Indian painting as an art form has existed for several years and it is evident from the different cave paintings, sculptures, etc. They are considered a beautiful representation of Indian culture, traditions, values, and its traces can be dated back to pre-historic times. With the advent of modernization, Indian art has adapted to new styles but the inherent character is still at the core and hence the audience can easily connect to the sentiments of any painting. Whether it is traditional Indian Folk art paintings or contemporary Indian paintings, different materials are still used for different varieties of paintings. Below are some of the most prominent forms of Indian paintings:
Madhubani Painting, also known as Mithila Folk art is the traditional art from Mithila, Bihar. Madhubani paintings are created using twigs, brushes, nib-pens, etc. and the pictures depict traditional tales about Ganesha, Lakshmi, Sita's exile, and many other characters from the Hindu mythology. The paintings are conceptual in nature and showcase occasions like marriage, court scenes, social gatherings, etc.
Lines, colors, as well as geometrical figures, are used to a huge extent in Madhubani Paintings and there are no gaps left in the paintings. Animal & bird Motifs, flora are used to fill up any gaps in the paintings. As per an age-old tradition, Madhubani paintings are drawn on the plastered walls of huts or household when there are any special events in the village or family. Madhubani paintings have five distinct styles - a. Godna b. Bharni c. Katchni d. Tantrik and e. Kohbar.
Nowadays, even men in the village make these paintings as it has become a source of income for the villagers. Nowadays, Madhubani paintings are also made by the affluent class, though the 'core' values behind the paintings are still kept intact.
Warli Paintings is prevalent in the remote, tribal regions of Maharashtra, particularly North Sahaydri range - Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Palghar, Mokhada, and Vikramgadh of Palghar district. Squares, Triangles, and Circles form the core of the Warli paintings, where the triangle and circle come from their observation of nature. The circle is a depiction of the sun & moon, whereas the triangle is a depiction of mountains & pointed trees. On the other hand, square seems to be the human invention, indicating a piece of land or a sacred enclosure also called as Chauk. Hence, the central motive in each painting is the 'chauk', ideally of Devchauk and Lagnachauk. Though the places where Warli is prevalent is located close to Mumbai, the art is still unfazed by the modern culture.
Objects like trees, birds, men, and women are central to most of the Warli paintings. Unlike other tribal art forms, Warli is a more secular form of art. As a matter of fact, male Gods are unusual in Warli paintings and are related to spirits in human form. Warli paintings are mostly made in the inside of the walls of the huts belonging to the tribal community. Simple materials like rice paste, white color, and glue made from local vegetables are used to create these paintings.
Tanjore Paintings originated in the reign of the Cholas during the 16th century. Tanjore Painting, a native art form of Thanjavur [also known as Tanjore] city of Tamil Nadu, is considered as one of the prominent forms of art in Southern India. What makes Tanjore Paintings unique is the richness of the surface, dense composition, and vivid color combinations. Addition of semi-precious stones, pearls, etc. further enhance the look & feel of the paintings. Most of the paintings depict Hindu Gods, Goddesses, and saints. There are instances where Jain, Sikh, and saints/monks from other communities were also depicted in the Tanjore Painting.
Tanjore Paintings are mainly made on wooden planks and are also termed as 'Palagai Padam' (Palagai - Wooden plank, Padam - picture). The main character in the painting is always placed at the 'center' of the painting. In today's times, Tanjore paintings are used to decorate walls and are treasured by art lovers who have an in-depth understanding of arts.
Kalighat Paintings is a school of art that has originated in the 19th century. It derives its name from the famous Kalighat in Kolkata, as it developed in the vicinity of the famous Kali temple in Kalighat. This form of painting is mainly practiced on cloth or paper using bold free-flowing strokes of homemade watercolors. Kalighat paintings were simple but usually a joint effort of multiple artists.
Kalighat painting usually portrayed a variety of themes, based on these themes these paintings are classified into two styles namely Oriental and Occidental. Oriental style portrays the Indian deities, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, mythological characters and scenes from different epics while Occidental style depicts the everyday life, social evils, crimes, and freedom struggle etc.
Gond painting is a folk art usually done on the walls of houses of the people from the Gond tribe. It has originated from the tribe's belief that 'seeing good image bring good luck'. The Gond tribe believes that everything around them is sacred and they depict all of those things in their paintings, be it trees, hills, rivers, birds, animals etc. These paintings are an intricate work of wavy lines drawn in a repeated and rhythmic fashion.
Gond paintings have been vibrant and colorful, generally, the colors used for these paintings were naturally derived from plants, soil, sap, and even cow dung. The modern Gond painting is done on canvas with acrylic paints as they are easy to transport and hang on walls.
Murals are generally done on freshly laid or freshly limed walls. The main characteristic of mural painting is that it gels well with the architectural elements of its base surface. Kerala murals are drawn on the walls of temples and churches, depicting holy and mythological characters. The colors used for painting them are vegetable dyes and other natural pigments.