Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Celebrating the birth of Krishna

 The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated in India as 
Various rituals and worship is conducted as the
 Lord gets pampered by his devotees.
         The lord is depicted in various art forms,and here it is depicted through a particular painting form called the Tanjore or the Thanjavur paintings.
During my stay in Chennai(Southern India)when I was expecting
my kid I had attended the tanjore painting classes and  had completed my 1st  painting of the li'l  Krishna shown above. 
Tanjore paintings are beautiful art forms created  with lot of love and hard work.It involves intricate detailing and are adorned with gold foils and jewel toned stones which are embedded in them.
Even professional artisans takes months to complete one portrait. 
  This is the present painting which I am working on.

The tutorial for it is here: 
Plywood(water proof)
Yellow oxide
Bombay chalk and french chalk
Arabic gum
Gold foil
Poster colour Paint
Round brush-0,00,000,1,3,6
Flat brush-2
Yellow carbon


Preparing the board
The first and most important step in starting the Tanjore painting is the preparation of the board. This forms the base of the project and if not done right will lead to improper results.

 Take a wooden board that is at least 1 inch wider than the drawing you would like to create. Extra space is needed to help in proper framing.
Remove starch from the cloth ( soaking it in water for 1 hr and then dry the cloth).
Take 60 ml(approximately)Fevicol and mix it with 1/2 cup water well (to get milk consistency)
Dip the cloth in this fevicol paste and squeeze it.Repeat this process 5 to 6 times(so that the cloth absorbs and gets coated with fevicol well)
Squeeze the cloth slightly and stick it on the plywood board.
[To stick:- First stick cloth one one side of the board well and then pull the cloth on the opposite side well and stick the cloth well. Use palm to remove the air bubbles and wrinkles by pressing the cloth from center to the edges.]
Now stick the third side and fourth side in the same procedure.
 Pour the remaining fevicol-water mixture(if left out) on this board and spread out evenly. 
Make sure that there are no bumps on the surface due to excess paste or any lump in the ingredients of the paste.

 Apply another layer of muslin cloth on the board and repeat  the steps.

 Now add some water and chalk powder in the remaining paste in the container and mix it well till it becomes liquid enough to apply using a paintbrush.

 Apply another coat of the paint to the board. Now let the board dry for a whole day.

 Once the board is totally dry, take a small wooden Trowel and rub the board using hand from one end to the other, with uniform pressure. This is done so that the board becomes smooth and uniform. At the end of the exercise, if you have done the job right, the board should have a slight shine.

 Preparing the board is a time consuming process. If not properly done, it might lead to cracking of the base wile the painting is in advanced stages.
The picture is now chosen from any Indian gods or goddesses which then  needs to be traced out with the use of the carbon paper, first put a tape around the picture to be traced leaving some margin from the border.

Layers of paste made from arabic gum and limestone are moulded and applied on the canvas to create a three-dimensional effect in embellishing and ornamentating a theme.The chalk powder paste needs to put in a piping bag and like a cake decoration one needs to outline the picture drawn on the board with it and leave it  to dry.

Selected gems of varies hues, are inlaid onto this layer of paste with the gum. Gold leaves are affixed on selected areas. The shine and glean on the gold leaves used by the tanjore style paintings, will last forever.

Then starts the process of painting the background and shading for the faces and the bodies to suggest a fuller, more lifelike representation, standing out clearly from the composition and bringing out three dimensional effect.

While each of the steps appears to be easy and simple, a lot of care is needed at every step to ensure that the final product is flawless..

No two paintings can be alike and no two artists can give the same effects on the work. Each will have to exercise his/ her creativeness to arrive at a good finish.

Hope this helps you to get started.

Happy festivities ahead.
Find me @ Colours Dekor
                    Ivy and Elephants 


notyet100 said...

wow this one is on my wish list i dont know when i will learn this,,

Vasudha S said...

This really helps someone like me getting started. I too wish to learn this sometime in my life time...

Anonymous said...

This is a very beautiful art form and has to be learnt in the traditional way i.e. apprentice method. Or at least due to the present day situation, learnt and practiced for a while and make at least a few paintings before becoming public with one's own creations and W.I.P. accounts. As one saint said..."Every artist paints his Madonna according to his own pre-conceived ideas." Revolution in the area of information sharing has led to such productions getting paraded in the web. God save our tradition and traditional art forms. This is not to hurt anyone but create the necessity for self analysis.

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