Warm welcome to our viewers and learners of Tanjore Paintings through Chitra Koodam Tanjore paintings have been originated from a place called "Thanjavur" in Tamil Nadu. During Chola period [9 to 13th century], this art form existed in a mural form on walls of temples and on ceilings Later during 16th century [Maratha period], the portraits of kings/queen and god/goddess were painted on a wooden plank using pure gold and precious stones.
Due to it's prestigious nature, it was decorating only the richest of the society. 21st century opens the door to everyone with the choice of affordable materials and talented artists.
We started to commercially paint and sell tanjore paintings from 2011 and our journey to teach began in 2014. Our mission is to take Tanjore Paintings to every home and feel the positive vibe it brings to the home or work.
Here is what you will learn and practice for couple months while learning your Tanjore Paintings in Chitra Koodam. Come and explore the fun of learning this traditional Tanjore Art.
Step by step instructions:
1. A wooden plank or plywood is covered with a clean cotton (lining/poplin) cloth with the help of tamarind nut paste. The cloth size should be 2cm more than the plywood on all four sides.
2. Layers of a paste made out of chalk powder, tamarind nut paste and water are applied to the cloth covering the wooden plank.
3. When dried, the surface is smoothened by brushing it with emery paper.
4. The picture is then traced on to the polished board. Leave 1 cm on all four sides for framing.
5. Jaipur Tanjore Paintings stones are appropriately placed and pasted in place with adhesive.
6. The jewelry and sometimes the cloths of the deity are raised to highlight the gesso work.
7. Gold foil is then put on the raised areas.
8. Finally the picture is finished by painting it with oil colors. The final picture can be framed in the traditional and ornate Chettinad frames.
1. For sketching: Yellow carbon sheet, a4 size color printout of subject, pencil, eraser, paper clips, ruler, trace paper.
2. For board making: Plywood, Lining/poplin cloth, Tamarind nut/Adhesives, Chalk powder, 1" flat brush, emery sheet, water
3. For embossing: Semiprecious stones, chalk powder, lime powder, Arabic gum, water, fevicol, 000, 00 – Round brushes and a 50 ml small container.
4. For gold foil work: 18 carat or 22 carat gold foils, scissors, old used brush, craft cutter, arabic gum, pencil, clean cotton cloth, empty box to store cut gold pieces.
5. Coloring: 0,1,2 round brush, 1,2 flat brush, poster colors, lining pen, roter ink, marker ink, glass slab or a tile, a small bowl.
Preparation of muck paste:
• Chalk powder – 3 portion
• Lime powder – 1 portion
• Arabic gum – 1 portion
• Water enough to make paste
Mix all the above and sieve it well before use.
• Soak the Arabic gum granules in water for 2 to 3 days. Heat this liquid in a vessel for some time and then allow it to cool. Strain this through a muslin cloth to remove impurities if any. Store it in a air tight container.
• Mix chalk powder and lime powder in a bowl. Add little water and make smooth paste and see there are no lumps formed. Then add the Arabic gum and mix well. The consistence should be thin and sieve the paste. Store them in a air tight container for a week. Draw few thick lines on a paper with the paste and see there are no cracks. Now the paste is ready to use on your boards.
• The muck paste can be stored in the fridge and used when needed.
• Too much of gum will flatten the gesso and too less will crack the gesso work.
One of my student Mrs. Neha wrote on her blog about the way she learnt this art through me. [Neha's blog]