Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Punjabi Village Inspired Madhubani Bookmarks

The other week I felt like making some Punjabi phulkari, Rajasthani and Warli inspired Madhubani style bookmarks. These are very small, narrow strips of handmade paper and the designs made are very simple.

Materials used:

Handmade paper
Acrylic paint
Permanent marker
Size: 2x6"

Madhubani Craft Kit on "Toy Kraft"

The other day I was browsing looking for some books on Madhubani. Unfortunatelly I didn't find any books, except for "Toy Kraft" Madhubani kit. "Toy Kraft" is a brand that has about six craft kits related to Madhubani:

Madhubani Glass Painting
Madhubani Art Puzzles
Papier Mache With Madhubani
Sandsational Madhubani
Simple & Symbolic Sand Art Madhubani

You can buy all of them at these Indian websites:  or for the price ranging between m 200 rs to 600 rs.

Cover of the box

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How To Make Black Color At Home Bihari Way

There are several ways of making black color at home that I have been told by Bihari artists. One is using soot and cow dung, the other one is - mixing soot with gum with hot water and the third one is mixing soot with resin and hot water. So we are not sure whether these are the proper ways to make black color in Madhubani village but we have done some experiments using mentioned ingredients. Making black color at home is not a big deal, one can just use a black ink, or a Japanese ink stick however I want to use the same materials that the poorest villagers use in order to make incredible paintings.

Making soot (kaalaa or kajal in Hindi)

Monday, March 25, 2013

How to Color Paper with Teabags

Madhubani artists usually treat their handmade paper with the cow dung. I have never tried doing that myself, although I can get fresh cow dung very easily. Apparently they would simply mix it with water and then apply onto the paper with a broad brush. All the unnecessary pieces of grass would automatically fall off when the paper is dry. This process would give the piece of paper a nice brownish earthly look or even remind you of a cow dung treated village hut.

Comparing original Madhubani card treated with cow dung with the teabag treated paper and untreated paper (white)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How to Make Madhubani Greeting Cards


When I was small my mother told me that anything that is handmade carries a special energy in it. Nothing can express your emotions such as gratitude or love better than something made by you! Since that day I started making cards only for those who could appreciate but at times I cannot help but feel a need to make a handmade card for strangers as well. Sometimes it's important to say things out but we might not find the right way to do it. For me, drawing is this medium and although it's not a professional drawing, it still does the job.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How To Make Home Made Paint For Madhubani Painting

When I entered the kitchen today I suddenly felt like making natural colors. It has been in my mind for some time that turmeric (haldi) would make a perfect yellow. It was so adventurous that I decided to record the process. The following is the A4 size painting painted using natural colors.

This A4 size lady painting has been painted using colors made mainly from food. The skin color was made out of Kashmiri chilli powder, the yellow color from turmeric, green leaves from fenugreek leaves, hair from coal, dark brown from coffee, light brown from tea (background), flowers from food color powder, ochra brown from henna, pink from beetroot (after fading I applied Holi color powder), red border and berries from kumkum + Holi color.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

43 Madhubani Border Designs

One of the best ways to practice Madhubani is to draw its designs on small pieces of handmade paper. That's what I was doing during the weekend as a relaxing time-pass. All of them are copied from Madhubani works I found on the Internet and although I drew them, their copyright doesn't belong to me. If you are the creator of one of these designs and would like to be given credit to, please contact and I will give the necessary credit.


Materials used: permanent marker (black), handmade paper, pencils and crayons. The colors are unchanged, the tone might vary, the design proportions may also vary.


Commonly, only lines are used as a border, usually only 3-4 lines.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Madhubani Must Be Learnt, Not Developed"

After a series of experimenting and trying to reflect modern themes within the Madhubani style, I suddenly felt that I am completely unsatisfied with the outlook. As we can see in my two previous non-Indian based Madhubani themes, there is something that doesn't "feel" Madhubani at all. That really made me research online and I googled "books on Madhubani" in order to learn at least a little bit more about Madhubani. There I found an old edition of "Madhubani Painting" by Upendra Thakur. I was able to view about half of the book and it didn't provide me with a lot of insight but I was able to learn one major truth - "Madhubani style must be learnt, not developed".


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Meeting a Beauty" Story Illustration Step-by-Step

This is the second illustration for a scene from  E.K.Antariva's novel "Two Lives". The action takes place in Central Asia, in one of the "-stan" countries during the 19 century when tsar was in rule in Russia. The theme depicted is not India related, however it's not far from India either. It might be the old Afghanistan or Uzbekistan.


Central Asian Market Illustration Step-by-Step

This is the illustration of a scene from a Russian novel "Two Lives" by Konkordia Evgenevna Antarova. This painting is in Madhubani style or Madhubani inspired however the theme is not usual in Madhubani paintings.

Friday, March 1, 2013

50 Devanagari Script Illustrations

Recently I have made a set of Madhubani cards for the Devanagari poster that I am making. Making small deawings in Madhubani style can serve as a great way to practice drawing different things and composing a small piece of paper. All paintings are about 3x3 inch on the handmade paper using black marker and acrylic paint (meant to paint on fabric). Here they are they one by one with the translation from Hindi.

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

1. POMEGRANATE (अनार-anaar)