Silk Applique Painted Thangkas

This appliqué technique is inspired by the ‘Tre-jar” (literally ‘cut-glued’) style found in Amdo area of eastern Tibet. Though these thangkas usually use paper backings, Leslie has adapted materials to construct them fully in high quality fabrics using silks, satins and brocades.

The process of creating a thangka happens in 3 main stages:

1. Drawing and design:

– Drawing the deity based on its particular iconography
– Designing the whole image- adding landscape elements and other features in the background.

2. Adding Silks/brocade materials

– Transferring the design on cotton canvas.
– Cutting the canvas image, dividing it into parts and adding silks accordingly.
– Folding each silk part, glueing and painting it with linework and shading as required.

3. Assembling, painting and final shading.

– Reassembling parts into the whole design ready to include  painted elements such as offerings, animals, implements and other painted details.
– Completing the final image by shading it as a whole.

Depending on complexity and size of design – this process can take between 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

For information on Silk Applique commissions by Leslie Nguyen Temple, see here.