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Madhubani Painting

Madhubani Painting a tribal art from the Indian Villages of Madhubani and Mithila in Bihar dates back to the 16th Century. Traditionally women used to decorate the walls and floors with these paintings during festive seasons and family occasions such as weddings etc. These compositions enhanced the vibrant mood of the festival or occasion with their splash of colors and decorative depiction of themes which were essentially religious and mythological. The compositions were set in natural settings, scenes of the villages, everyday life, flora and fauna, forest, animals and birds were well integrated into the paintings
Madhubani Paintings has been awarded with a GI (Geographical Indication) tag by virtue of the typical methodology in which the painting are made as well as its distinct characteristics
The 2 common forms of Madhubani painting are Kachni and Bharni
  • Kachni Style of Black and White Compositions
    Kachni means "Lines". In this style of painting, only one or two colors e.g. black or vermillion is used. The artists draw fine pattern using hatching and stippling to create paintings with the finest details. Double lines are used to depict the outlines and the gaps between the lines are filled with crisscross or tiny straight lines Themes are of flowers, fishes, snakes in union bamboo groves, birds etc symbolizing fertility and life. This form is appreciated for the complex rendition of detail, which makes the paintings look like delicate embroidery composition

  • Bharni style:[ Compositions with color fills ]
    Bharni means "filling". In this style of painting the subject is outlined with black and the enclosed areas are filled with vibrant colors like Blue, yellow, pink, green, orange etc. The subjects are represented in flat [two dimensional forms] and the colors applied flat without any shading. The skill of the artists rests in the right balance they strike between the patterns and color, which are mostly very vibrant. Although the technique is simple, it requires skill and practice. While no shading technique is used, the outline is done with double lines and the gaps between the two lines filled with crisscross or straight lines.

  • Hindu deities like Krishna, Rama, Siva, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Dhanavanti are the common subjects that the Madhubani artists compose. Very special importance is given to Radha Krishna and Krishna Ras Leela.

  • The figures are angular and boldly outlined with bulging "fish" like eyes and pointed noses. While ultramarine blue is used essentially for the figures of Krishna, Rama, Shiva, tones of yellow are used for Radha, Sita, Parvati. The figures are juxtaposed amidst colorful ornate flowers, leafy branches, twisting vines and birds. The Sun, Moon, The Sacred Tulsi and basil plants - all revered by Hindus are also depicted in these paintings.
Their vibrant colors created with natural dyes emanate positive energy. Colors give warmth and the painting energizes the atmosphere in which it is showcased. The godly themes are set in an abundance of Nature namely flowers, trees, animals, birds - a synergizing effect. Flora and Fauna symbolizes symbolize fertility and life and Madhubani paintings showcase this beautifully
Making of Madhubani Paintings
The traditional style of preparing the wall for painting is to coat it with a paste of cow dung and mud today, the same technique is followed on mediums such as cloth, handmade paper and canvas to give an authentic look as well as to enable proper absorption of color.

The painting techniques are simple and the raw materials are taken directly from nature .Outlines are done with kalams and cotton wrapped on bamboo sticks serve as brushes which are dipped in colors and applied to the medium. The colors are made using natural extract found locally like henna leaves, flowers, neem leaves, etc. Sources of some colors are:
  • Black – By blending soot and cow dung
  • Yellow - From turmeric, pollen, lime, milk of banyan leaves,
  • Blue -Indigo
  • Red - Kusam flower juice or red sandalwood
  • Green - wood apple tree leaves
  • White - Rice powder
  • Orange - Palasha flowers
These extracts are blended with resin from banana and ordinary gum to ensure the colors adhere to the medium strongly
Posted by SRCM for india4you.
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