Thursday, December 13, 2012

Introduction to Madhubani and My First Paintings

Recently I really got interested in traditional Bihari art - Madhubani. It is performed by the women in villages of Bihar. They draw traditional designs and epic scenes on their house walls during festivals.

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

Mother Sun

The other name for Madhubani is Mithila art. Both Madhubani and Mithila are names of locations in Bihar. For the land being very infertile, Bihar government decided to promote Madhubani art and asked villagers to draw on silk and handmade paper using acrylics and poster colors.

Village life
Madhubani paintings can often be seen in houses of the city people as a beautiful decoration item. To make a Madhubani painting, they say, there is no need to be a professional artist. The best thing about these paintings is their simplicity, child-like shapes and designs. Colors used are usually red, orange, yellow, blue, green and brown. Each fragment would usually be heavily outlined using black dye. Madhubani painting usually has heavy borders.
Radha Krishna
Madhubani art is a centuries old tradition and I love it for its simplicity, authenticity, folklore and the village and religious stories that they tell. I have tried producing some of these Madhubani style paintings using white simple paper, acrylics and a black marker. This may not be authentic but I would love to learn the authentic way some day.
Women grinding red chilli

To make a Madhubani painting the way I make it (not the authentic way) you'll need:

1. Paper
2. Pencil
3. Small brush
4. Small marker
5. Acrylic paint

Opposites as positive


1. Draw borders and required design with the pencil straight on the paper. It should be clear and simple. Be clear about what you want to depict. You can tell the whole story in one painting.

2. Color required spaces with acrylic paint. The most common colors in Madhubani paintings are: red, orange, yellow, brown, blue, green and blackHowever you can usepink, purple and other colors to make it more colorful.

3. Let it dry for a day or two. Make sure it's not sticky anymore.

4. Take a small marker and make black outlines on the marks of the pencil lines that see through the paint. Make sure you make a lot of line work and you can add some extra on top of the colored areas.


Radha Krishna - the symbol of two lovers

It is possible to do Madhubani paintings using oil and canvas. I have tried doing this but I don't really know whether I should call a Madhubani or Egyptian style painting.

A finished fragment from unfinished Madhubani style oil painting

This drawing is made using only a marker and fell-tips. Only a time-pass, you know.



Poochaandi said...

hi there... lovely work... i am a quiller and would like to make a quilled image of one of your images.. may i? will there be any issues with that?.. pls do let me know...

best wishes

CrazyLassi said...

You have a nice blog Hridya! Yes, you can use my work for quilling. Have a nice day!

Post a Comment