Archive for the Category » Indian art journey «

Watercolor Painting

Sunday, February 14th, 2010 | Author:

Watercolor painting technique is extremely old. It has been here since ages. Watercolors were used to paint the cave walls! When art flourished during the Renaissance period, watercolor panting as a technique became famous too!

It is the paper that can make or break your painting because different watercolors will have different effect on your paper. You can also try watercolor painting on light colored papers such as light pink and yellow! There are three types of papers that are used for watercolor painting: Hot pressed, moderate and rough. Hot pressed has a very smooth texture and can be used for painting with a lot of detailing. Moderate just as the name suggest, has a moderate texture and this is recommended for beginners whereas rough paper has a coarse texture and is used for specific effects. Thickness is also important while selecting paper for watercolor painting. However, as a beginner, you may use a usual 300gsm paper.

There are a lot of techniques that artists use in watercolor painting. Art is something where you can let lose yourself and explore. The most common technique is the flat wash technique. It is done by first wetting the area of paper to be covered by the wash, then mixing sufficient colors to fill the entire area. Most of the amateur painters fear this medium simply because it is difficult to make changes or correction once you have put your brush stroke on the canvas. However, practice is what will make you perfect here.

Some of these basic techniques are: The Simple Wash: Just mix up a lot of water with watercolor paint and with a thick brush, wash your canvas. Another technique is using the tip of your paint brush to dip it slightly in the water and then dipping it in the color you want to paint in and using strokes to paint on the canvas. This is especially used to paint branches of a tree. Erasing the paint is yet another technique used commonly in watercolor painting and this is achieved by using a thick hard brush, dipping it only in water and then slowing applying it to the canvas. Tinting is also another technique that is very easy to do but difficult to control. For example you want your painting to have more yellow in it, to be brighter. What you do is take some very thin yellow paint by using a lot of water, and carefully going over the dried portion of the painting that you wish to tint. However, there is no stopping from inventing your own technique of watercolor painting.

Ancient Crafts of Rajasthan

Sunday, January 17th, 2010 | Author:

Collecting art and craft work has become a strong hobby of quite a number of people. On one hand, it works as an investment opportunity and secondly, it helps in spicing up one’s living room. So, if someone is looking to add some finesse and rich color to his home then he need not look further than ha-painted furniture from Rajasthan. This desert state is home to myriad crafts. Rajasthan has always excelled in producing hand painted wooden furniture. If one is looking for distinctive style of furniture then Jodhpur and Kisanganh in Rajasthan are the places to be in.


The woods usually favored by Rajasthani artists are rose, mango and acacia Arabica etc. The process begins with making the furniture first. Thereafter, the end product is given finishing touches. Painting is the last step in the process. A coat of varnish is applied over the finished piece. As far as range of products are concerned, stools, wine racks, small chairs, paneled screens, trunks, doors, decorative carved windows and cupboards etc are the furniture items one can get his hands on. While decorating these items, wide range of bright colors are used over them.


Talking about wooden furniture from Jodhpur, they are generally made using ethnic color combinations. These items have unique antique charm associated with them. Decorative wooden wall pieces are highlight of Jodhpur school of art. They have richly carved borders and paintings of Rajput kings and queens and Hindu Gods.


Kishangarh School of Art is very rich in terms of its symmetrical floral motifs which will remind you of Mughal influence. Painted designs and embossed features are shining aspects of Kisangarh furniture. Painted furniture of Rajasthan are true reflections of state’s glorious past and rich culture. These pieces can add value to one’s living room and act as style statements.


Sunday, January 10th, 2010 | Author:


Indian art and craft has always been admired, appreciated and imitated. It comes as a sheer delight to notice that despite the presence of diverse cultures, diverse customs, diverse languages and habits, Indian art and craft as a whole has always shone by its sheer cultural richness. One of the siblings of rich Indian art and handicraft is patchwork that has always remained in shadows. Patchwork is all about combining together the pieces of fabric into a larger, beautiful design. It is also known as piecing in many parts of Indian subcontinent.


Patchwork can also said to be one of the primary construction techniques. Usually, patches of numerous colors and designs are formed together to make a larger design. The final design is normally based on repeat patterns. Appliqué and patchwork often go together. Patchwork is a detailed and precise craft and needs lots of practice and expertise. The joining of clothes must be precise. Most often than not, basic geometric shapes are used in these designs.


If we talk specifically about Indian states then, this craft flourishes in western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Indian patchwork has one unique feature of highlighting jazzy shades on the patches. The stitches are usually, not hidden. This helps in adding a bit extra to entire artistic flavor. States like Orissa and Punjab also practice this craft and one has to see these beautiful patchworks.


It is believed that patchwork came to India from Arab and Europe and today, it is a widely prevalent and practiced craft inside Indian Territory. Patch works thrive on artists’ creativity and imagination. Western Indian art and craft consider patchwork as an integral part of its culture. Some patchworks are made using ornaments with motifs. Colors are bold and often mixed with aesthetic motifs of animals, birds and trees. The beauty of patchwork can be witnessed in quilts, cushion covers, wall hangings, bed covers and even decorative items.


Stained Glass Art

Friday, December 18th, 2009 | Author:

Those deeply interested in art and crafts must have heard of Stained glass art. It is a very colorful medium of expression for amateurs as well as professional artists. Many people are indulged in stained glass art as a serious hobby. This art from has several interesting aspects. One needs to be aware of those aspects that open a completely new dimension of stained glass art. Elements like how to cut the glass, foiling heavily textured glass, grinding, soldering (flux application and filling gaps, burnishing, etc.), and finishing (application of patina) etc very rudimentary to the whole craft form. One will also need to be aware of zinc farming and lamp photography to understand the true significance of this unique art. Many artists have reached to the level where they can decide the price of the finished works.

Large sheets of glasses are cut in the beginning steps. Curves are made with tapping techniques and serious practitioners of the craft even learn to cut inside a deep curve. This is a thorough process and takes discipline and patience. Grinding glass is another useful thing to learn here. One also needs to smooth up the rough edges of the glass. Then, there is soldering process that is actually very brief in nature. Then glass is centered where spaces are created between the glass pieces.

One of the crucial steps is Patina application that is relatively easy. One can witness stained glass art in products such as boxes, lamps, and other decorative objects. When it comes of lamps, one can see beautiful pieces of Panel lamps, Styrofoam mold lamps; fiberglass mold lamps etc. stained glass art is a process where one needs to be very patient. Things might not turn out as expected initially but sooner than later, with due practice, artist will surely master it.

Phulkari Art

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | Author:

The state of Punjab has a significant place in the history of India. It is not only a happening place but also totally vibrant and bubbling with energy. Punjab is known for Sikh temples, lush green farms, Maake di roti and Bhangra. The folk music of Punjab is very popular and now it has also acquired international fame. Punjabi dance and song are popular all over the country and have been made even more happening by the Indian residents living abroad. Not many pople know, Punjab is also considered very rich for its craft forms. One form of art that has been in existence since ages in Punjab is Phulkari art. It is primarily a handiwork of the female folks of Punjab. The literal meaning of phulkari is flowering. In this craft, embroidery of the flowering patterns on dupattas, shawls and other garments are performed.

The evolution of this art occurred because of enthusiasm shown by the women. Men used to work outdoors and women stated to develop this craft in the sixteenth century. It was quite amateur during the initial era but by the end of 19th century, it became a developed craft. The Phulkari designs make clothes very beautiful and appealing. When the designer stitches are made on clothes, the prepared piece is called Bagh. Silk yarn that is also called as pat is used as thread.

Several colors like golden, yellow, crimson, orange, green, blue and pink etc are used in Phulkari. Design options are plenty. From geometrical designs to natural patterns, one can witness plethora of wonderful designs. Figures of flowers, leaves, birds, animals and humans can also be seen in this art form. Phulkari designs have religious significance as well.

History of Indian Bronze Sculptures

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 | Author:

Bronze holds a significant place in the annals of world history. Not one but many have been closely associated with this metal. When bronze has such proud history to boast of, how could India remain untouched by this ubiquitous metal? The material of bronze always had unique and important place in all the eras of Indian history. If we turn back the history books, we will find, bronze’s relationship with rich Indian history goes back to no less than 3000 years. The widespread use of bronze has not decreased even in the modern era. However, there is one place where usage of bronze is most visible. Yes, we are talking about statues of gods and goddesses within the religions.


If we further delve into the history sheets of bronze and its affiliation with different regions of India, we will find segregation of eras within the regions. For example, if we look at western Indian bronze period, then from 6th century to 12th century, bronze was associated with almost every sphere of life in western regions. Jainism had a close bond with bronze. Western Indian bronze was primarily sculptural bronze. Similarly, eastern Indian bronze had a close affiliation with Hinduism and especially statutes of Shiva and Vishnu. South Indian bronze was again primarily based on the gods and goddess statues in the Hinduism religion and the period was a wide range of 8th century to the 16th century.


Lost wax casting method was the chief bronze casting methods used within India during these centuries. During the earlier eras, usage of bronze was basically restricted within the realm of religious representation. Slowly, cultures started to make objects like incense burners and other ritual objects like lamp bearers. South Indian culture took most advantage of this metal by making objects like jewelry, coins, numerous variations of the Hindu gods and goddesses in representational forms. Now, whenever you would see a bronze sculpture, you will know the proud history of it.

Marble Sculptures

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | Author:

goddes-marble-sculpture-250x250One of the most aesthetically beautiful forms of sculptures is Marble sculpture. They have polished looks and appear very intriguing. Marble sculptures have always been admired by art aficionados because of their refined beauty, sophistry and elegance. Marble sculptures are timeless and gives the impression of luxury and aristocracy. One can find these wonderful pieces of art in many parts of India. Marble stones have kept manifesting their beauty in forms of statues, idols and decorative pieces. Marbles are also known as lime stones and sculptures are made from metamorphosed lime stones. Indian marble sculptures are story-tellers of our proud history and great tradition of art and culture. These sculptures are no less than invaluable and are of historical significance. Many such wonderful pieces of art have inspired new generation of artists to create their own imagination. These sculptures are extremely inspiring and you can’t help but feel overawed by their sheer magnificence.


The marble sculptures were made using blocks of marble and tools like chisels, hammers and hand drills. Marble blocks have raw outer surface so to smoothen them, sandpapers and rubbing stones were used. Ever wondered why these structures are still so shining? The credit goes to coats of shiny polishes like tin oxides that bring glow and luster to the sculptures. The best part about marble sculptures is they are very reliable and durable and that explains their extensive us in making figurative works. They are quite easy to use and sculptor’s delight. The culture of marble sculptures is not just restricted to India. Several parts of the world like Italy (Rome), France and England have extensively used marble blocks for beautiful creations. Some of the famous European sculptors were Soudbinine, Bourdelle, Leon Fourquet, Rodin, Victor Peter and Jean Escoula who have gifted us some of the most amazing pieces of art works ever created on the mother earth.


In India, marble sculptures can be seen in the form of religious deities and Idols of Buddha, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lakshmi Devi and Goddess Durga. Who can forget the best piece of marble architecture; The Taj Mahal of Agra? We don’t need to look further than that. In modern age, usage of marble can be seen in furniture, fireplaces, photo frames, vases, medallions, show pieces, tiles and garden sculptures.

Ancient Indian art

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | Author:

Art in ancient India began with rock paintings especially in caves where men and women in the primitive time lived. The ancient Indian art showed that the people who actually created this art were highly accomplished and artistically oriented which developed a rich culture. One could see aesthetic sense and skilled craftsmanship in the architecture and artifacts found during excavations on these sites. This ancient Indian art also revealed a detailed understanding of human and animal anatomy on deep study. Ancient Indian temple architecture, murals, sculptures depict the nature of ancient Indian art. Each phase was unique in the field of architecture, painting, literature and art. Different influences both external and internal drove the evolution of Indian art from time to time and place to place. Hindus, Buddhists, Mughals and the British, all ruled over India in different phases and influenced its art.  In ancient Indian art, symbolism is of great value. Indian art is also unique in terms of its varied metaphors, symbols of Gods, Goddesses, philosophies and visual imagery. 


Each period in India was characterized by special features in painting and architecture. Indian artists were primarily concerned with the philosophical aspect of their visual expression. Ancient Indian art is full of creativity and cultural expression. Symbols were used as tools of artistic expression to visualize abstract ideas and diverse philosophy.


Ancient India laid a great foundation for art to flourish and develop in the country. Ancient Indian religion also played an important role in visual philosophy which also helped the art to develop and flourish in a diverse pattern.


Indian contemporary artists: Jitish Kallat

Monday, September 21st, 2009 | Author:

jitish-kallat As we are trying to cover emerging artists who remain unknown hitherto, the next name in the series is Jitish Kallat. He has earned a name for himself in the highly competitive and choosy world of Indian art. The way, he has emerged on the horizon of Indian art is truly praiseworthy. His prime plank is autobiographical mode that he uses in his works. Many critics may find it obsessive but yet there is a certain appeal to the way he uses self image in his paintings as the main protagonist. To quote him, “My art is more like a researcher’s project who uses quotes rather than an essay, with each painting necessitating a bibliography” clearly outlines his philosophy towards his work. He explores several aspects of his life in his works. His favorite themes include his personal relationships, death, time and relation with ancestry.

Jitish Kallat also excels in his method of painting. His method is quite economical and he prefers to focus on abstract form of paintings. His narrative is quite strong and he often takes help of visual materials that appeal to his senses. Images tend to float in his art works and it’s almost like a complex web work. The mysterious part of his painting emerges from abstract form where viewers have to solve the puzzle. Everyone is free to make his own interpretation and it is u to the viewer to decode the theme of the art work. His paintings are dual in nature and comprehending it as a single theme seems to be a tough ask.

While taking care of titles he uses texts that incorporate element of humor in his paintings. His art works are truly a treat to watch and understanding the theme is even more interesting. 

Patachitra Art

Sunday, September 06th, 2009 | Author:

The root of the Patachitra paintings was in the 8th century AD and it is regarded as one of the earliest forms of home-grown paintings. This symbolic form of folk significance is exclusive in the history of Indian and European paintings. The unlikely illustrative ideas, the peculiar conventions, the astonishing arrangement of line patterns and vivacious application of colors make this art form stupendous.

The foundation and growth of Patachitra paintings are associated with the Jagannath Cult. The devotional art of Patachitras is limited to the community of painters called the Chitrakars. The chitrakars reside and perform their inherited art in Puri and in villages on its borders, Raghurajpur and Dandshahi. Every Chitrakar family possesses a family sketchbook handed down from their ancestors. Gods and Goddesses, legends and animals, are all portrayed in these sketchbooks. These books are the chitrakars’ most precious belongings.

The process of arranging the canvas (Pata) is time-consuming, generally taking at least five days. It includes the preparation of a tamarind seed paste, which is mixed with water in a mud pot and focused to additional action. It is called the ‘Niryas Kalpa’. The chitrakar then chooses two pieces of cloth and attaches them together with this paste. Clay powder is then added to the combination and two or three coatings of this blend is applied on to the organized canvas on both the surfaces. When the canvas is dry, it is polished, a process that takes quite a few hours. Painting can begin only when it’s dry.

Patachitras are usually painted in a regular series of steps. The present practice is to put a thick coat of varnish with a cloth. Once the varnish dries, the Patachitra is trimmed down to the attractive margin. The standard painting is finished in a week. But there are complex ones that take maybe even a month.