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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Kerala Mural Painting - Free Online Class - Session I - Materials Required

Mural paintings are nothing but wall paintings. Mural paintings of yester years, the world over, were as a general rule, done on walls in places of worship.

Cave paintings and frescoes  fall under this category.

The Ajanta caves is home to some really old and exotic mural paintings. It appears that in executing these exotic treasures, artists the world over were least concerned with the modesty of their subjects.

So, do not be surprised if you find female deities in these paintings almost always semi-nude, despite the elaborate ornaments adorning their body.

We, of course, could exercise our artistic license and dress them modestly if we want to.

So, let's get started. Before we look into the materials used for this style of painting, you have to select the picture you want to paint.

Selecting the Design:
you need to make two decisions here.  i) design and ii) size. 
  1. Type "Mural paintings of Kerala" in Google images and check out all the images Google throws at you.  I am sure one of them will grab your attention. So, you got your picture. 
  2. Download the image and take a colour printout on thick paper - the kind posters are printed on - A4 size. If you have to stretch the picture to fit the A4 paper make sure you pull the corners to reduce or increase the size. Don't tamper with the sides, the top or bottom; you'll mess up the proportions of the picture - we definitely don't want that.
  3. Now, the size... Ask yourself where you are going to hang it.
  4. Check out the available canvas sizes. You can buy the canvas roll online. (Note: I am using left over canvas from my previous project. So, I've not tried this seller.  However, I plan to order some and I'll let you know how it goes). It should be available with your local camelin dealers. If it isn't you can pay an advance and cajole them into getting it for you.
  5. As a general rule the painting is done on a 27" x 1 meter canvas roll. Alternately, you can use canvas boards. The bigger the size, the more captivating and attention grabbing the painting.  But then again, anything goes.
Materials Required:
  1. Canvas Roll - 1 meter or canvas board - size 27"x 1 meter or 29" x 23" or thereabouts (they mostly come in standard sizes).
  2. Acrylic and (not or) poster colour paints - scarlet lake, sap green, brunt sienna, Prussian Blue, Black, yellow ochre, chrome yellow, and gambouge hue (if you don't get gambouge, we'll make do with ochre and chrome)
  3. 6 small air-tight containers ( e.g. 200 gm jam bottles)
  4. Yellow carbon sheets - 10 (should be available @ your local wholesale stationary shop)
  5. Tracing paper same size as the canvas.  I personally prefer 'Gateway Tracing Paper' (available in rolls in all wholesale stationary shops in all reasonably big towns). Alternately, I also use the tracing paper new sarees come packed in.
  6. Brushes - fine hair round brushes nos. 0, 1,2,3 and flat brush no:1
  7. Pro-circle, cello-tape, stapler, scissors, foot-ruler, pencils, ear buds, eraser.
  8. White acrylic distemper - 1 litre or 1/2 litre if available
  9. Synthetic hair epoxy brush 2" or 2.5" wide -1 (for applying a base coat of white acrylic distemper on the canvas).
  10. Mug for diluting distemper
  11. Rags for wiping paint
  12. Old newspaper for spreading on your work area
In our next session, we'll discuss the design elements unique to Kerala mural paintings. It is important to be familiar with this aspect before moving on to enlarging and tracing the picture and transferring it to canvas.

All sessions of Kerala Mural Painting Free Online Classes

Update: Sep 10 20014: It would be good if you could manage to buy the kind of brushes in the image below.  Notice that the bristles are longer than what you generally get.  They are called long haired round brushes.

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