How to Master Warli Art

Warli Paintings are very different from other folk and tribal paintings in India. Their themes are not mythological, nor their colours as bright as the ones seen in Madhubani Paintings. Neither do they contain the robust sensuality of the paintings found in Eastern India.

Instead they are painted on mud, charcoal, cow dung based surface using Natural Dyes in white with series of dots in red and yellow.
Their linear nature and monochromatic hues make them similar to pre-historic cave paintings and Aboriginal Art in execution.


The typical subjects on which Warli Art is done are :
* Festival
* Harvest
* Folk story
* Celebration
* Temple Marriage

The major highlight is these all have people in group depicting the social life.

Pattern of Warli Painting

Their extremely rudimentary wall paintings use a very basic graphic vocabulary:

a circle,

a triangle and

a square.

These geometric figures are joined together to form beautiful patterns .Like two apex of triangles are joined together to form a human figure.

Scenes portraying hunting, fishing and farming, festivals and dances, trees and animals surround the central motif in these ritual paintings.

Method of Warli Paintings

Warli paintings are ancient painting made on the walls . The colours used were not permanent . But the paintings were made again on different occasion .

Typical Warli Paintings Background colours

Warlis typically use:

* Henna
* Indigo
* Ochre
* Black
* Earthy Mud
* Brick Red

But you can always Experiment with background color. As contrast to typical Warli background try and experiment with vibrant colors. Can even combine two colors to make the background.

Typical Warli Paintings Material

Typically Warlis are simply painted on mud, charcoal and cow dung treated surfaces with rice paste for the colour white.
* Materials Required
* Cloth/Handmade paper
* Trace paper
* Metallic colours(for cloth)
* Poster colours (for paper)
* White poster
* Carbon sheet

 So Let’s Begin

Step 1: Choose a design.

Step 2: First draw the required pattern on the trace paper and copy the design into the cloth/paper using carbon sheet.

Step 3: If using Cloth Paint using metallic colors and let it dry well. Use Poster/Acrylic colors for paper.

Step 4: Draw outlines using the white color and again leave it to dry for 24 hours. If applying on cloth iron on the back side of the cloth.

Tips  & Tricks

Experiment with materials. You can get this work done on your bed sheets, saris, dresses, cushion covers and curtains also.

Don’t restrain yourself on paper or cloth. Try making a stylish pot, napkin holder, lampshades or just give a try… make a bookmark.

First draw the circle and then draw then join them to form a coil with freehand.

If applying on wall ,then use apex as base paint.

Combine figures with beautiful patterns like peacock, well, trees etc.

If you have a traditional look of your house. These Warlis would look great on wall. A simple corner with pots, chicks and Warli on wall will add new dimensions to your house.

Add mirrors or colorful threads , if you want that extra shine in your painting.

Add a border to make it look more attractive.

If using “geru”as your base ,mix it with linseed oil (or similar media) so that it stays longer

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