Paint brushes and their evolution in Indian artforms
Image Source: Britannica

The humble Paint brush has always been an integral part of Indian art and culture. From the ancient cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora to the intricate miniature works of Mughal art, artists used these paint brushes to create vibrant, unique masterpieces. In this blog, Rooftop brings to you the evolution of paint brushes and their contribution to traditional Indian art forms.

The Evolutionary Journey Of The Humble Paint Brush

Image Source: Etsy

In earlier days, paint brushes were made of animal hair, usually deer or horsehair, and were held together using a wooden handle. The earliest use of paint brushes in India dates back to as early as the 5th century BC when Buddhist and Jain monks used brushes to write calligraphy and draw artworks on the scrolls. Since then, paintbrushes have been used to paint intricate patterns on stone carvings and temples and to create detailed images of gods and goddesses. 

During the medieval period, the Mughal rulers used paintbrushes made of fine camel hair to create vibrant miniature paintings. These types of brushes were known as “Mughal brushes” and were often decorated with gold and gems. With the help of these brushes, artists breathed life into the miniatures. 

Brush strokes And The Traditional Art

The traditional art form of Kalamkari, also known as “pen painting,” has been practised in India since ancient times. This technique uses a primitive brush made from bamboo sticks and wool thread to create intricate designs on fabric. The colours are mixed with vegetable and mineral dyes and applied with the brush. This form of art is still practised today in parts of South India. 

Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s most renowned poets and artists, was a master of traditional painting techniques. He used a variety of brushes made from different materials like goat hair, squirrel hair, and sable fur. These brushes allowed him to create beautiful art pieces that are praised globally for their intricate detail and delicate nature.

Contribution Of Paint Brush In Modern Times

In modern times, paint brushes are used extensively in Indian art, both traditional and contemporary. These brushes have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Over time, they have evolved to become better tools for expressing an artist’s vision while still retaining the traditional elements that make Indian art so unique. A paintbrush is an indispensable tool in the artist’s arsenal, whether it’s used for delicate miniature paintings or bold abstract works. 

Today, various brushes are available for various applications, from acrylics to watercolours. Each type of brush has unique features and capabilities that make it suitable for a particular genre of painting. They come in various sizes and shapes, from large flat brushes to tiny pointed ones for detailing or shading. Synthetic bristles, made of nylon and other artificial materials, are now commonly used as they provide a high degree of control over the application of colour. 

The evolution of paint brushes has helped Indian traditional art reach new heights of beauty and sophistication. Thanks to innovations in brush technology, artists are now able to create stunning works of art that reflect the rich culture and traditions of India. It is fascinating to see how this simple tool has been used throughout history to create so much beauty and emotion in India’s visual culture.

We hope this blog, has given you an insight into the evolution of paint brushes in traditional Indian art forms. Thank you for reading! Rooftop has many more exciting art styles to talk about that will interest you. Join us on Instagram @rooftop_app for all the latest updates, and download the Rooftop app available for both iOS and Android devices.