The Art of Thangka drawing & painting

> Check out all upcoming Thangka Classes, Buddhist Art Lectures & other events in Europe, United States and Asia

Creating a large painting for the Dalai Lama!

We are very happy that His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently visited The Netherlands again. And just as for his previous visits to her home country, Carmen Mensink was asked again to welcome him in a special way by creating a large (9 meter / 30 feet) special painting of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

Miroirs de l’âme

Interview with Carmen Mensink in Dutch and the French edition of Happinez Magazine, Le Premier Mindstyle Magazine“Pour les bouddhistes, une répresentation d’un bouddha n’est pas qu’une simple image, c’est une énergie vivante”

> Check out more on Carmen Mensink in the Media

Private Thangka Courses in Venice

In January, February and March 2019, Carmen will be living and working in -according to her- the most beautiful city on earth, and will have some time to offer individual thangka drawing and painting courses in Venice, Italy.

Venue overview

Carmen Mensink offers workshops, retreats, lectures and guided tours on Buddhist Art at many places around the world. Here you can check if she comes to a place near you.

> Check out all the places where Carmen teaches

Tibetan Mandala created by over 100 visitors during Museum Night

For the recent Museum Night Amsterdam, Carmen created a project where the visitors helped to paint a large (2x2m) Tibetan Mandala, the Mandala of the 5 Elements.
She was asked for this by the Nieuwe Kerk (on Dam Square in Amsterdam) because of the special exhibition on the life of Buddha that is currently running. Carmen’s mandala is still on view until the end of the exhibit.

Thangka Painting Summer Retreats 2019!

Registrations are now open for:
ITALY Thangka Painting Summer Course: June 28 to July 7, 2019
THE NETHERLANDS Thangka Painting Summer Course: July 19-26, 2019

Check out the pictures of the Italy Thangka Painting Retreat 2018, where people from all over the world came together to enjoy the drawing & painting classes, as well as the meditation sessions, lectures on Buddhist art, the beautiful area, special premises and the amazing (organically grown) Italian food, and the friendships that were made.

Exhibition on The Life of Buddha in Amsterdam

Until Feb 3, 2019 a special exhibition will be on show in Amsterdam, that was opened by HH. the Dalai Lama on Sept. 16, 2018. It also includes a personal thangka of the Dalai Lama, showing different scenes of Buddha’s life.

During the recent Museum Night Amsterdam, Carmen lead a project where the visitors helped paint a large Tibetan Mandala, the Mandala of the 5 Elements, it’s still on view!

Thangka Art Course in Sri Lanka feb. 2020

Read all about this wonderful 2017 trip with Ven. Banthe and Carmen Mensink. This combination of Thangka Art retreat & Sightseeing tour will be held again in February 2020. You can already be placed on the list if you want to be sure of your space. If you sign up for the Newsletter, we will keep you updated.

Scroll paintings of Buddhas & Mandalas in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition

This site shows Carmen Mensink’s Thangka Paintings and the Thangka Drawing & Painting Courses that she offers in many different countries – most of them are also suitable for people with no drawing or painting skills whatsoever.

Carmen can also be commissioned to paint a thangka of your choice, or to let her gild & paint your Buddha statues, according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In the Thangka Shop you can find presents for yourself and others.

> Check out the Tibetan Thangka Artwork

Carmen explains her passion for Thangka Painting in this short video (in Dutch) made by Happinez Magazine. Check also the article about Carmen and her artwork in Happinez Magazine.

Mandala of the Buddha of Compassion. Click on the image for info.

Buddha ColoringTibetan Buddhist Art

In Tibet, the painting of thangkas was an important and highly developed means of expression through which the entire Buddhist philosophy could be explained. And it still has this function: thangkas are used in temples & monasteries and are hung above the altars to support the Buddhist meditation and practice.
The Chinese invasion in Tibet in the 1950’s and the destruction of a lot of old Tibetan traditions and monasteries makes it even more important to keep this beautiful tradition alive and pure.

> Read more on the History of Tibetan Thangka Painting

Classes & Courses


Carmen Mensink offers workshops in Tibetan Buddhist Art in Europe, United States and Asia.

Most courses are for both beginners and advanced, and all courses come with a guided meditation, slide shows and talks on the symbolism of the subject (a Tibetan Buddha, Mandala or Symbol), and a lot of individual guidance.

Carmen offers day classes and weekend courses in Buddha drawing, as well as in-depth thangka painting retreats that last a week or longer.

> Check out the upcoming Buddhist Art Classes

Private Workshops


She also offers individual teachings on thangka drawing and painting, for those who rather work one on one with a teacher instead of being in a group. There’s a lot of guidance and a lot of time to answer your questions.
Private classes can be taken by the more advanced students as well as the ones who have never even touched a pencil in their life (and will be surprised about their hidden talents!)


> More on Private Thangka Teachings

Art & Testimonials

Carmen passes on the Art of Tibetan Thangka to her students with a lot of joy and dedication. She inspires them to reach their full potential in art and at the same time inspires them to go inside, meditate and check their mind and work on its potential, according to the Buddhist philosophy – which is inseparable from Buddhist Art.

It doesn’t matter if people have drawing and painting experience or not, most important is the joy they experience during the courses and what’s going on inside themselves – which undoubtedly will be expressed in their artwork.

> More Student Artwork & Testimonials


What else can I find on this website?
Besides the artwork in the form of Thangka Paintings of Buddhas and Mandalas, Thangka Drawings and other artwork by Carmen Mensink such as painting Mantras on Mani Stones, you can find so much more on this website, such as:

Tibetan Buddhist Mandalas

Tibetan Buddhist Mandala is a diagram of geometric patterns. Each Buddha has his own mandala, which can be seen as the universe or palace in which the particular deity resides.
Each part of a Tibetan mandala has deep symbolism behind it, which you will learn during the mandala drawing and painting classes with Carmen Mensink.


Lectures and Articles on Tibetan Buddhist Art

During her classes, Carmen always gives one or more slide shows and talks on the subject, for example a Buddha and his mantra, to explain the meaning and symbolism behind it.
She is also regularly asked to give lectures on different subjects in Tibetan Buddhist Art, at museums, universities and Buddhist centers, and writes articles on Buddhist Art, which are added to the Media & Publications page

Buddha Statue Painting & Gilding

green-tara-statue-painting-carmenThe face of a Buddha statue is traditionally painted with pigments and gold.
Carmen can paint your Buddha Statue according to tradition, with pure gold and the right colors.

More explanation on Buddhist Art & Philosophy

On this website you will also find more explanation on the Buddhist Philosophy -as this is inseparable from Buddhist Art.
You can find information on subjects such as:

Large paintings for the Dalai Lama, Festivals & and Events

Welcome painting for the Dalai Lama’s visit to The Netherlands, in the shape of a lotus flower with 8 lotus petals with the 8 Auspicious Symbols:
Read more on the 5 meter wide painting to welcome the Dalai Lama in 2009

painting-for-dalai-lama-carmen-mensinkAnother welcome painting for the Dalai Lama 5 years later, visit to The Netherlands, in the shape of a long red carpet with the eight main Tibetan Symbols:
Read more on the 9 meter long painting to welcome the Dalai Lama in 2014

happinez-festival-carmen-mensinkA large, mandala-like painting that was painted together with hundreds of visitors of the Happinez Festival (spiritual festival)
Large painting projects for Other Festival & Events can be found here

Check out the latest Thangka Art & News Blogs: 

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May all sentient beings be happy and free from suffering

... Om Mani Padme Hum!