DTW – Tutorial 4 pt.2 – Digital Restoration

In this second part of the fourth tutorial on how to paint a lotus, we take a little detour to look at digital restoration. We reintroduce our completed lotus to our original reference image and then do a little trickery to bring them into stylistic harmony.


Best wishes,
Ben. (Jampay Dorje)

DTW – Tutorial 4 – Line and Texture

In this first part of the fourth tutorial on how to paint a lotus, we round off by adding some finishing touches. We look at various ways to colour our outline and try out a faux gold technique. Finally we add some textures to bring our digital image a little closer to a hand painted version.

Off to meditate now…


Here is a copy of the texture I use in the tutorial, click on it to open, then right click to save the image

Tangkha Canvas Texture

Bodhisattva Manjushri.

Here is the completed image I made of Manjushri Bodhisattva. This thangka began life as a commission for a book cover. My brief was simply to create an image of Manjushri riding a Snowlion. I chose to illustrate Manjushri in Bodhisattva form, as this suited the subject matter of the book, and allowed me to have Manjushri’s hands free to have some interaction with the Snowlion, I felt this was important. I wanted Manjushri to be gently touching the Snowlions head and for them to be looking at each other, suggesting a deeper connection between the two. The idea for the book cover was changed, so I decided to complete the work as a thangka for my own collection.

I was really happy that this work was done in collaboration with my good friend Andrea. She did a wonderful job of drawing the scarf and provided the photography to complete the background mountains. I hope to work more with her in the future.

There are many forms of Manjushri and some of them depict Him riding a Snowlion. This image is slightly unique due to position of the hands. Usually when Manjushri is shown in Bodhisattva form the sword and text are both resting on a lotus flower and Manjushri holds the stems of the lotus, in the mudra of teaching Dharma, at the heart. This incidentally is how Lama Tsongkapa is depicted in the upper part of the picture. Here I allowed the hands to rest in a relaxed position allowing the interaction with the Snowlion yet still holding the lotus stems.

This image is available for purchase in my store. All the profits from the sale of my work goes to the Asian Classics Input Project who work to preserve the ancient Buddhist texts of India and Tibet.

I hope you like this picture.
Best Wishes,
Jampay Dorje.

Manjushri Bodhisattva riding a Snow Lion high above a misty mountain range. Je Tsongkapa above.

DTW – Tutorial 3 – Shading a Lotus.

In this first part of the third tutorial on how to paint a lotus we begin by talking a little about the lighting used in Tibetan art. Then we look at some examples of how traditional thangkas are rendered/shaded. We look at a very beautiful old thangka and three works by contemporary artists Andy Weber, Robert Beer and Pema Namdro Thaye.Then we go on to look at the digital methods used to create shading and also take a look at the simple digital brush that I use for shading.

In the second part of the third tutorial we begin the actual rendering/shading process. We finish off by taking a peek at how digital methods can be used to restore an original thangka. We also take a preview of the next tutorial which is all about textures and making our image look ‘painted’.

Also a brief snippet on how to make a part of your image appear as though it were made of light.

I hope you enjoy!

Digital Thangka Workshop – Tutorial 2 – Colouring a Lotus.

I have just uploaded the second tutorial in the Lotus series. We are partway through finishing the lotus now. All that remains in the shading and finally a few tricks to make the image look hand painted using traditional media. I should be able to complete that in two more videos.

In this video we take our linework from the previous tutorial and create the channels/masks that we will then use to colour our image. We then do some basic colouring to get to the stage known as ‘colour flats’ which we can then use to shade our lotus in the next tutorial.

I hope you like it,
Best wishes for your practice,
Ben (Jampay Dorje)

Digital Thangka Workshop – Tutorial 1 – Part 2

This is the second part to the tutorial I uploaded yesterday. In this video we take the first half of our lotus and mirror it to complete the finished lotus. Then we do a little cleaning up, add the Sun/Moon Cushion using the Pen Tool in Photoshop, and finally we do a little trickery to make the image look less than perfect.


I hope you enjoy it…

Digital Thanka Workshop – Tutorial 1 – Drawing a Lotus

I have decided to create a series of tutorials showing the digital techniques I use to make my images. The first one is uploaded to youtube and I hope to add another each Sunday.

I hope you like them,

Best Wishes,
Ben (Jampay Dorje)

The reference image you need to complete the tutorial is below… click on it to see the full size image, then right click to save it.

lotus trace

South Eastern Burial Ground.

Just finished working on a major new Thangka! The images show various sections of the complete work illustrating the Burial Grounds as described in Highest Yoga Tantra.

There are many beings who abide in the burial grounds, here we can see a few of them, The Directional Protector, a Naga, Mahasiddha and Dakini, and corpses in various states of decay. I love the metaphor of the burial ground, its a place of decay and horror, that is completely transformed by the meditators mind realising emptiness.

I hope you like the images…

Lawapa and Dakini