Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Culture, brings artists from across the country to conduct training programmes here for local art lovers as part of “Do and Learn” series.

This month it has invited Chandrika, daughter of celebrated palace artist Ramanarasaiah, to conduct the training programme. Accompanied by her assistants, Ms. Chandrika, who also teaches Ganjifa painting, is training 20 participants. The 15-day programme began on Tuesday.

Ms. Chandrika has specialised in micro-miniature Mysore paintings. The Karnataka Government has presented her certificates in recognition of her work.

She teaches people to paint mythological and historical figures and has participated in nearly 60 workshops and training programmes all over the country so far.

The participants, mostly women, are enthusiastically learning the art Mysore painting from the expert at the IGRMS.

In the past, artists prepared all the material required for the painting. This included brushes, paints, board and gold foil. Artists used colours made from leaves and flowers and minerals.

The organisers said today the paintings are done with commercially available material such as poster colours and watercolours. In ancient times, paper, wood, wall or cloth formed the base for the painting. Now it is mostly done on paper pasted on a board.

Explaining how the painting is done, the organisers said, a sketch is made on the paper with a pencil. Earlier, the sketch was made with charcoal prepared by burning tamarind twigs in an iron tube.

Colours made from minerals were prepared by grinding the minerals in a stone mortar and then putting them in water to make a paste. Brushes were made of different material, including squirrel, camel and goat hair. Sometimes, grass blades were also used to make sharp lines. Now, brushes available in the market are used for painting.

Gesso work

Once the sketch is made, Gesso work is taken up on the area earmarked. Gesso work is normally done where there is a need for embellishments. Design work is carried out on jewellery, attire, etc., with a specially prepared compound and a brush. On completion of the work, after the compound dries, gold foil is placed over it and stuck firmly.

The painting is done subsequently. After the painting is completed and is dry, a thin paper is placed on top of it and rubbed with a smooth stone to bring out the richness in the relief work done with gold foil, the organisers said.

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