Friday, 30 November 2012

The making of My Kerala Mural

I'd mentioned my plans to attend a Kerala Mural workshop in an earlier here are the pics from it. I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day intense program. Before I went for it, I was wondering how many murals we would complete sitting 7 hours a day for 3 days. How many?! We were hardly able to complete one! Its such a tedious process and there are so many intricate details in the drawings that its a lot of effort but the end result makes it all worth it!

A close up of Ganesha - My First Kerala Mural 

Traditionally these murals are paintings of Hindu Deities done on walls of temples and palaces in Kerala. The colors used were all natural dyes. The most interesting aspect of these murals is Panchvarna or the use of only 5 colors - Yellow, red, green, blue and black. These are painted on a white background, so the white spaces in the pictures are left blank to show through. 

Acrylics are being used on canvas and other media more recently. Except for those changes, we used the original traditional method to do the mural. The basic steps after preparing the background (which are not required on a white canvas) are -

Trace out the drawing. We used graphite transfer method for it. 
Do the outline again with red paint.
Fill in yellow for the ornaments, head-dress, the stems, the dress and the background.
A double coat of yellow where required.
A bold red outline and some shading and some red effects on the background.
Yellow for the body (multiple coats).
Then green for leaves, stems and dress.
Then blue for some parts of the dress and garlands.
Finally a black outline all over again and for the hair.

The starting point - the drawing given to us

The sketch on the canvas

The first step - outline with red paint

Filling in the yellow parts

Red outlines and shading 

With the reference painting

Background completed

Again yellow for the body

    Now for some green

  And some blue

After the final step - black outlines

And I completed my first Kerala Mural. Hope to make more sometime soon.

This one goes to PPF and Show and tell Saturday #30. Drop in there to see some amazing art. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The colors and lights of Diwali

Hope all of you had a happy and safe Diwali!

For us it was a fun filled, sweet filled, color filled and lights filled Diwali. Here are some pictures of Diwali at home.

Preparations during the day.

Rangoli without any artificial colors

Floating candles and petals in a silver plate

 Floating flowers and candle in a brass vessel

Finally with lights.

The lamps flanking the floating candles are the tealight holders we made last week.

So, that was our Diwali. How was yours?

I'll link my rangoli to PPF on Friday. See you there.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Diwali decor - DIY kids

It's almost here! Diwali - the festival of lights. There are a lot of eco-friendly choices I wish to make this year.
No ceramic diyas. Upcycled and recycled lamps and decor as far as possible. Unpainted terracotta figurines of Lakshmi and Ganesh as always. No firecrackers if the kids can be convinced (!!). But unlimited sweets, lights and fun.

The kids got to work and made a few DIY lamps. I got some terracotta diyas and the kids painted them. Here's what my little artists made -

I've been cleaning and storing all the glass bottles that find their way into our house with jam and honey and other stuff. The intention being to upcycle them. Finally I got the kids to upcycle a couple of them to make pretty lamps. These are very simple. We just applied some random glue spots on the bottle and wound different colors of thread around it. A tealight in the bottle created magic.

My son took to photography after art. Look at these cool shots with interesting perspective.

The threads or ribbons can be wound in a better manner for a more neat finish. You could create symmetric patterns too if symmetry is the thing for you. I just let the kids do it so the bottle ended up with equal amounts of thread and glue :)
We did another experiment and the bottle turned into an interesting "Potli" tealight holder. :) Its red crepe paper wrapped around the bottle and secured with a rubber band at the top. We could use colorful ribbons or golden threads too. The ends of the paper have been trimmed with a design scissors.
We opened out potli and it became a flower lamp. :)

We put some masking tape on yet another bottle and painted over it with acrylics. After the tape was removed, the little tealight did wonders to our home. It would have turned out better only if we could have chosen better colors and had the patience to wait for the paint to dry before removing the tape. But we are kids! And just 2.6 and 5.2 years at that!

My friend Vinaya tried her hands at a couple of DIY decor items. She was kind enough to share these great pics here.

You can find the instructions for these pretty paper flowers here.

Isn't this Lantern made out of an old cardboard box looking gorgeous? And its pretty simple to make. The box has been cut into equal sized pieces and stuck together at right angles and alternate blocks are colored in different colors. This is a great DIY Diwali and Christmas decor idea that even kids can try. Thanks Vinaya.

I might just come back again before Diwali with more decorations as my head is brimming with ideas at the moment. Maybe some non-kid decorations this time. Happy Diwali!

And I'm authorizing myself on behalf of my kids to send this post to Paint Party Friday hosted by Kristin and Eva and Show and Tell Saturday #28 at Artists in Blogland.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Dastkar Nature Bazaar 2012

Dastkar had organized its annual Nature Bazaar in Bangalore in the first week of September. This was the first time I visited the famed handicrafts exhibition Dastkar. And I was able to because this time they had put it up almost across the road from my place. God bless them! Sharing my experience here...

I was so impressed with the stuff there that I ended up visiting the place three times and burning a not-too-tiny hole in the pocket.

Here're are some stuff I liked.

Bamboo Planters

Colorful Lanterns

Painted leather lampshades
 I used to love these lampshades and was planning to pick up one when it suddenly stuck me they are made of leather. I dropped the idea and am now planning to make one from either paper mache or other eco friendly options.

Terracotta Jewelry

Cute little fridge magnets

Colorful kites

Kites turned into elegant decor items

                                                          Pattachitra wooden birds

Kerala Murals

                                                 A contemporary design in Kerala mural style

A nice idea - kerala murals on pendents!

I'd discovered Kerala murals by chance on someone's blog and got really interested in them. I even looked for classes around my place. I finally decided to try one myself and made a sketch on a canvas. And then I saw this great stall in Dastkar. And the artist, Sujith mentioned he was planning to conduct workshops in Bangalore soon. I was excited. And guess what? I'm attending his next workshop in November. I'm looking forward to it.
                                                     Irresistible Blue Pottery of Jaipur

                                                          A puppet show for kids

All these years my job kept me busy and I never got time to visit these art and craft events. So Dastkar was a pleasant experience for me. There's another event going on in Bangalore at the moment - The Handmade Collective by A Hundred Hands. A visit is there on my list but it's only there till Nov I'm hoping I'll be able to make it.