English | Dzongkha Saturday, March 25, 2017

Painter’s attempt to use organic paints

Yeshi Gyaltshen, Thimphu
Mar 17 2017

Bhutanese paintings whether they are traditional or contemporary are usually painted with imported colours.

However, trying to break this norm is a 32-year-old professional mural (thangka) painter, Penjor Dorji.

A graduate in traditional arts from Institute for Zorig Chusum (thirteen arts) in Trashi Yangtse, Penjor uses locally made paints for his artistry works.

He makes organic paints from tree barks and leaves. His works are being showcased at the Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre in Thimphu. His paintings are noticeably different from those which were created with imported paints.


Penjor Dorji said research for experimenting with locally made paints began in 2013 under the initiation of one of his lecturers. Since then, it was no looking back.

“I hope using organic paints would inspire young painters in future. Even tourists prefer paintings which are made with local materials,” said Penjor.

He credited lecturers, and labour ministry for making his research of using organic paint colours a success. However, he hopes to document his research once he gets financial aid.

Penjor also said using organic colours for paintings in the country is all in all a new concept.

During olden days, painters used paints made from soil and stones to sketch images.

“The benefits of using organic colours are manifold. From health to environment, it has all positive impacts. And paintings are more durable and look aesthetic too,” added Penjor.

So far, Penjor has created 15 varieties of colours but is hoping to discover more in future.

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