Lines and Colors art blog

Nick Dudka (update)

Thangka by Nick Dudka
Nick Dudka is a German born artist who studied art in Russia. After developing an interest in Buddhist religion and philosophy, he studied the art of Thangka, or scroll painting, in Mongolia, Nepal and India.

Thangka paintings are usually painted on cloth — linen or cotton for most subjects, silk for more important subjects — that is sized with a gesso-like mixture of animal hide glue and talcum powder.

The paintings are done in paints made of pigments suspended in animal hide glue mixed with other materials. Paints in a hide glue vehicle are known in the West as distemper or body color, and are handled in a manner similar to gouache. I’m uncertain how similar the materials and processes are between the two sets of mediums and approaches.

The home page of Dudka’s website gives a bit of introduction to the art, and the gallery showcases a selection of Dudka’s works. (Click on the individual images, or the “Zoom Image” links for larger versions.) Some of his pieces are available in his shop as posters, cards or other reproductions.

I don’t know enough about Thangka art to know how closely Dudka follows in the traditions of the classical works, but my impression is that he is working within the traditional style. Some of his pieces utilize a wide range of intense colors, others are in a more restricted palette. Perhaps this is a choice relevant to the individual subjects, which are usually depictions of the Buddha, other enlightened individuals or various deities.

Dudka has provided some background on the subjects on the detail pages for the individual paintings in his gallery.

Thangka, along with other Buddhist art, has often been the basis for contemporary visionary art.

For more, see my previous post on Nickolai N. Dudka.