Along with the main image the painting is complemented with the designs of snake, dragon and lotus symbolizing the sphere of cosmic water. In front of the painting a silk curtain is added and removed only when the painting is to be hung o the wall.

The uses of water soluble dyes, stone colours are used along with the herbs and the glue solution. Many a times the artist uses pure gold dust to its painting which makes the painting glitter. The traditional learning of thankas takes five years as each part of the image is very carefully taught. Eyes are mainly emphasized as they are the main attraction of each figure .Other features are also emphasized but eyes remain most important.