Experiences & Artworks by Carmen Mensink’s students Check out the testimonials below of thangka students on all levels (also without previous drawing experience!)

See the Gallery of Buddha Faces made by students of the online Thangka Courses at the School for Tibetan Buddhist Art in 2020

Buddha drawing & painting for beginners and advanced

“It was a great weekendcarmen-rubin-museum-explanation with wonderful people, lots of depth and inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful energy with us.”

Joop A., Tilburg, The Netherlands
Thangka weekend courses at Maitreya Institute, Loenen


day-workshop-buddha-coloring“The course last Friday has given me a lot. The drawing / painting of the Buddha face has a powerful effect. I keep on making more, I’m working on my fourth now. Nice to try out different sizes and different materials. I want to thank you again for all the beautiful things that I’ve experienced through you.”

Gurie Bosman, The Hague, The Netherlands
Thangka day classes in Amsterdam

Medicine Buddha


Carmen leads students gently into the subject matter in a systematic, organised matter. I loved the combination of lectures, meditation and drawing/painting. I always find it interesting to know about the history, symbolism, and more importantly the benefits of the drawing with regards to blessing others.”

Belinda Tan, Singapore, Weekend courses in Singapore

testimonial-buddhist-art“From word one Carmen brings her skills as an artist to the heart of her teaching. I felt her generosity and compassion with me, a very beginner art student.

Her instructions are clear and concise. I know the tools to use to draw the Buddha at home. I know the beauty and sacredness of the symbols I see.

I am taking home with me an image I created on paper and an experience of the sacred. Carmen is an inspiration to me and I will seek opportunities to study with her again. What a joy to share this experience with a fantastic group of classmates!”

Diane N., Pennsylvania, USA
Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY


Buddhas & Tibetan buddhist symbols



draw-a-tibetan-budha“Carmen is a spiritual gift, and she is brilliant, noble, kind & clear. Her teaching is done with clarity and kindness.”

Irena Delahuntey, Connecticut, USA
Thangka Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

lotus-flower-student-carmen-mensink“It was very nice yesterday. I enjoyed your workshop and the ambiance that was so well taken care of.”

Marian van Lookeren Campagne, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Day workshops & weekend courses

giorgio-maurizia-thangka-class“Hello everybody, I’m not a drawer and I don’t have previous drawing experiences, but working with Carmen is more involved with meditation than drawing. The result is something unexpected and beautiful, in its deepest meaning.”

Giorgio Cotto, Bologna, Italy
Weekend courses and annual Thangka Painting Retreats in Italy


Drawing & painting Tibetan Buddhist Mandalas


tibetan-skull-mask-al-gorgoni“My experience in the classes at the RMA and Tibet House with Carmen Mensink was very special. Along with great skill in Tibetan Tangkha painting her knowledge of the integration of the symbols and Philosophy was shared in a precise and lucid manner. I have always been interested in Tibetan Art and Carmen’s explanations expanded my  connection to it and brought it to life in a very real way.       

Carmen created an atmosphere of ease with the absence of pressure that made learning  new techniques really joyful and satisfying.  As a person, Carmen expresses her support and encouragement with the great generosity and spirit of a true teacher. I was inspired to continue practicing with the new methods I learned  and to continue working on a Mandala that has remained unfinished for some time now. I am really looking forward to her next visit to New York.”

Al Gorgoni, New York City, USA, Thangka art classes at Rubin Museum of Art & Tibet House, NYC

clementine-ederveen-thangka-course“You are doing such special work. Thank you again for the way in which you are guiding me.”

Clémentine Ederveen, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Day workshops, weekend courses and the annual painting retreat in Italy



“Having been stuck in my own art practice for a number of years, Carmen’s class helped me not only break through that stuckness, but also integrate new, old & unfolding learnings. It is a beautiful amalgamation of mindfulness, art, meditation. We learned, applied & had opportunity to try new techniques & ask plenty of questions. I look forward to taking class again with Carmen next year.

Lisa Evert, Ohio
Thangka Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Teen classes

Happy teenagers showing the Buddhas they’ve made during the special workshops for adolescents at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC
carmen-mensink-painting-tibetan-medicinesIn the thangka retreat weeks there’s time to learn to work with the traditional thangka painting techniques. Retreat weeks are annually held in Italy, the US and in Asia.
george-pierson-buddha-transforms-mindClear & simple with the indepth essence of a profound meditation!
George Pierson, Philadelphia, USA
Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Thangka painting techniques

Thangka painting retreat in Italy with Carmen Mensink
vlad-lewis-buddha-drawing“We had a really fun five days, Carmen was really a dedicated teacher, it was amazing how we all didn’t really know what we were doing at first, but got guided through the process and we all ended up making nice stuff IMO. …We did a cool meditation every morning that was tied into the specific buddha that we were all drawing/painting. Carmen’s great – sincere, supportive, humble & enthusiastic.”

Vlad Lewis, Massachusetts, USA
Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

“The impossible became possible.

I feel gratitude to the great harmony en serenity that I experienced in the classroom and throughout the stay; gratitude to the kindness and great professionalism of Carmen; gratitude to the wonderful nature around us… the hours flew by, and step by step, despite my initial fears en insecurities (I can’t draw!), on my paper something amazing materialized, as well as in my heart.

I hope I can soon relive the experience, and like all things that are true and deep there’s not much to understand but simply to try!!”

Elena A., Genova, Italy
Annual Thangka Painting Retreat Weeks in Italy

It has been such a great pleasure to be able to attend this Thangka art class workshop and allowing us the ability to draw with such great amazing details. I want to thank Carmen for her patience and metta.

Joseph Pang, Singapore
Weekend courses in Singapore


I feel this work as a very complete and clear meditation where we can observe the mind, the sight (seeing) and our hand (as expression). And the connection between them.

It was a very good experience, that I recommend very much.”

Maria José Moura, Porto, Portugal
Annual Thangka Painting Retreat in Italy

Female Buddha Green Tara


“Drawing the Buddha in such a special way touched me very deeply. Using a very precise grid and measurements, the initial process of simply drawing lines, or connecting one point to another, involves a lot of concentration and focus and then suddenly the magic: out of the paper the Buddha emerges. It is such a beautiful process to work in this way, and the Buddha reveals itself, almost while you are not looking.

Carmen is amazing. She is so completely immersed in the world of thangka painting and her love of it is so inspiring.
She is very generous with her time, holding the space for the morning meditation through to wonderful slideshow talks about related topics in the evening.
I really felt that Carmen wanted the best for each of us and our drawings, and gave lots of time helping, whilst also encouraging us to find and explore our own way, our own style.”

Jane S., Herefordshire, UK
Annual Thangka Painting Retreat in Italy


painting-of-tibetan-symbols “Carmen’s teaching manner was wonderful. Very organized without rigidity. Her explanations regarding Buddhism were complete and enlightening. So well done, a true teacher.! The morning meditations were pure + simple. I thoroughly enjoyed this class!

Shelley Tran, New York
Thangka Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Carmen explaining how to draw the eye of the Buddha in the Tibetan tradition