The outlines came first, then minute and subtle details added the depth and soon, myriad colours filled the sheets with vigour and verve. As many as 800 children from 60 schools painted the worlds of their imagination in the final round of the 19th edition of The Hindu Young World Painting Competition, presented here by The MIOT Hospitals (CHIME).

Triangular mountains, symmetrical thatched roofs and green plains provided the setting where creatures taller than trees roamed as multicoloured splashes of creativity emerged on the sheets.

While children in the junior category (Class IV to class Class VII) were asked to draw on topics including ‘My favourite animal/bird' and ‘Watching TV with family', the older children (class VII to class X) visualised topics such as the village of their imagination.

Stencils, sheets, palettes of colours, dozens of wax crayons, different kinds of brushes and pencils- these little artists used everything and there was a flurry of activity as some moved their brushes freely on the sheets while others cautiously drew caricatures on rough sheets, before replicating them within the given two hours.

Sober reminder

If a painting titled ‘Playing with friends,' showing a little boy playing with street dogs made one smile, another depicting water from a dam flooding villages was a sober reminder of serious issues.

Images of a little boy hiding behind his parents seated on the sofa, stealthily watching a violent movie, and of a museum where the most prominent feature seemed to be boards saying ‘Don't touch', provided insights into an innocent world which reflects crucial concerns in the most subtle way. “It is expression that we are looking for here, apart from craft and concept; skill is something that comes with practice,” said K. Balasubramanian, artist who judged the event, along with film director Chimbudevan, also a cartoonist. The use of confident colours by many participants in their paintings made their work more impactful, he added.

Talking about this world of pink trees, green monkeys and purple skies that reflected a unique sense of freedom in an appealing way, Mr. Chimbudevan said, “Children understand the world in different ways, it is necessary to let their imagination grow without restricting them to certain patterns.”

Learning experience

Water bodies where fishes don't die, bigger play grounds, cleaner beaches, project rooms in schools with more working models, and friendlier museums - the painting competition was, at the end of the day, as much a learning experience for adults as it was for children.

More than 10,000 entries were received for the competition, conducted in 15 centres across the country this year. Nirmala Lakshman, Joint Editor, The Hindu, Lakshmi Srinath, Director, Kasturi & Sons Ltd. and Mallika Mohandas, Chairperson, MIOT Hospitals, participated in the prize distribution ceremony.

The winners in the junior category were S. Ashvath of Chinmaya Vidyalaya (Taylor's Road), A. Yokaran of Chinmaya Vidyalaya (Anna Nagar) and B. S. Daisy Selva Rani of Devi Academy Senior Secondary School.

S. Satish and C. Manoj Kumar of Dr. Vimala Convent Matriculation Higher Secondary School, and S. Sanjay of Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalaya Gurukulam, Matric Higher Sec. School bagged prizes in the senior category.

The sponsors of the event were Marry Brown (Food and Beverages), Repute (Water) and Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School (Venue).

The Regional sponsors were Lotte and Flora.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012