Tibetan Thangka Painting

Tibetan Thangka Painting

Methods & Materials

By David Jackson; Janice A. Jackson; Robert Beer (Illustrator)

Snow Lion Publications, Paperback, 9781559392570, 202pp.

Publication Date: August 2006


Tibetan Thangka Painting is the only detailed description of the techniques and principles of the sacred art of Tibetan scroll painting. It is the distillation of research carried out over a period of ten years, collected during five journeys to Nepal and India, and compiled from some twenty traditional painters. This book presents, step-by-step, the techniques used to make a thangka from the preparation of the canvas to the final application of the sacred syllables behind each completed figure. Separate chapters introduce the reader to the basic principles of composition, color, and figure proportions. Included are descriptions of the pigments and how they are mixed and applied. A wealth of drawings and photographs illustrates each step and the many line drawings of symbols and motifs drawn by Robert Beer will greatly aid artists and serve as unique resource for designers. Robert Beer has also contributed a section which includes valuable guidelines for those who wish to paint thangkas using modern techniques and commercially available materials.

About the Author
David Jackson is Head of School and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

Robert Beer was born in Wales in 1947 and now lives in Oxford, England. He first became interested in Tibetan art in the late 1960s and has since spent more than forty years depicting and studying the iconography and symbolism of Vajrayana Buddhism. In recent years he has been actively involved with some of the finest contemporary Newar artists of the Kathmandu Valley and has assembled a unique collection of their work. Apart from his continuing work with Indo-Tibetan iconography, he is also deeply involved in researching all aspects of the afterlife, especially the enhanced consciousness and transformations related to the near-death experience. His illustrations have been widely published and pirated, and he is the author and illustrator of "The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs" and "The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols".

Praise For Tibetan Thangka Painting

"Absolutely incredible book. Highly recommended." —Circle of Light

"An indispensable reference manual for anyone interested in Tibetan art." —Parabola

"At last this wonderful 1984–86 'how to' book has been reprinted. Every possible aspect is covered, firstly the history of Tibetan art, its place in Tibetan culture, the teachers and the artists, before we get to the basics, from preparing the painting surface to the measurements, the symbols, the borders—and the conservation. So much in one book that every aspiring artist will want." —Mandala Magazine

"This book contains a wealth of fascinating information about thangkas and the artistic culture of Tibet and affords a rare glimpse into the way of life of the artists themselves. . . . It comes as close as is reasonably possible to providing art students with accurate guidelines to gain at least some skill in the techniques. A work as well researched, clearly presented, and fascinating as this will certainly be enjoyed not only by artists but also by anyone with an interest in Tibetan cultural traditions." —The Tibet Journal