Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Shiva-Parvati" Madhubani Painting - Step-by-Step

Warning: this post is being written by someone who loves painting Madhubani but is not a professional Madhubani artist. These instructions on how to make a Madhubani are based on some drawing experiences via copying and researching the village art but are not supervised by any Madhubani teacher. This is meant for sharing the already learnt experiences. This post is written by a foreigner who lives in India.

Painting a Madhubani Painting

If you are reading this post, you have probably seen what a Madhubani painting looks like and would like to learn how to paint it. Indeed, painting a Madhubani painting can be extremely relaxing and fulfilling at the same time. Any art enables the mind to flow free and that's how we feel nice and fresh afterwards. There are  always things we cannot talk out loud or there are things we want to do but can't and art is the medium through which we can achieve these goals on the mental level and calm down the soul. When painting a Madhubani painting you might keep these things in mind:

* Drawing a Madhubani is easy;
* No previous artistic experience is required;
* Often look at other Madhubani paintings;
* Remember the way you drew as a child;
* Madhubani art is a primitive art;
* You can make mistakes, it's OK;
* Imagine every object of the world as a circle; a square or a triangle;
* Relax and draw; don't think (It's a little like those drawing you do when speaking on the phone...)

What will you need:

* A handmade paper (only because handmade paper absorbs the paint);
* Use the paper that is yellowish or brownish to create a cow-dung coated village wall illusion;
* Draw straight with you nib and ink or a marker. Small mistakes will make your painting more primitive, more human;
* A box of acrylic paint (I use only acrylic at the moment).
* 000 size brushes (very thin brushes)...

We are going to make this picture:

COPYRIGHT NOTE: you can copy and use it but not sell!



Look at the empty paper in front of you and try to "see" the picture that this paper wants you to paint. You might not see the details but you might feel the main features such as whether the paper should be laid out vertically or horizontally. Should it be the nature scene like a tree and a sun or some human scene.

I looked at my paper and saw Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati looking at each other.


I would advice not to use the ruler even if it's not straight just for the sake of authenticity and village like feel. I have seen the artist in Delhi Hath drawing it that way and I would recommend it to you too. Take your nib and draw a border. Outline it once.


Increasing the size of the border will make the picture look grander, heavier, more festive like. You can add unlimited amount of additional borders and design them any way you like. Double lining is what makes a painting a Madhubani painting so use this technique whenever you want to add some more ethnic taste to it.



Start drawing faces and eyes...Look at the Madhubani paintings and see what type of primitive face with bulking eyes would you like to draw. In Madhubani character's functionality and symbolism is more important than the beauty. It is a bit like ancient Egyptian art you find at the Pyramids.



Then start drawing hair lines, jewels and things worn on the head...Research about the characters possible clothing, hairstyle and attributes it carries. For example, lord Shiva, as a yogi from Himalayas had messy long hair with a bun on top, a yogi tikka (white paste on a forehead), a trishul, fire, 5 snakes on his neck ,a weapon and his wife was a beautiful married woman with a red bindi on her forehead and a huge nose-ring.



Complete the figures...At that time men and women possibly didn't wear any stitched clothing so the man figure is wearing a dhoti and a woman figure - a sari.


Fill it with geometrical designs and line work. Try not to leave the empty space but keep in mind that all will have to be colored with paint, so it shouldn't be too tough. You can also make your Madhubani paintings black and white. 
Lord Shiva's attributes such as snakes and fire are scattered around in the background. That is enough to make the viewer understand that this is lord Shiva.


8. COLOR IT! (Optional)

Fill in the colors. Use some water if the paint is thick, otherwise acrylic paint can be used as it is.


NOTE: I'm OK with you using my drawings the way you want as long as helps you learn the Madhubani painting. They are not *All Rights Reserved*.


Ruchi's art work said...

I've gone through your site and i think your work is amazing. I love your paintings specially shiv-parvati and Radha-krishna paintings.I think you did an awesome job.Well Done!!

Ruchi's art work said...

I've gone through your site and i think your paintings are amazing, I love your paintings specially shiva-parvati and Radha-krishna.I think you did an awesome job .

CrazyLassi said...

@Thank you, Ruchi for visiting and commenting on my blog! I appreciate your feedback!

Anonymous said...

thnak u soo much for these steps

CrazyLassi said...

You're welcome and I'm happy if you find it helpful.

Anonymous said...

These painting are awesome. Thanks you so much for these steps, I too am not artist, but love to paint when i get a chance. I will definitely try Madhubani.....thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Hi, This is an amazing Madhubani painting without any professional training and also thank you for a step by step drawing picture. This has helped a lot. Hope to see some more madhubani paintings from you.

Thank you very much

CrazyLassi said...

Thanks for commenting! Love to meet other people who love the same thing that I do! :)

Anonymous said...

I tried the painting following the steps. It came out very nice. I will try other paintings also.i loved this blog. Thank u so much for the clear explanation.

Anonymous said...

i m happy that there is at least one that explained me clearly.thank you so much Lassi.

Anonymous said...

nice work :)

selena said...

anonymous i think you are in love with these paintings thats why you are posting so many comments

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and this step by step tutorial.. I am fascinated by Madhubani and have just started on my own to draw ( not started to paint yet) Madhubani. You and your site are my e-guru. LOL

One question I will invest in handmade papers once I become confident. Till then will a simple bond paper look good if I do the tea bag treatment on it?
Take care
Ess Ess

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for ur detailed steps.

Anonymous said...

I am short of words, ..... Every step you have written very nicely , thanks for this post �� ��
God bless you

Unknown said...

Hai mam your work is amazing hats off to you for indian madhubani art can i share your procidure on face book for art lovers

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