Category Archives: Art

Basic Elements of Design

The basic elements of design are the guidelines for the artist. These guidelines help to create a not only well visually appealing design but also create a balance and help in communicating with the customer.

The Most basic elements of design are

Lines- are the most basic element of design. They can be smooth, continuous , Bold or thin. Some lines show a lot of power and energy like diagonal or bold lines. These lines try to catch the attention of the guest and lead the eye to the design.

  1. Color – color helps in creating the mood of the design. A simple monotone design in grey tone specifies the mood and the energy which the artist wants to portray. Similarly a combination of color is very challenging as well as important. All the characteristics of the color has to be taken into consideration.
  1. Shape -are formed when lines are enclosed and set by a boundary . These may include geometric shapes like squares ,circles, triangles etc Abstract shapes , These are shapes which do not exist in real and therefore are abstract. These may include logos, any symbolic design.
  1. Space – Space is the area surrounding an image. It can be Positive or Negative space. Negative space is the emptiness which the artist has created around the subject. At times the artist can draw a lot of attention to the Negative Space. Further Positive space refers wherein the main focus is on the image and not on the background.
  1. Texture – There are a lot of textures which the artist can use in the design and can make the design look three dimensional. It also builds up their visual appeal.
  1. Contrast – Is the visual difference which makes one object stand out from the other. Contrast creates attention of the guest and makes the guest notice any focal point created in the design.

These are some of the basic elements of design but there are other aspects as well like value, size, balance . To be perfect you can pick up one element at a time and work on it try working on it for eg if you take lines try making a design with different lines . Also try to see for yourself which lines are more bold and emphasizing than the other.Similarly you can work on the other elements as well like color try making a monotone drawing only focusing on the tones and hues of the color and another design in different colors trying to understand how one color reacts with another.

So all the best and have fun !

Pichwai Painting

Pichwai paintings are traditional paintings that emerged in Rajasthan. These artworks are done on cloths and hang at the back of the idol of Srinathji, primarily in the sanctum sanctorum at Nathdwara. It is also found in other Krishna temples. These paintings show the various moods of Krishna

 The main character of these paintings is Lord Krishna. However, the themes vary from Lord Krishna childhood tales, Radha Krishna paintings 

 The process of creating these paintings is quite unique. Firstly, the base material (Bhumibhand) is pasted on a plain surface and burnished for smoothness. Secondly, a sketch of the composition is done using either black or red ink. The natural stone colors are filled using various dry and wet techniques. Lastly, a border is done of the painting.

True colors are the essence of Pichwai art. Natural paints made from gold, coal, silver, indigo, zinc, saffron and other minerals are used for the artwork. Artists grind the colours, take the dust and add tree gum to paint their piece. Pink lotuses, peacocks, women, cows, village scenes and nature, are some of the most common subjects of a Pichwai painting.

 Pichwai art depicted the moods of the Lord on the canvas. However, with a change in mindset towards art and aesthetics, this art form is gradually evolving incorporating the contemporary elements

Also, the subject has undergone a transformation owing to the audience’s changing demands- artists are creating contemporary renditions of this traditional art form

Kalighat Painting

Kalighat’s paintings were developed in the 19th century around the Kali temple, Kalighat, in Calcutta. The painting originated as a souvenir item associated with the Kali temple of Kalighat.Initially the paintings portrayed Goddess Kali and her tales of defeating the demons. Later, the paintings evolved and included other Gods and Goddesses and their tales. And much later the paintings went onto depict the daily life of the common people but the style of the painting remained the same.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva, the god of dance and destruction, got the news of the death of his wife, Sati, an avatar of the goddess Kali. Lord Shiva was unable to bear the loss of his wife and wandered for days with the body draped across his shoulders and with this inconsolable grief he threatened to ruin the earth. Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, was called upon to intervene. To relieve Shiva’s burden, he shattered Sati’s body into 51 pieces. The toe of her right foot is said to have fallen at the site of the Kalighat Temple, associating it with Goddess Kali- the ferocious form of Sati. 

The artists of the Kalighat paintings were traditionally known as patuas. They started settling around the temple area as Kolkata was an economic and religious centre.

These paintings were often a joint effort by a group of artists – usually from the same family. So some members worked on creating homemade dyes, others drew outlines of the figures, filled in the hues, or added the final touches in the form of motifs and background designs.

The distinct feature of these paintings are the big eyes of the main figures and the colors used are prominently the primary colors like red,yellow and blue. However with time other colors were also used

The paintings reached its peak between 1850 and 1890 with representations of varied styles, compositions, and colors.

As the paintings evolved two kinds of Kalighat Paintings started

1. Oriental- The Oriental Kalighat Paintings These paintings  depict the Gods and Goddesses and their stories. These include Ram and Sita, Krishna and Radha, Lakshmi, Durga, Shiv-Parvati and many more.

2. Occidental- The Occidental Kalighat Paintings These paintings depict the day-to-day chores and lives of people, the stories of the warriors and fighters during the Independence like that of Rani Lakshmi Bai.

The practice of Kalighat painting began to die out during the early decades of the 20th century following the increase in demand for cheaper, commercially produced images. Many patua families found themselves facing no option but to leave the city and head back to the rural districts where their ancestors had come from, or to look for other forms of employment.

Mughal Painting

Mughal Paintings in India are still very famous and they flourished during the Mughal Rule dating back to the period in between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century. The Mughal rulers played the patron role to bring the style of painting into the limelight. These painting are a particular style of South Asian paintings and are generally limited to miniatures

Some styles began in the 15th century, but it was not until the Mughal Empire was established in 1526 that miniature painting came into being. Mughal miniature painting is a mixture of bold and vivid colors, These paintings have  Persian and European influence.

These paintings were developed during the rule of various Mughal emperors in India. These paintings form a blend of the Indian and Persian style. The artists also adopted several themes from the lifestyles and activities of Mughal Emperors and hence got the name Mughal paintings. Generally, the paintings picturised on the events in the lives of Mughal emperors, portraits, scenes of the life of the courts, the emperors hunting scenes and instances of battles.

The art form became so popular that it eventually made its way to other Indian courts as well. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a large and impressive collection of Mughal painting

All the Mughal Emperors encouraged the artists for the development of the paintings. However, Aurangzeb was not interested in the development and growth of Mughal paintings. From then the decline of the Mughal paintings started slowly in the next generations of Mughal Empire. During the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, the Mughal paintings became completely unpopular. The patrons of the art started disappearing During the eighteenth century, the Mughal Painting styles saw a decline and a new painting style the Rajput started to evolve

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Key Features of Mughal Paintings:

The Mughal paintings are small in size, and hence are known as ‘miniature paintings’.

Mughal painting remained confined to the Mughal court and did not reach the people.

The Mughal rulers brought Persian painters with them. At the same time they patronized Indian painters and the collaboration between these two schools of painters resulted in the synthesis.

Apart from Persian books of fables, themes from Mahabharata, Ramayana were also selected.

Indian scenes and landscapes came into vogue.

Paintings were based upon close observation of nature

Under Jahangir, the Mughal school of paintings acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.

Solo Painting Exhibition at the Cholamandal Artist Gallery

I was delighted to have my first solo painting exhibition Divine Intervention at the Labernum and Indigo art galleries Cholamandal Artist Village, Injambakkam,Chennai – 41 . The Show was dedicated to Lord Ganesha and his Omnipresence.

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The exhibition was held from 15th November – 19th November 2012.The inauguration was done by eminent senior artist Shri M.Senathipathi.

The experience was wonderful and it was well received and appreciated by everyone. It was great and effective meeting and Interacting with so many senior artists and art lovers.

It was a very big moment for me and I hope I have many such moments to look forward to.