Tanjore painting reflects the rich cultural heritage of South India. It is a traditional art which was earlier seen only in palaces. Tanjore painting in its authentic form looks very rich as semi precious gems & pure gold foil is used. It is a precious art form which originated many centuries ago. It is an ancient art form in which the relief work with gold was introduced.
The procedure of making a Tanjore painting is time consuming, and care has to be taken at each stage. First of all a cloth is pasted on a wooden board with a mixture of Arabic gum and chalk powder. The mixture is then applied on to the board. The board is dried and smoothened several times until the desired smooth surface is achieved. This would help the artist in giving better finishing while painting. Now the canvas is ready for drawing the sketch.
A rough sketch is first made of the gods & goddesses and also for the places where the gems have to be placed and for the relief work to be done. Some standard sketches are maintained as the requirement for these paintings are repetitive. Earlier tamarind seed paste was used as an adhesive. The gems are stuck in places where ever required and mixture is applied to form the relief work. A mixture of natural gum obtained from the roots of the trees and French chalk powder is used for this purpose. The relief work is very important, as the total look of the painting gets enhanced with very fine and intricate relief work. The mixture is applied with the help of a broad painting brush. This process has to be repeated in case the relief work needs to look more embossed. The relief work gives an embossed look to the jewellery. The finer designs are then sketched on top of the dried relief work. The finer designs are then done with a thin brush or stick. The gems are also fixed in this mixture, so that they look embedded in it.
The relief work is then covered with gold leaves or gold foils. The gold foils are thin and when stuck on the relief work they take up the design of the relief work. The gold foils have to be pasted properly. They are first cut into required shape,then glue is applied and then they are pasted with the help of a cloth. The pressure applied on the foils should be just enough so that they don’t tear the gold foils. If the glue comes over the foil, while pasting, it can spoil the shine of gold permanently. That is why, care has to be taken at this stage. Once the foils are pasted, the foils are cut open where ever the gems are placed to make them visible. Now it appears as if the gems are embedded in the gold itself. This work also is tedious and needs a lot of patience. Finally the board is ready for colouring. The colour white is usually used for baby Krishna’s body colour. It is then shaded with light pink colour.
The figures are more rounded in these paintings with almond shaped eyes, which draw a lot of attention. The background is usually dark hue of blue, red or green. These contrast colours contrast are used as they make the gold work stand out. The paintings have decorative curtains with gold borders and intricately designed arches and pillars, which again have gems embedded in them. Extensive use gems, gold foils and intricate art work add to the richness of these paintings.
Tanjore painting has undergone a lot of change over the period of time. Here in Chitrakalaa Arts & Crafts, we maintain the quality of materials used, and we also give the best possible quality of intricate art work that can ever be done in Tanjore painting.We do traditional framing such Mani frame, Chettinad frame, Mantap frame as well as Synthetic double framing as desired by the customer.