Author Archive

Mughal Love Paintings

Friday, April 30th, 2010 | Author:

Mughal paintings are greatly admired and praised for its richness, texture and innovativeness. They were in a different league. Mughal paintings were very stylish and unique. One of the important sub-genres of Mughal paintings was Mughal love paintings. These paintings are very fascinating and will capture your imagination like never before. They had splendid themes and unique styles. One striking aspect about Mughal love paintings is that, they don’t really conform to realism. Imagination and creativity played a much bigger role than realism. However, the themes of these paintings stayed true to periods they were made in.

Mughal love paintings are wonderful illustration of the Mughal era. They give us a glimpse of what that period was all about. The cultures, art, concept of love etc portrayed in these paintings are true specimen of that era. What makes Mughal love paintings even more striking is the unique blend of Indian and Persian style. Themes were provocative as well as informative. Some of the most common themes of love paintings were, love, lovers, courtly lovers in intimate positions, failed love and lovers in a state of despair. The paintings proved to be of immense help to the historians. The artworks are full of luxury, colorful themes, sensuality and physical beauty.

Mughal love paintings give us a glance into the love lives of the kings and queens. Mughal King Jahangir was instrumental in encouraging the love paintings. He had a keen artistic sense. ‘Jahangirnama’ had some of the most amazing paintings reflecting the wonderful art taste of the king. There were renowned Mughal painters who excelled in making love paintings. Govardhan was one of the most famous artists of that era. Similarly, Ustad Mansur created huge impact as a Mughal painter during the 17th Century. The popularity of Mughal love paintings is not just restricted to Indian boundaries. They are loved, appreciated and admired all over the world.

Paint Brushes – Cleaning and Caring Tips

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Author:

Paint brush is more like a weapon in the hands of an artist. Like a warrior who cannot do much without his arms, similarly an artist will be rendered helpless without a paint brush. It is a must-have item for any painting project. If we further elaborate the range and scope of brushes, it can be used in painting your home or can be useful for a simple wood working project. A brush has several uses and in different categories. Having said that, no matter where you are going to use your paint brush, you must invest in good quality brushes. Like everything else, brushes also demand care.


If you want to make your brush last longer, you need to care for it and clean it properly. While you go to buy a brush you need to take into consideration certain factors. First of all, check the length of the brush as that decides the elasticity of it. So while you hold the bristles slightly bent and if they manage to hang together, it means the brush is sufficiently elastic. But if the bristles are flaring out, you should rather avoid it.  The brush should feel full of bristles while you compress it. One more sign of a good brush is presence of split ends.


Before using brush for the first time, you should rub the ends of the bristles on a rough surface and leave it in linseed oil for 24 hours. This will help it in softening up. The process is also known as preconditioning of the brush which proves crucial in its ability to accept paint and a longer life. Use scraper or a knife to get rid of stray bristles. One should ideally use dip and slab method for painting. Once the painting is done, use thinner or turpentine to clean away the excess paint. Implementing all these tips will help in improving the lifespan of brushes.

Henna Body Painting

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Author:

henna-body-paintingThe use of henna or mehndi is very popular in the Indian subcontinent. Young brides get their hands and other body parts painted with paste of powdered henna. If we talk about India, applying mehndi is a common practice in almost every household. Women just love to apply henna during social occasions. Whether it is marriage, engagement, festivals or social function, women just need to have henna on their hands. It adds a certain charm to the overall beauty of the women. It is a type of body art practiced by Indian women since centuries. Artists trained in henna painting draw those intricate and beautiful lines on the palms. Traditional motifs are drawn on the hands of young brides. There are plenty of traditional motifs but the most popular one is the paisley motif.


Henna body painting is considered to be auspicious. According to existing beliefs, shade of the henna color decides the fate of the bride. In other words, the husband will love the wife more if she has darker shades of mehndi. Yes, that’s a belief which may be right or wrong but it shows the importance of the tradition of henna body painting.


Henna is basically a flowering shrub that has fragrant flowers. Leaves are dried and crushed into powder to create the dye. As far as the technique of Applying Mehndi is concerned, a paint brush or a plastic cone is used to apply the blend of lemon juice, henna powder and henna. Once the paint is applied, it is left as it is for few hours. This way, it dries up which helps it in getting a firm color. However, at some places, to create a more intense and dark color on the skin, plastic sheet or tissue paper or medical tape is used to wrap the painted area.  Reddish brown is the final color and can last from few weeks to few months depending upon the quality of the paste.

Acrylic Paintbrush

Monday, March 29th, 2010 | Author:

A portrait artist has an array of paintbrushes to choose from. Talking about acrylic paintbrush technique, it’s up to the artist what brush he chooses for his paintings. Among the quality brushes, cryla and synthetic brushes are known for their quality. A serious portrait artist must invest on quality brushes instead of going for cheap brushes. Poor quality brushes can affect the overall effect of the artwork. However, many artists prefer to choose hog hair brushes for applying texture paste and scumbling. Acrylic painters do not allow the paint to dry on the brushes. Once it dries, it becomes solid and starts losing its shape. However, there is an option of using methylated spirit but then you run the risk of losing its texture and subsequently overall appeal.


There are some essential tools for portrait artists like water container and a rag. The former one allows them to keep the brushes on a ledge so that bristles remain submerged in the water. Rag will help in taking away any excess water that the brush might have soaked. Paintbrush needs to be just damp and not wet. In case, you are using watercolor technique to paint then obviously, you will need plenty of water.


Ideally, two brushes should be used for paintings. A large brush for big areas and a thinner brush for finer works. Different artists have different styles of paintings. Some like to have more freedom in their art and for that they hold brush further away from the bristles. But if you are looking for accuracy, try holding the brush nearer to the bristles. Portrait artists prefer to use Payne’s Gray to fill in the shadows on the face. Thereafter, they can apply opaque background of flesh tint. Using different glazes and colored washes will perfectly build up the skin tone. Focusing on minor details will make your portrait a complete artwork.

Painting Textures

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 | Author:

Texture is a very important part of a painting. It provides character to the artwork. Compared to other crucialpaintingtextures elements of the artwork like theme, style and color, texture plays an equally important role. Most often than not, the texture of the painting decides the visual effect and mood of the complete work of art. A painter has to have understanding of finer nuances of texture. One of the most famous artists in the history of world art, Vincent Van Gogh was famous for using bold delineation of textures in his paintings.


Texture can be implied in many ways. An artist can use different tools or by varying brushstrokes, he can imply texture. Different painting tools can help an artist in producing varying textures on the canvas. For instance, using a palette knife will result into a completely different texture compared to a stiff bristled brush. Quite a few artists prefer to use rags to create amazing textures. Similarly, by using different brushstrokes, artists can create different textural effects. Using impulsive and broad brush strokes will lead to rough texture whereas smooth texture will be the output of using gentle brushstrokes. That clearly demonstrates the effect of using a brushstroke or even a canvas on the texture of the artwork.


By looking at the texture, we can figure out what that surface would feel like if it were touched. Artists also use different materials in the paint to bring desired textural effect. Materials like silica or foam are mixed in the paint for desired painting textures. There are some other mixed combinations as well like using bits of rice paper or fabric pieces to paste onto the painting. 

: Image courtesy

Art Mediums

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 | Author:

If you are an art lover or have just started to venture into the fascinating world of Indian art, you should be aware of different mediums of art. Many artists prefer to express themselves in one particular medium and because of that or call it comfort zone; they are slightly tentative to start in another medium. Not every artist is familiar with other mediums as they have made themselves comfortable with one particular medium. But to truly expand your talent and range of work, one needs to have a fair bit of idea about other mediums as well.


Watercolor is one of the most common mediums used by artists. If, by any chance you have not tried your hands at watercolor you must give it a try. It will surely fascinate you. Watercolor painting is reasonably quick and you will be able to create subtle colors and beautiful washes. If you are planning to paint a landscape, you must use watercolor. Quite popular amongst artists, watercolor paintings of outdoors or sceneries can be great attractions.


Drawing is often bypassed by the artists who are proficient in watercolor paintings or oil paintings. Drawing stage is quite important to your basic knowledge of art. It is a fundamental necessity. If you are planning to draw, you can choose among many mediums including charcoal, pastels or pen and ink. Working in these mediums can be total fun and relaxing. It will also give a new dimension to your artworks. It also helps in making you aware of new perspectives.


Every artist is familiar with concept of oil painting. If you have a desire of producing wonderful rich colors and blending the paints then go for oil painting medium. Initially, it can be tough but sooner than later it will mesmerize you. You can always take a lesson or buy a book on oil painting to learn the basics. The last medium in this article is Acrylic painting. Perfect for abstract art, acrylic painting holds all the possibility of creating a new artist in you. Some of the other painting and drawing mediums are encaustic, airbrushing and mixed media.


Art & Finance

Thursday, March 25th, 2010 | Author:

Art is one of the most wonderful forms of creative expression. Artists all over the world have used their talents to express their innermost feelings. The popularity of art knows no boundaries. We have kept witnessing beautiful works of art over the centuries. Apart from being a mode of expression for symbolism and creativity, art also helps in expanding the reach of mind. So now, keeping these views in mind, can we calculate the value of an art work?


With changing times, art has also witnessed a significant change and that is most evident in its practical side. Art has become a huge business in last few decades. It is no more just a tool in the hands of creative people. Art has got huge financial sides to it. One must have come across news of famous paintings fetching millions of dollars in auctions. People purchasing these paintings are no fool. They have got their return on investment in minds. Any work of art goes through different values during course of time. If there is an environment of instability or an artwork gets all bashed up in media by the critics, its prices tend to drop.


The value of a work of art is subject to many factors. The name of the artist, present condition of the art, negotiations, awards won by it, overall quality etc play a major role in deciding the amount a buyer is willing to spend on a particular artwork. It is also true that predicting the future of the art market is very tough because of several variables. It is almost like a fad. What is in demand today might be rendered obsolete tomorrow. All these factors make it imperative for the artists to consider all the buying, selling and trading aspects pertaining to an artwork. Business consultants or expert dealers can prove to be very useful in deriving the exact value of the artwork.

Pastels Painting

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | Author:

Pastel is an art medium used for drawing. Pastel drawing and painting offers several advantages. Pastel is a rich and versatile medium and that’s why artists can use it for painting as well as drawing. Let me try to define pastels. When sticks of pigment of powdered color are held together with a binding medium, the resultant effect is sticks of color which is known as pastels. Pastels are available in different range and different grades. The most common type of pastel is dry pastel which can be hard as well as soft. Most of the expert artists prefer to use hard pastels whereas beginners often go for soft pastel because it allows drawing flexibility.


For a beginner, he should begin with wide range of colors. The range should include basic colors like black, white, red, blue etc. Having different shades will add to your repertoire. Many renowned companies offer huge range of pastel colors and shade along with pastel paper that is used for painting. The paper comes up with a slight texture which is so very crucial in holding the pastel powder to the surface. You can use watercolor paper also along with making your own paper. However, if you are a beginner go with a readymade paper.


In the dry method of drawing, paper is placed on the board with a clip. You do have the choice of using wet paper but more on that in later articles. The basic method requires one to sketch the subject with the black. Thereafter, other pastels are used on it. The painting will formally begin on the paper when you apply brush and water to it. Some artists like to use other mediums of painting like watercolor and acrylic. Once you start feeling comfortable with your work, you will be able to appreciate the true versatility and beauty of pastels. A pastel painting has rich depth and that’s why it is so very popular among the artists.

Mural Paintings of Kerala

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 | Author:

kerala muralsKerala is also known as ‘Gods Own Country’ because of its charming beauty. One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Kerala attracts huge numbers of travelers from all over the world. Famous for its land waters, spices, greenery and hospitality, Kerala has also contributed significantly to the world of Indian art. The traditional mural paintings of the state have always attracted art aficionados. These paintings are primarily frescos of the prehistoric era. The murals depict mythology characters and legends of Indian history. One can find many such frescos on the walls of the temples and churches in South India.


Mural paintings of Kerala have contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of the state. No wonder, these paintings have acquired a legendary reputation. The mural paintings took their inspiration from Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. As far as origin is concerned, these artworks began their journey during 8th century AD. Not many people know but Kerala is second only to northern state of Rajasthan when it comes to rich collection of archaeologically important mural sites in India. These mural paintings can be categorized into wall paintings. The oldest relics of Kerala’s own style of murals are found in Tirunandikkara cave temple. These murals depict themes of Hindu mythology. Buddhist influence can also be seen on the murals.


Perumkadavil in Thiruvananthapuram, Anjanad Valley of Idukki and Edakkal in Wayanad are shining examples of prehistoric cave paintings. If you are curious about some of the most famous mural paintings of the state then, take a note of these names; Vadakkumnatha Kshetram, Ramayana mural of Mattanchery Place, Gajendra Moksham painting in Krishnapuram palace and Shiva temple in Ettumanoor. Renowned ancient sites having these unique mural paintings in Kerala are, Thruprayar, Padmanabha Swami temple, Ettumanoor,  Kottakkal, Panayannarkavu, Pundareekapuram and Thotteekkalam Lokanarkavu.

Purpose of Art

Sunday, March 21st, 2010 | Author:

Does art serve any purpose or is it just a tool in the hands of wandering minds? The answer is definitely affirmative in favor of the first possibility. Art is a medium through which one indulges in free expression of endless ideas and concepts. The beauty of art manifests itself in several forms like paintings, sculpture, music and literature. The combined power of these forms can alter beliefs, bring about a revolutionary change in behaviors, and fashion collective experiences. Art is something that always draws us towards itself and becomes an integral part of us. Art touches every facet of our lives in countless ways.


So, now we know that apart from providing awareness, joy and pleasure, art also serves many other functions. Talking about its functions, religion will definitely be on the top of the list. You must have visited temples and Sistine chapels and do you remember what do you see there? Prehistoric paintings and sculptures acting as vehicle for religious rituals! Yes, art has always been an integral element of religions. Art is a wonderful tool for expressing different shades of emotions.  Art is a wonderful way to explore formal as well as informal elements of human life.


Art is also a way to communicate with others. It helps in capturing historical moments, events and other crucial events. When it comes to social commentary, there is no powerful medium than art. It can be used to present different viewpoints or even acts a platform for propaganda. Art is useful in making us aware of world scenario and human conditions. One of the best features of artwork is its ability to present a prevalent condition in an entirely different light. That way, one develops different but innovative perspectives about existing situations. The functions of art are truly unlimited.