workshop Rhinebeck, NY

Tibetan Art Workshop

Create a Buddha in the Tradition of Thangka


Sep 24–29, 2023


Member: $505.00

Standard: $565.00

Registration has closed.

Tibetan scroll painting

Learn the meditative art of Tibetan scroll painting with teacher Carmen Mensink, founder of the School for Tibetan Buddhist Art.

Carmen Mensink explains the process of painting both male and female Buddhas in the ancient tradition of thangka.

Create meaningful art in a meditative setting with Carmen Mensink, internationally renowned painter of thangkas, the traditional Tibetan scroll paintings of Buddhas and mandalas.

In this weeklong retreat, all the steps of a thangka drawing and painting are covered. Carmen's personal approach and guidance makes this retreat suitable for students of all levels. Beginner thangka students, even those with no drawing experience whatsoever, will first learn to draw the face of the Buddha before moving on to a complete Buddha, choosing from The Buddha (Buddha Shakyamuni), Medicine Buddha (the Buddha of Healing), or the Mandala of the Five Elements (Ultimate Balance in both body and mind). More advanced students may focus on Green Tara (The Mother of all Buddhas), the Mandala of the Five Elements (Ultimate Balance in both body and mind), or another subject for this course (if suitable for their level).

After you have drawn your Buddha (with an optional landscape) you will learn to use different colored pencil techniques to work out your drawing. You are welcome to work with other materials that you like, such as watercolor, ink, or pastel. Your drawing can also be worked out with the special thangka painting techniques, though this is more advisable for advanced students as it takes a very long time to create a traditional thangka.

In addition to the art sessions there will be guided meditations as well as lectures and presentations on the tradition of thangka painting, symbolism of Buddhas, the meaning of mantras, and more. Return home with your own Buddha drawing or painting.

Things to Bring

For this course you need to bring a few basic drawing materials as well as colored pencils or paints (you can bring what you already have at home). Please note that the easiest way to transport your artwork is in a tube (that may even fit your suitcase). You also may want to bring slippers or thick socks for the meditation.

Basic drawing materials:

  • Paper: 2 pieces of thick paper (pref. 200 gsm or more), size 18x24" or larger
  • Pencil: regular HB or mechanical pencil
  • Ruler (the larger the better)
  • Eraser(s)
  • Optional: drawing compass, drawing board

Working out your drawing: To work out your drawing(s) you can choose to work with colored pencils or other materials such as pastels or paints.

Colored Pencils: You can bring whatever pencils you already have at home, but if you want to invest in a new set it's best to choose a good brand of colored pencils (such as Blick Studio Artists, Prismacolor Premier, Caran d'Ache Luminance or Faber Castell Polychromos).

  • Optional: a set of thin colored felt pens (such as Stabilo point 88) for outlining.

For Other Materials: E.g. pastels, watercolor pencils, watercolor paint, ink, tempera, gouache, acrylics: bring whatever you like and/or already have at home.

Note: When working with a water-based product, please bring a paper or cardboard that is suitable for this, as well as brushes etc.

For Painting a Traditional Thangka: Because of the long and detailed process, painting a traditional thangka is more advised for advanced thangka students (please contact Carmen for the list of supplies) who can make a small start with it in this retreat.

Registrants are invited to express their preferred subject (see course description above) by sending an email to

After drawing the Buddha Face, students learn to create a complete Buddha, such as the Medicine Buddha, the Buddha of Healing.

Workshop Rhinebeck, NY

Sep 24–29, 2023

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Tibetan Art Workshop

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  • Omega faculty Carmen Mensink

    Carmen Mensink

    Carmen Mensink is a painter of thangkas, the traditional Tibetan scroll paintings of Buddhas and...