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Making of Tanjore Paintings - Durga (Bengal Style) - Step by step illustration

The following images elucidate the process of making of a Tanjore Painting using simple steps & images.


There are various articles on the internet on making of Tanjore painting that use complex words making it very hard for a layman to understand it. To add on to the misery, the articles don't display the pictures of various stages of a Tanjore Painting. Hence this is our attempt to help user understand and appreciate the amount of work & artistry involved in the making of a Tanjore Painting.


The one in the picture is Durga Tanjore Painting in Bengal style. Size is 10 inch x 8 inch (board size). By Bengal style we mean the features of the subject. Bengal style subjects have bigger eyes and sharp eye brows as compared to the Traditional Tanjore style paintings that have calmer & smaller eyes and thicker eyebrows.




The Emboss effect - using muck

  1. The first stage of a Tanjore Painting involves creation of a board
  2. Once the board is prepared, a sketch is made with all the highlights - outline, place for stones, crown jewels, ear rings, necklace, etc
  3. Then, stones are kept in earmarked places
  4. Following which, the emboss effect is created using muck - mix of Arabic gum and chalk powder
  5. The muck is laid using a cone shaped dispenser made of polythene paper. It makes the design. This is kept for a day to dry which results in the picture shown on the left






Gold Foil on the earmarked areas

  1. Once the muck dries up, gold foil is stuck on the earmarked areas i.e., on the embossed areas
  2. The gold foil that we use is 22 carat gold foil. There are some fake gold foils in the market that fade off - it loses the golden colour eventually
  3. It is an art to keep the gold foil strategically on the embossed areas so that there is not much wastage. Nevertheless, some wastage is bound to happen
  4. An adhesive is applied on the back side of the shaped gold foil, kept on the embossed area and pressed hard so as to highlight the emboss effect
  5. While pressing it should be ensured that there is no jerk as it creates wrinkle in the gold foil which is irreversible







The Finishing Touch

  1. This is the final part. It starts with cutting off the extra gold foil leaf protruding out of the earmarked areas
  2. Gold leaf over the stones are cut removed with care
  3. Once this is done, designs are drawn on the gold leaf using a thin brush to highlight the relief work
  4. After this, background is painted followed by other areas
  5. The final part is painting the face of the deity. Extreme care is taken while doing this. The eyes have to be calm; there should be a slight smile like expression on face. The artist should be experienced enough to strike the balance between two extremes as it holds sentimental value for the possessor




Framed & the Painting is ready to be adorned on your wall!

  1. Framing is the final stage of the painting. It is done to protect the painting & the gold foil
  2. A typical Tanjore Painting is framed using Teak wood, like the one shown in the picture
  3. On the front side, traditionally glass is used. Some prefer Acrylic glass at the front nowadays as it is unbreakable
  4. Now the Goddess painting is ready to be hung on your wall. Tanjore Paintings last for generations and will always remain as the most precious art item that you possess in your life time owing to the amount of skill involved and the materials used


And if you would like to make this beautiful Durga painting your own, you can place the order here - Devi Durga - Bengal Style Tanjore Painting - 10 In x 12 In


We believe by now you would have fully understood the process of making a Tanjore painting. We at Chola Impressions believe in quality of the art work. So we use only the prescribed materials for the painting and highly experienced artists as we are located in the very heart of Tanjore. We have access to the literature on Paintings and we are also constantly trying to improve our offerings - fusion painting is one such initiative in progress. We will share an article on the fusion painting very soon - that is never tried by anyone before.


If you are looking to buy Tanjore Painting materials, you can place order through the link: Buy Tanjore Painting Materials online


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