India | Karnataka

Mysore Painting

Mysore Painting is a reputed art form belonging to Karnataka. This art, which originated and flourished during the 17th and 18th century, has a school of its own called the Mysore School. These paintings adorn various temples, palaces and forts of the state.

Scenes from Hindu mythology and portraits of famous personalities and rulers form the general theme of these paintings. Enhancement and embellishment are done using gold embossment. Light and shadow effects are effectively used.

In the olden days, all the required raw material like brushes, paints and gold foils were prepared by the artists themselves. Colors were extracted from leaves, flowers and minerals. Paintings were done on paper, wood, wall and cloth. The sketching was done using charcoal of burnt tamarind twigs placed in an iron tube. Brushes were prepared from the hairs of squirrel, camel and goat. Sharp lines were made using grass blades. In the modern times, the paintings are done mostly on paper, supported by boards, using poster or watercolors and modern brushes.

A sketch is initially drawn on the required medium. Gesso work is done on the portions requiring adornment. A special sticky compound is applied according to the required designs. Gold foils are stuck to these compound after it dries, producing a emboss effect. Painting is then done. To give a finishing touch, a thin paper is placed on top of the painting and a gentle rub is given using a soft smooth stone.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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