Of Colour, Minutiae & Madhubani

In my last post I had briefly described how the brilliant art centre at Sahyadri School enabled me to explore various art techniques from around the globe. But as I was putting together and cataloguing my work for this piece, I realized that my connection with artistic expression stems from a time much earlier than that.

A set of pastel crayons are in general owned by every kid in school these days. In a small hobby class which I attended under Varsha Trivedi, I was encouraged to have fun with pastels ( a far cry from the drab art ‘period’ in school) . She helped us to discover that one could mix and match seemingly different hard colours to create interesting and aesthetic effects on paper. It was with pastels and not fluid colours that I first discovered the effects of combining shades.

In India colour is an important underlying theme in festivals. In Diwali, a festival that I love and enjoy the most, making Rangolis is a common custom. Having enjoyed making Rangolis from a very young age, I decided to combine my experiments in pastel shade mixing with rangoli design styles.


I also experimented with  symmetry, geometric designs and not mixing shades but keeping colors of similar tones side by side.


This was geometry on a large scale but I love intricate designs. And one day I found myself making this:

It was natural that I would combine the 2, colour and minutiae:



At Sahyadri we had a small workshop conducted by a native of Madhuban village. I was delighted to discover that my obsession with minutiae was also captured in a beautiful folk art known as Madhubani. While it was an interesting experience to learn from someone who was not fluent in English or Hindi, we still managed to learn a lot and experienced how the smallest and simplest of shapes can look so beautiful when they come together.




Simple colours, simple shapes, intricate minutiae, folksy madhubani………….


2 thoughts on “Of Colour, Minutiae & Madhubani

  1. Pingback: The Truth about ‘Still Life’ Painting | Quintessence

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