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Learn the art of Mysore painting

Staff Correspondent

Forty-five people are being trained under the ‘Do and Learn’ series of IGRMS

— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Intricate: Chandrika (extreme right) training participants in Mysore painting at the IGRMS in Mysore.

MYSORE: If you want to learn the art of traditional Mysore painting, head to the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGMRS), an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, in Mysore. Chandrika, daughter of celebrated palace artist Ramanarasaiah, has been roped in to train interested persons.

Accompanied by her assistants, Chandrika, who also teaches Ganjifa painting, is training 45 participants under the “Do and Learn” series, an educational programme of the IGRMS that aims to create understanding, appreciation and insight into the diversity of art and culture. The 15-day programme started on Monday.

Earlier, artists prepared all the material required for the painting. This included brushes, paints, board and gold foil. Artists used colours made from leaves and flowers and minerals.

“Today, the paintings are done with commercially available material such as poster colours and watercolours. In ancient times, paper, wood, wall or cloth formed the base for the painting. Now it is mostly done on paper pasted on a board,” the organisers explained.

A sketch is made on the paper with a pencil. Earlier, the sketch was made with charcoal prepared by burning tamarind twigs in an iron tube. Colours made from minerals were prepared by grinding the minerals in a stone mortar and then putting them in water to make a paste.

Brushes were made of different material including squirrel, camel and goat hair. Sometimes, grass blades were also used to make sharp lines. Now, brushes available in the market are used for painting.

Once the sketch is made, Gesso work is taken up on the area earmarked. Gesso work is normally done where there is a need for embellishments. “Design work is carried out on jewellery, attire, etc., with a specially prepared compound and a brush. On completion of the work, after the compound dries, gold foil is placed over it and stuck firmly.”

The painting is done subsequently. After the painting is completed and is dry, a thin paper is placed on top of it and rubbed with a smooth stone to bring out the richness in the relief work done with gold foil, the organisers said.

Ms. Chandrika, who also specialised in micro-miniature Mysore paintings, has been recognised by the Government of Karnataka for her work and has presented her with certificates.

She teaches people to paint mythological and historical figures. She has participated in 50 to 60 workshops and training programmes all over India.

She recently took part in the Women and Heritage Workshop conducted by the IGRMS, Bhopal.

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