As a part of the ongoing ‘Online Learning – Children’s Summer Festival’ being organised by Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK), viewers witnessed a visual arts session on ‘Mandana’ by Shakuntala Mahavar. The session focused on the history of ‘Mandana’, technique of the art form and the materials used. This was followed by a session on ‘Figurative Composition’ by Ram Chandra Shivaji Kharatmal. The artist taught the basics of figurative composition, sketching, colour composition and much more.
’Mandana’ by Shakuntala MahavarThe day began with a traditional ‘Mandana’ session. In this, the artist gave a brief introduction to the ritualistic art form and said that earlier ‘Mandana’ was done by the older women of the house who would clean the house and do ‘Mandana’ on the floors, walls, pooja places, among others. ‘Mandana’ in different regions of Rajasthan is made of using varying designs and materials. In Marwar, these are made with more colours using yellow-coloured soil. Whereas, in the Shekhawati region, the red colour is more prominent and the Mandana is more filled. In Sawai Madhopur, shapes like – tiger, bullock carts, cats, elephants, are made in pairs and white colour is predominately used. The artist demonstrated making a traditional ‘Mandana’ using red and white colours. She also prepared the background with a mixture of cow dung and soil. She first drew a rough structure of the design and then proceeded to fill it in with different designs like dots, lines, circles, chequered lines, mangoes, and much more.
‘Figurative Composition’ by Ram Chandra Shivaji Kharatmal
Giving an introduction of ‘Figurative Composition’, the artist said that in this type of painting, one can feel the art form as it’s a realistic representation. Using charcoal sticks, he sketched a tribal female on canvas. After this, he used a fan brush to remove the dust and add smoothness to the painting, where needed. He then fixed the charcoal using a charcoal fixing spray. He painted the artwork using acrylic colours, adding white paint to add balance to the artwork. He said that those interested in venturing into ‘Figurative Composition’ need to practice live sketching and study the human anatomy to gain more experience. They can begin by sketching models, family members or even certain parts of their own body. The elements of composition are rhythm, balance and repetition. Learning artists should have in their vision the entire canvas while painting. They should also be able to visualise their subject as it is the eyes that command the hand, he said.