Thangka Masterclass

Delve into the Details of Thangka for 7 Days

$250.00 per guest
1 - 5 guests 5 hours 10:00
Hosted by Bikash Tamang


  • Understanding the beauty of various Thangka styles
  • A step-by-step learning under the tutelage of Thangka master
  • Making 5 sets of your own Thangka masterpieces to take back home
  • One whole week of uninterrupted Thangka Bliss!

Inclusive of:

  • English speaking guide
  • All tools and materials

Not Inclusive of:

  • Pick-up and drop-off service (can be included at additional cost)
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Meals
$US 250.00 per guest
Instant confirmation
1 - 5 guests
5 hours
Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to booking start time.

More About This Experience

Total classes: 7 Days Number of hour per class: 5 hours Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm Set of tools provided and used: -7 basic colors set -Set of 7 brushes -A canvas book (painting book) -Photocopies of all the sketches -5 sets of thangka cloth Size of the canvas paper used: 20*15 cm Day 1: For the first day the class includes introduction on history of thangka painting, tools selection, some important techniques that are used in thangka painting and and brief instruction on what will happen during 7 days of the course. You will also visit some main sites where thangka artworks are displayed or used (Swayambhunath Stupa and another thangka shops in Patan). 10:00am - 10:30am You will be picked up from the pick up point at 10 am. We will introduce more about the city and the area. Then you will be introduced to everyone at host's place. 10:30am - 11:00am The history of thangka and the thangka cloth: -Thangka is an important teaching tool depicting the life of a buddha and other various influential monks and deities. -Historically, it was carried with travelling monks as they were easily rolled and transported from one monastery to another as a means of practicing their faith. "Than' means flat and "Ka' mean painting in Tibetan. -Other different functions: it is used as a centerpiece during rituals medium through which you can make prayers, aids in meditation. -Normally thangka cloth is cotton which is washed with a special clay to close all the pores in it. The cotton cloth is the best cloth for absorbing the paint and it is durable. Some thangka artists also use silk as thangka cloth but it is very rare. 11:00am - 12:00 pm Brush/canvas/colours introduction -7 basic brush sets, a canvas book and a set of 12 acrylic + poster colours will be given to you. You will learn how to use your brush and how to mix different colours. We mostly use acrylic and poster colours as it is long lasting and easy to apply. -Man Bahadur will test your drawing skills and after that we will decide if you should use a tracing paper or not. A simple lotus flower will be given for you to copy. -After that you will learn different strokes of the brush in the canvas. And you will also learn how to mix different colours to take out the colours that you need. -You will also learn to control all the brushes and other learning tools in this first session. 12:00pm - 12:30pm Break -Have snacks or tea nearby. -You can take a walk for some time or watch other students paint. 12:30pm - 1:15 pm Sky and Ground -Sky and Ground are the most important and basic part of any painting with an image of a deity. All the thangka artist learn to draw sky and ground before they do any other paintings. After thangka artist learn to do sky and ground perfectly, they learn to paint other aspects that make up a typical thangka. -Man Bahadur will demonstrate how to do sky and ground on a thangka first. He will show both the techniques (small horizontal lines and vertical lines) which are called sridang and choptang in Tibetan. -You will start doing the sky first. And after that you will do the ground. -Do only one side of the canvas and your homework will be to finish the other side. 1:15pm - 2:30pm Learn the different blending and shading techniques -A very basic lotus with leaves will be given to you to draw/trace the thangka. -Man Bahadur will demonstrate the blending and shading techniques in 2-3 flower petals -You will do the same and finish the lotus. 2:30pm -3:00pm Homework - Clouds -In a different canvas, you will draw some clouds. Homework will be to colour the clouds in the same technique as with the lotus. -There will be around 5 small clouds and they will have to be coloured differently. -You will also finish the other side of the sky and the ground also. Day 2: On this day you will learn how to colour the body of the Buddha and also learn about different thangka styles and what they represent. You will use your previous day's knowledge and technique of blending/shading to paint the body. 10:15am Homework correction -Man Bahadur will check the homework and give suggestions on what is wrong and what is the best part. 10:15am - 10:30am -Learn why Lotus flowers are important in Buddhism -Talk about why sky and ground are so important in a deity's picture. 10:30am - 11:00am Different styles of Thangka -There will be quick introduction on different styles of thangkas specifically mandalas and deities picture -You will take photos of different thangkas and take notes on the different symbolism of the pictures -Based on your choice and skills, the host will advise what kind of thangka you should do. 11:00am - 12:00pm -Draw/trace the main body -After choosing the thangka, you will draw or trace the outline of the main body. -This will be a smaller/simple version of the thangka that you want to make. Background/contrast -Man Bahadur will show some of the thangkas that depict how to choose a background according to the main picture. -When you are sure of what kind of thangka you will make, proceed to choose the base colours that you want to do. According to that you will chose a background and make a contrast for your thangka. 12:00pm - 12:30pm -Break 12:30pm - 2:30 pm Main body -Man Bahadur will demonstrate how to paint the body of the deity selected -You will finish the body and the face -Learn to do the robes of the deity (a very simple one) 2:00pm - 3:00pm Home work -Trace a different buddha with a different posture. It can be a standing or sitting one but with different hand postures. -Homework is to paint the body, robes and the outlines of the body. Day 3 On this day you will learn to paint the face. The face of the Buddha is the most important aspect of the painting. If the face is not done correctly then it can completely ruin the whole painting. This skill requires years of experience and skill. And when we say years we mean at least 3-4 years of thangka painting and practising. For break we will take you to Boudhanath and we will explore more. 10:00am - 10:30am Homework correction -Man Bahadur will check your homework and give suggestions if anything is -missing and which is the best aspect. 11:00am - 1:00pm Face painting -Draw/trace a big face on the center of a new canvas. There should be about 3 cm left on the borders of each size. Then you learn to paint the details on that. -You will colour the face using the same technique that you use to colour the body. -The eyes, nose and mouth will be painted later. Man Bahadur will do one eye and you can try the other eye and he will make then proceed to make the nose and the mouth. 1:00pm - 1:30pm -Break 1:30pm - 3:00pm -Leave for Boudhanath -Host will talk about the meaning of different faces of the different deities -Reason why the faces are so important: they show the emotion of the deity and their symbolism. -You will see some of the thangkas where the deities have various expressions. Day 4 -This day you can relax a bit and learn to add/paint extra details on the Buddha's painting. Extra details include fruits, clouds, halo, jewels, trees, etc. --And you will also do clouds and ground on the two thangkas that you finish. --You will also learn to do a bit of fine lining. 10:00am - 10:30am -Homework correction 10:30am - 12:00pm -Add more details to the 2 thangkas -Host will demonstrate on how to colour the extra details like small jewels/fruits/etc. -You will add more details to the thangkas that you had finished (2 completed thangkas) -You will also do the clouds and ground on the two thangkas. 12:00 pm - 12:30pm -Break 12:30pm -3:00pm -Fine lines are one of the most difficult painting technique that is used in thangka painting. The fine lines separate everything. It separates the folds on the robes, the creases on the face, eye brows, outlines of the flowers, leaves and all other small ornamentation. -Man Bahadur will demonstrate and teach you how to do the fine lines correctly. -Practise on the two paintings that you have done. Day 5 -Painting from scratch on a thangka cloth -On this day you will do everything from scratch on a thangka cloth with as little interference from the host if necessary. You can use your own imagination and be creative. Or you can choose a thangka that you want to make from our collection and copy it. Size made: 25*25 cm Time taken:4-5 hours 10:15am -10:30am -Your tools and a thangka cloth will be given to you. You can choose your own design or be creative and draw your own sketch. 10:30am - 11:00am -You will either draw or trace the thangka. 11:00am - 12:00pm -Start painting the thangka. 12:00pm -You will be taken to a nearby local's house and check how the Buddhists design their altar and you will also see the process of how they do their daily rituals and practices. It is time to have some tea. 2:00pm - 3:00pm -Go back to your workshop and finish the thangka. The homework is to finish the thangka. Note:There will be corrections from the host. If you cannot finish the thangka at the workshop then you will take it home and finish. Day 6 + 7 Surprise thangka On the last 2 days, you will get to implement all that you have learnt and Man Bahadur will give you a large thangka to paint with a lot of details. The outlines will already be traced by the host. You will have to use all the techniques that you learn in the past 5 days to complete this thangka. Please note that if you have selected an add on for pick up then we use local taxis.

Additional Information:

  • Exact pick-up location address along with map direction will be sent to your email instantly after booking
  • Be at the pick up location at the tour start time.
  • As you will be seated on the floor for the lessons, please wear appropriate clothing
  • Bring a bottle of water
  • There will be other local students learning alongside you so be mindful of their lessons

Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to booking start time.


The pick-up location address will be sent to your email immediately upon booking.

Upcoming availability

Your Local Host

Bikash Tamang

Originally from Kavre, Bikash Titung Tamang learned to draw Thangka from a monk in his village. He was 20 years old when he first started learning this art and now he teaches women how to earn a living through Tha...

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US$ 250.00 5 hrs 10:00
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