Folk Paintings of India

Indian folk paintings have been passed down from generation to generation. Paintings are best known to depict the heard, and unheard stories form generations. India being the country with a diverse culture in every corner, has extensive history and culture depicted through paintings. Folk paintings have a massive share of appreciation for their unique and profound styles. Their geometric patterns accurately characterize these folk paintings. We have listed some well known Folk Paintings of India you all should know about.

10 Folk Paintings of India you should know about:

1) Madhubani or Mithila Art is one of the most popular Indian Folk Painting. It is characterized by its geometric patterns depicting Gods, Flora and Fauna. Madhubani art form embarked on its existence in the era of Ramayana. According to Hindu Mythology, the wedding of Lord Rama and Sita was depicted in Madhubani paintings. They precisely represent futuristic motifs of India, which are weddings, Hindu gods, animals, birds, flowers, sceneries, and etcetera. Artists use fingers, nib-pens brushes, twigs and match stick to make the painting. Artists mainly use vibrant, and natural colour extracts from trees, flowers, and spices. Today, fashion designers are showcasing Madhubani painting in their clothing line. Madhubani art form is tremendously popular for their uniqueness, and hence they have a stronghold in Indian handicraft for generations.

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10 facts about Madhubani Paintings you must know.

Madhubani Painting

2) Miniature Painting is characterized by it’s intricate designs & acute expressions. It was originated in the Mughals era and mainly depicts religious symbols and epics. Miniature paintings have few centuries-old histories of origin. Formerly this art form was done in palm leaves; later on, they were done on papers and clothes. The history of Miniature paintings in India includes Mughals, Rajputs and Deccan. These paintings are mainly smaller in size than other canvases. The colours used in making miniature paintings are naturally made with vegetables, flowers, minerals, conch shells, indigo and stones. Miniature paintings signify the history of classical music and royal lifestyle with their precise art style.

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Miniature Painting

3) Phad Painting originated from Rajasthan and depicts folk deities Pabuji and Devnarayan. Running narrative of the lives of heroic deeds of deities is mostly seen on these paintings. Phad paintings are folk painting known to originate in the state of Rajasthan, India. These paintings are mainly created on canvas or cloth, which is called Phad. This traditional art form is carried forward for 700 years now in Rajasthan. The Phad art form is created and passed down the generations of the Joshi family of Rajasthan. These folk paintings accurately depict the tales of gods and deities. Phad paintings take months for accurate completion. Colours like yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and black are typically seen in these paintings. Each colour has significant value to add to this art form, and therefore, they precisely make the painting seem lively.

Phad Painting

4) Warli Art is one of the oldest art forms of India, originated by warli tribes from the western ghats of India. They depict daily life activities like fishing, hunting, festive dance & more. Warli folk paintings originate as a tribal painting created by people from North Sahyadri range in India. This art form massively depicts the message of the importance of nature, wildlife and humanity. Primarily, Warli paintings were made using bamboo sticks as a brush and mixture of rice paste and water as paint. People from Sahyadri tribe made these painting on caves and huts as decoration. Now, indigo, henna, ochre, red and black soils are used for this art form. Warli art is among the old and famous art form of India with a stronghold in Indian Handicraft.

11 facts about Warli Painting

Warli Art

5) Gond Painting are bold, vibrant coloured paintings, depicting mainly flora and fauna. Originated by the Gondi tribe in Madhya Pradesh, dedicated to Nature. Gond Paintings are said to embark their traces by Gond tribe of Madhya Pradesh, India. “Kond” meaning the green mountain, expresses the word Gond precisely. Gond paintings are done initially on canvas and paper using vibrant natural colours. The Gond paintings are finely made depicting mythological characters, animals, birds, trees, leaves and sceneries. Gond tribes used to pain the mud walls of their home in past. These paintings deliberately express tribal culture and significance.

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Gond Painting

6) Kalamkari means ‘drawing with Pen’, originated from Machilipatnam & Srikalahasti. It’s a free flowing art depicting anything from flora and fauna to epics such as Mahabharata or Ramayana. Kalamkari is an art form in India which famously originated from Machilipatnam & Srikalahasti. The word “Kalamkari” is a Persian word meaning “Kalam” as Pen and “Kari” as craftwork. In India, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two primary states where this art is created. This art form is done on silk or cotton fabric using a pen with natural colour extracts. A genuine Kalamkari painting takes 23 hectic steps from bleaching to drying. There is a diverse form of motifs to notice in these paintings, and they vary from birds, flowers, and deities on Hindu mythology. Nowadays, Kalamkari art is moderately famous in the textile industry. The precise style in this art is appreciated on a large scale for its exquisite and artistic designs.

Kalamkari Painting

Kalamkari Painting

7) Tanjore or Thanjavur Art can be recognised by its use of gold foil, which glitters and lends the painting a surreal look. The art depict devotion to gods, goddesses and saints. Tanjore or Thanjavur paintings set their traces of origin in the town of Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu in South India. These paintings precisely depict the culture of Hindu gods, religion, dance, music and people. Tanjore art form is precisely famous for the gold coating, making them stand out. Artists use brilliant colours, gold foil and glass beads on paper, glass, walls and wooden canvas, which are further framed thoroughly. Thanjavur art has evolved specifically and still has a strong influence on Indian handicrafts.

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Tanjore Painting

8) Cheriyal Scroll originated in Telangana, depicting puranas and epics. These are 40-45 feet scrolls with visual accompaniment as saints wandered around singing or narrating the epics. Cheriyal Scroll is a profound artefact of Indian Nakashi alluring us for centuries now. The trace of this art form is from Hyderabad in Telangana of south India. These paintings are deliberate in expressing the folk tradition of villages with creative and vibrant art. Indian mythologies have a massive spot in this art form. This art form is yet carried out in generations of Dhanalkota family. The making of these paintings is an elaborate process. The colours used are intended to be naturally extracted. The art is done on canvas, dolls and masks, which makes them creatively exceptional.

Cheriyal Painting

Cheriyal Painting

9) Kalighat Paintings on cloth and pattas, at first depicted Gods and Goddesses, but then took a turn towards social reform. Art is characterised by flawless strokes, brushwork, and simple but bold drawings. Kalighat paintings are popular art form from West Bengal state in India. Coming from Kalighat in West Bengal these paintings are allured by visitors and tourists of the place. These paintings profoundly depict the Indian mythological deities and gods. The artists, who painted this art form in the 19th century, travelled places promoting their art. The bold art form has strong and natural dyes painted on canvas using the flowering brush. Kalighat paintings are broadly recognized in India, supporting West Bengal art and culture with its vast history.

Kalighat Painting

10) Patachitra is a cloth based painting from Orissa, with sharp, angular bold lines depict epics, Gods and Goddesses. The style depicted in the paintings has heavy influence of the Mughal era. Patachitra is a popular art form from Western regions of India in Orissa and West Bengal precisely. In Sanskrit language, Patachitra has a deliberate meaning of “Pata” meaning Cloth and “Chitra” meaning Picture.  These paintings mainly have an artistic idea of Indian mythology and stories from the past. People in India have these paintings in their home because the art is distinctly attractive to the viewers. The artists who paint these paintings are called Chitrakars, and they use bright colours to make the designs bright and beautiful.

Patachitra Painting

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