Arts & Crafts of India – Tanjore Painting


Tanjore Painting is a very ancient type of painting. Tanjore paintings also known as Tanjavur paintings have decorated the walls of temples, palaces and homes since the chola dynasty(17th century). Deeply rooted in tradition, Tanjore paintings depict divine Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon in rich vibrant colors.

Notable for the adornment of semi-precious stones and 22 karat gold foils, the creation of a Tanjore Paintings involves a lot of dedication and several stages of meticulous artwork.

I would suggest that you learn this art through a proper teacher. But still, for those who are interested in doing Tanjore painting the following steps can be followed. It is not necessary the outcome should be exactly the same, which is why I suggest that you find a local tutor. If you can’t find a local tutor but would still like to learn this ancient craft, you can try following the method I have given below. It takes a lot of effort and time to learn this art but it’s all worth it.

What are the materials required?
Plywood above 6 mm thickness.
White cotton cloth
Chalk power.
Flat Brush (above 3width).
Sand Paper (emery sheet).
Arabic Gum.
Coloured Jaipur Stones.
Gold foil
Poster Colors.
Rounded Brushes (000, 0, 2, 4, 6,8)
Black Pen.
Multi colours transparent ink (photo color).
Cutter, Ruler, Yellow carbon paper, pencil.
Reference art to trace

What next ?

The process is divided into:

Preparing the Canvas
Tracing the Design
Sculptural Stage
Decorating Stage
Improvise Stage

Preparing the Canvas

Step 1: Take a clean cotton cloth.(Cloth size should be wider than the plywood at least 1 inch in all the sides. If your plywood size is 14 x 18 inches then your cloth should be wider than 16 x 20 inches)
Step 2: Take the Plywood and soften the edges with sand paper.
Step 3: Now we will prepare the first paste for pasting the cloth on the Plywood.
Ratio of Water:Fevicol – 4:1
Step 4: Filter the paste by using coffee filter. Immerse the cotton cloth in it for a few minutes.
Step 5: Now lift the wet cotton cloth from the first paste and rinse the cloth gently. Hold it for a while so that the extra paste gets drained.

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