Silk Applique Painted Thangkas

Leslie Nguyen Temple offers a range of Silk Applique Thangka possibilities for commission.

Traditional Silk Applique 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 5 to 8 weeks to complete. Commissions are created from an ongoing collaboration between patron and artist.

Traditionally, the patron commissioning a thangka is generating merit from the aspiration to manifest and support the activity in creating a buddhist image.

* Leslie creating a Yeshe Tsogyal commission for Jnanasukha.


Leslie has created an array of portraits throughout the years depicting children, parents, loved ones and inspirational teachers . These painted silk portraits commissions are based on a chosen special photograph.

Leslie works on the image through a series of initial exploratory sketches and watercolors before being ready to carefully transfer the portrait features onto satin using a fusion of traditional painting methods with innovative techniques.

Collaboration can be part of the creative process – where brocades, silks and particular details are selected for clothing and background – in the aim to represent not only a true resemblance but also the unique quality of that person.

Depending on size and complexity, the process to create a portrait can take 2- 4 weeks.

Request a Commission

Any additional comments?

Thank you for your inquiry!

We’ll get in touch with Leslie and get back to you as soon as possible with details.