Monday, August 8, 2011

Hadauti Painting

Hadauti Painting 

The painting traditions in the region of Kota and Bundi located in southeastern Rajasthan are collectively known as Hadauti paintings.


One of the earliest examples of the Bundi Paintings is the Chunar Ragamala painted in 1561. The painting showed marked influence of the Mughal style. The development of the Bundi School in the early 17th century is unclear but isolated examples of creative brilliance reveal the ongoing development of Bundi style. Wall paintings from the reign of Rao Ratan Singh (1607-31) are significant examples of Bundi Style.

Under Rao Chattar Sal (1631-58) and Bhao Singh (1658-81) Bundi paintings emphasized on court scenes. Themes from the life of nobles, lovers, and ladies were extensively used in the paintings. Bhagavata Purana illustrations of 1640 are other notable works of art from this genre.

Though Bundi School had close association with the Mughal style yet it was never fundamental to the evolution and growth of Bundi paintings.

From the second half of the 17th century three significant paintings; one, dated 1662, of a couple watching pigeons, second, from 1682, of a couple in a pavilion, third, dated 1689, of lovers viewing a crescent moon show the artistic merit of this school. These paintings employed bold, bright colors of Rajasthani style however the delicacy of the Mughal style was also not abandoned.


A Mughal Decree in 1624-25 led to the carving of Kota state from the kingdom of Bundi. Kota paintings were spontaneous and calligraphic in execution and emphasized on double lidded eye and marked shading. It is likely that artists traveled freely from state to state and hence the influence of each other styles is conspicuous in the paintings.

During the reign of Jagat Singh (1658-84) portraitures were produced that employed vibrant colors and bold lines. Under the reign of Arjun Singh ( 1720-23), a style emerged where a male was depicted with a long hooked nose.

In the 18th century, Kota became popular for its superb hunting scenes, Ragamalas, and portraits that often bore high documentary value.

In the 19th century during the reign of Ram Singh II (1827-66), the Kota paintings underwent revival. He commissioned number of paintings depicting scenes of worship, hunting, darbar and processions.

The Hadauti paintings are often regarded as one of the highest quality of paintings in the Rajput style.

Rajasthani Painting

Rajasthani paintings covered a wide area including Malwa, Bundelkhand, Mewar, Bundi, Kota, Jaipur, Bikaner, Sirohi, Sawar, Kishangarh and Marwar. What is interesting to note is that each centre developed its own individual characteristics. In Rajputana, painting was already in vogue in the form of Western Indian or Jain Style. This had provided a base for the growth of various schools of paintings under the influence of the popular Mughal School from circa 1590-1600. Nevertheless the Rajasthani kalams developed their own styles in the years that followed.

One striking feature of of Rajasthani Paintings is the arrangement of figures as even small figures are not are not obscured in the composition. the background, the flora and fauna and the symbols help the composition to express an intensity of feelings and emotions. Architecture usually painted in the background, is used as a device to create perspective and depth.  

Amber in Rajasthan was one of the first kingdoms to become the Vassal of Akbar but noticeably its painting style remained conventional like that of Malwa. However, the court portraitures were executed in markedly Mughal style. In 1728, Sawai Jai Singh shifted the capital from Amber to Jaipur. He and his successors patronized many artists. The paintings clearly showed inheritance from the Mughal source but the bold compositions and use of abstractions were distinctly regional.

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries numerous works of art were produced that depicted episodes from the life of Krishna. The names of the artists that doted the royal courts are evident in the court records and inscriptions on paintings. Ragamala and devotional subjects remained the popular themes of the paintings in the 19th century and found patronage outside Jaipur court too.

Painting traditions in Bikaner followed a close Mughal tradition. Muslim artists settled here brought with them the highly refined and delicate Mughal style. Deccani paintings also had a marked influence on the Bikaner paintings. During the late 18th century paintings in Bikaner started showing conservative Rajput styles. It embraced the flatness and abstractions of the Rajasthani style. Though, Bikaner style was rich in documentation it never acquired the ostentation of the later Jodhpur portraits.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oil Painting

Oil painting techniques have been practiced by countless artists for hundreds of years.
Centuries ago, only the most dedicated professionals - or those with money and time to spare in abundance - used oil paints. Until the nineteenth century, if you wanted to develop your oil painting techniques, you first had to mix your own paints.
This meant acquiring the basic pigments and then laboriously grinding them down to a powder, before mixing with oils and other additives. Incidentally, that's why, even today, colors with names like umber, ultramarine and ochre are still used, as are terms like 'earth colors'.
They were and are still made from natural products found in the ground. It was only about 150 years ago that oil paints became available in tubes, for the first time making it feasible for the keen amateur to indulge themselves in this wonderful pastime.

Paintings have underlying principles that organize the elements of the picture in order to bring the eye of the viewer into and around the image in an interesting way and to organize the elements into a cohesive whole.
There are nearly infinite ways to structure a picture. Some are obvious, like a mother arching over and protecting a resting or sleeping horizontal child. Another obvious composition is the opposing angles of two fighters in a boxing match.
Some of the principles of composition:
o Beauty is organized variety.
o Variety equals interest.
o A picture needs a dominant element, a sub-dominant element and subordinate elements organized into interesting relationships. This creates order for the viewer so that you, the painter, can entertain the eye of the viewer with a varied and therefore interesting picture order.
o The dominant element can be made dominant by a somewhat central position, by size dominance or interest dominance, and through the complexity of the dominant element or its psychological dominance. For instance, the eye of a viewer is drawn to a human face.
o Those elements need to be varied in size and shape for maximum interest.
o The viewer needs to have a path to those elements that is interesting.
o Thumbnails ... small sketches ... can organize your picture before you get into the details.
o The negative areas (spaces between objects) are as important as the objects.
o The center of the picture is the most powerful ... not the exact center ... but the area around the center is where your dominant element gains strength.
o Tension between two elements adds interest (like the opposition thrust of the fighters mentioned above).
o Division horizontally suggests peacefulness.
o Those divisions should not be equal as that would create a boring picture.
o In a painting of a sky, mountain range and valley let's say you want the sky to dominate. You would make the sky ½ the height of the canvas (3/6ths). But a linear (3-2-1) stacking would be boring. 3-1-2 is more interesting. So sky 3, mountain range 1 and foreground valley 2.

How to Hand Embroider

Hand embroidery is a traditional craft that has been practiced for hundreds of years and is used to decorate a wide range of items from handkerchiefs and throw pillows to tablecloths and clothing. There are numerous different embroidery stitches, the most common of which are outline, daisy, French knot, satin, cross and running stitch. The simplest of these is the running stitch, and mastery of this basic technique will enable a beginner to get started with hand embroidery.

1.Use an undecorated handkerchief or throw pillow in a white or light-colored, durable fabric such as cotton canvas or linen. Print your design onto paper to make a pattern. Trace the outline of your pattern using a heat transfer pencil on the reverse side of the paper. Place the pattern on top of the fabric and apply a hot iron to transfer the design.
  • 2
    Hold the fabric at an even tension by using an adjustable embroidery hoop. Separate the two concentric circles that make up the hoop. Place the fabric over the smaller of the two rings. Push the outer ring over the top of the fabric and inner ring and tighten with the screw.

  • 3

    Cut a length of embroidery thread (floss). Separate the strands of the embroidery thread which should come apart easily. Embroidery skeins typically consist of six strands. Three strands of thread is an ideal thickness for beginning hand embroidery. Thread the needle and secure the long end with a double knot.

  • 4
    Pull the threaded needle up through the fabric at the start of your design. Continue to pull the thread until it is secured by the knot on the underside of the material. You are ready to begin the running stitch.

  • 5
    Push the needle back through the material at a distance no greater than 1/4 inch to make the first stitch. Pull the needle in and out of the fabric, following the outline design, making stitches equal in length. Leave a gap in between the stitches of half the size of the original stitch.

  • 6
    Pull the last thread through to the underside of the material and secure with a knot. You can do this when you have covered the outline of your design in running stitch or when you wish to change colors. Cut off any leftover thread.
  • Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Tanjore Paintings

    Tanjore (or Thanjavur or Thanjavoor) paintings have a very rich heritage. This style of painting has been followed widely by the people in Southern Tamil Nadu for the past two centuries. The art flourished in Tanjavoor, pronounced Tanjore, the capital city of the Chola dynasty, and thus got its name. Maratha princes, Nayaks of Vijaynagar dynasty, Rajus communities of Tanjore and Trichi and Naidus of Madurai patronized the art of Tanjore painting from 16 to 18th centuries. Tanjore paintings are deeply rooted in tradition and still innovative within limits. This art is sacred and dedicated.
    The paintings are notable for their adornment in the form of semi-precious stones, pearls, glass pieces and gold. The rich vibrant colors, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine artistic work are characteristics of these paintings. They add beauty and culture to a variety of surroundings and d├ęcor. The paintings are mostly of Gods and Goddesses because this art of painting flourished at a time when fine-looking and striking temples were being constructed by rulers of several dynasties. The figures in these paintings are large and the faces are round and divine. However, with the rebirth of this art in the twentieth century, artists in addition to recreating the original Tanjore figures are also experimenting with more proportioned figures, birds, flowers, animals, etc.
    The creation of this painting involves a lot of dedication and several stages of meticulous work of art. The first and foremost step being the preparation of a board (wooden plank) for the painting. The paintings are done on unbleached cloth (treated with chalk powder and glue) fixed to a wooden board. Next, an appropriate drawing is traced on the treated board. This step is followed by ornamental work where semi-precious stones and glass pieces are stuck to form garlands, jewels, etc. The traced outline is then painted with a combination of chalk powder and gum arabica to create a three dimensional effect. It is in the detail-oriented decoration of the Gods and Goddesses that the creativity of an artist is demonstrated. Gold foils are then used lavishly to add to the opulence of these paintings. Finally, dyes are used to add vibrant colors to the figures in the paintings. A beautiful frame is then selected to accentuate the beauty of the painting.

    Block printing

    Block printing is a form of dying and coloring a fabric using wooden blocks. India is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of block printed fabric in the world. Block printing craftsmen use wooden or metal blocks to create beautiful designs; sometimes, linoleum blocks are also used.
    Techniques of Block Printing in India
    • Direct Printing : In this technique, the cotton or silk cloth is first bleached. Then the fabric is dyed, unless a light background is desired. Thereafter, the fabric is printed using carved blocks, first the outline blocks, then the ones to fill color.
    • Resist Printing : In the resist technique, areas that are to be protected from the dye are covered with a mixture of clay and resin. The dyed fabric is then washed. The dye spreads into the protected areas through cracks, producing a rippled effect. Block prints are then used to create further designs.
    • Discharge Printing : In this technique, the fabric is dyed. Then, a chemical is used to remove the dye from the portions that are to have designs in a different color. These portions are then treated, so they may be re-colored.
    The fabric to be printed is washed free of starch and soft bleached if the natural gray of the fabric is not desired.
    If dyeing is required as in the case of saris where borders or the body is tied and dyed it is done before printing.
    The fabric is again washed to remove excess dye and dried thoroughly.
    The fabric is stretched over the printing table and fastened with small pins. This is an important stage as there should be a uniform tension in the fabric and no ripples.
    Color is mixed separately in another room. Usually pigment dyes are used for cotton. You can read more about dyes at the end of this page
    Color is kept in a tray on a wheeled wooden trolley with racks which the printer drags along as he works. On the lower shelves printing blocks are kept ready.
    The tray of color rests on another tray which contains a thick viscous liquid made from the pigment binder and glue. This gives the color tray a soft base which helps to spread color evenly on the wooden block.
    Blocks are made of seasoned teak wood by trained craftsmen. The underside of the block has the design hand carved on it by the block maker. Each block has a wooden handle and two to three cylindrical holes drilled into the block for free air passage and also to allow release of excess printing paste. The new blocks are soaked in oil for 10-15 days to soften the grains in the timber.
    The printing starts form left to right. The color is evened out in the tray with a wedge of wood and the block dipped into the outline color (usually black or a dark color).
    When the block is applied to the fabric, it is slammed hard with the fist on the back of the handle so that a good impression may register. A point on the block serves as a guide for the repeat impression, so that the whole effect is continuous and not disjoined. The outline printer is usually an expert because he is the one who leads the process. If it is a multiple color design the second printer dips his block in color again using the point or guide for a perfect registration to fill in the color. The third color if required follows likewise. Skill is necessary for good printing since the colors need to dovetail into the design to make it a composite whole.  
    The fabric, after pigment printing is dried out in the sun. This is part of the fixing process. It is then rolled in wads of newspapers to prevent the dye from adhering to other layers and steamed in boilers constructed for the purpose. Silks are also steamed this way after printing. After steaming, the material is washed thoroughly in large quantities of water and dried in the sun, after which it is finished by ironing out single layers, which fix the color permanently. 

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Fabric Painting

    Fabric painting can be a fun and beautiful craft. You can use it to add designs and color to clothing including t-shirts, pants, jeans, and jackets. In addition to that you can decorate bags and totes, pillows, lamp shades, and any other fabric item you wish to add color to.

    Procedure for Fabric painting

    Take a cotton cloth and remove starch and dry it for 1 day.
    After that iron it neatly.
    Now draw a design of your choice on the cloth to be painted.
    For painting, I use fevicryl colors for durability and flexibility. Brushes that I use are generally numbers 000, 2 and 5.

    For flowers I have used no.5 brush so that at a single stroke, I can complete the flower petals.

    For filling leaves I used brush no. 2, and for lines, I used brush no. 000.

    After completing the painting, keep it aside for 2 days and then iron on the reverse side of the painted design.
    For more attractiveness of the design, stick “kundans” (stones) with the help of fabric glue.
    Keep it aside again for 2 days, and then iron it on the reverse side again.
    Take care to wash these painted dresses with hand only.