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How to Introduce Traditional Indian Art to Your Kid: A Guide

Significance of learning colourful traditional Indian art for kids.

As children engage in their favorite pastimes, such as smearing paint on their hands or creating collages with ripped paper, it becomes evident how captivated they are by artistic expression. Kids have a natural affinity for experimenting and creating with art supplies, and these activities provide them with a plethora of life skills. Research shows that early childhood art experiences play a crucial role in the development of young minds. By engaging in open-ended art-based play, children stimulate their senses, fostering the growth of cognitive, multisensory, and social-emotional abilities. Creativity flourishes as they express their ideas, venture into new territories, and experiment with various materials. The key to nurturing creativity in children lies in providing them with a wide range of resources and ample time for independent artistic exploration.

In this blog, we will delve into the transformative power of artistic expression for young learners. We will explore the process-oriented approach to art, emphasizing the importance of experimentation, exploration, and discovery. While the creation of a final product is not the sole focus, we will discover how every artistic endeavor contributes to the growth and development of your child. By introducing your child to the rich heritage of traditional Indian art, we aim to ignite their curiosity, foster their creativity, and nurture their appreciation for diverse cultural expressions. So let’s embark on a journey that will unlock your child’s imagination and provide them with a deeper understanding of the captivating world of traditional Indian art.

The Influence of Traditional Indian Art on Children’s Creative Development

Indian civilization has long included art as an essential component. Our culture contains distinctive creative forms and customs that are closely related to our sense of social identity. The modest, ethnic, colourful, and vivid folk and tribal arts of India speak volumes about our heritage and ongoing past. Traditional classical arts serve as historical and social artefacts that link us to the essence of our nation. Indian art, especially in fields like architecture, music, and dance, has had a tremendous impact on other cultures all over the world. There is a direct influence on numerous art forms and styles that are now well-known and admired around the world.

Children growing up in Indian society have naturally adapted to the sense and style of our traditional art that has been practised in our country for ages. In India, mythology becomes ingrained in children since tales are spoken in every household. Children draw scenes from the stories they have heard because they can imagine the situations and character portrayals, which helps them develop their imaginative creativity. 

Here are a few ideas for encouraging your child’s artistic abilities : 

Indian Folk Art for Kids to Learn

Community painting is a prevalent practice in India and expresses the identity of a place or a particular culture. Every region, city, and village takes pride in its customs and talents; the culture replete with deeply ingrained wisdom. This repository contains a substantial amount of folk and tribal art. The Madhubani paintings of Bihar, the Phad paintings of Rajasthan, the Patachitra paintings of Odisha, the Kalamkari paintings of Andhra Pradesh, the Saura paintings of Odisha, the Warli paintings of Maharashtra, the Santhal paintings of Bihar, the Bhil and Gond paintings of Madhya Pradesh, among others, are some of the well-known traditions from India.

The majority of them draw inspiration from nature, using images of animals, plants, and birds as some of the purest forms of expression. The murals on the walls, floors, ceilings, papers, pottery, and other surfaces relate to mythology, special occasions, and unusual festivities in indigenous traditions. The themes of these paintings include realism, rural life, and social philosophy. It has straightforward angles and curves, but the deep meaning and timeless quality of the themes overwhelm you and show off the nation’s rich history. 

Themes from Gond Art

Gond Art– Untitled 127 by Gariba Singh Tekam. Source:
Gond Art – Untitled 127 by Gariba Singh Tekam. Source:

The Gond community, residing in Madhya Pradesh in Central India, practices the art of Gond paintings. Gond art makes extensive use of dots and dashes which give the impression of movement. The Gonds decorate their walls with beautiful paintings that depict their daily lives, festivities, rituals, and the local flora and fauna.

The belief system holds that the paintings depict the tight relationship between humans and their natural surroundings. It’s interesting to note that Gond artists are more concerned with drawing and decorating the surface using inexpensive materials than they are with the surface, texture, and quality of the medium, material, or style. Nevertheless, the Gonds have also started utilising Poster colours, acrylic, and oil paints.

For craftsmen, handmade paper and canvas are the new narrative mediums. They choose primary hues to produce vivid, multi-coloured paintings regardless of tonal balance and colour harmonies, and for the modern eye, they also evoke the naivety of a child. 

Making Phad Paintings

Phad painting by students of MSBSS, Jaipur. Source: IG @msbss.official
Phad painting by students of MSBSS, Jaipur. Source: IG @msbss.official

Phad is a form of scroll painting that provides in-depth religious tales about regional deities and gods. It was developed in a single family and has been handed down through the centuries in Shahpura, close to Bhilwara, Rajasthan. Phad combines the Rajput and Mughal painting techniques creating its uniqueness.

The artist purchases a lengthy piece of handwoven and spun fabric to use in the painting’s preparation. It is then starched, stretched, and dried in the sun ensuring that there are no folds left. Next, burnish the fabric to smooth it out and prepare it for delicate burnishing. After burnishing, no pigment will be absorbed.

The method of colour mixing is going to grab the children’s attention the most. Light yellow is created by using yellow orpiment. You will sketch all of the people and buildings from there. The orange or saffron hue used to paint faces and other flesh is created by combining red lead oxide (Sindur) with yellow powder (Orpimat-Hartal). Green is made from verdigris (Jangal), a copper acetate. Brown is offered in the market as a powder. Crushing cinnabar particles (mercury sulphide ore) produces vermilion/red. One colour that can be acquired commercially is blue (indigo).

All of the figures’ details are highlighted in black (Kala, Syahi). It is made by burning coconut shells or gathering lampblack from cooking oil burning. The procedure of applying colour starts after the mapping. Each colour is applied sequentially from its bowl to all of the artwork’s areas where it occurs.

Filling or applying colours is more than just a simple activity. Children can engage their senses, experiment with colour, learn about the processes and results, and produce beautiful works and experiences.

Drawing Figures from Warli Art

Simple and fundamental graphic elements make up Warli art. They represent common symbols of life and their surroundings using simple geometric forms. In Warli art, artists typically use stick figures or triangles to show the fundamental anatomy of humans. Start with a straightforward X, then link the edges and create the neck, head, hands, and legs. You can colour it in or leave it as is. Both appear attractive. You may replicate the basic image once you’ve mastered it to make more complex Warli designs. Children of all ages can easily understand the straightforward geometrical shapes that make up a Warli picture. It’s also a terrific method to introduce them to basic geometric forms like circles, triangles, lines, and dots.

Introduce a Tribal Toolkit 

A tribal toolset provides both entertainment and education for your kid. Here are a few suggested items you can include in the toolkit : 

  1. Stencil
  2. Children frequently struggle while trying to draw shapes like animals and trees. Therefore, a stencil technique may be more helpful in drawing designs and shapes.
  3. Rubber Stamp
  4. The tool uses modified rubber-based erasers with an etched block of a simple pattern on one end. Since it involves changing common materials used by pupils in elementary classes, the rubber stamping exercise is amusing and well-known to children.

Naturally, you can also add other coloured sketch pens and other unique items as you, please.

Concluding Remarks

Exposure to a particular folk and tribal visual language through new media techniques and interventions can improve users’ art and craft learning of a subject. Designing for children’s learning experiences requires a procedure that is enjoyable and results in useful products. The ability of tribal and traditional art to convey a narrative through alluring forms and visual expression is its key strength. As adults, we are aware that a variety of entertainment and educational options are available to our children. Some of these activities have the power to disconnect us from our world and society. Traditional Indian art balances teaching with fun, engaging children while promoting cultural awareness. As parents, it is our responsibility to introduce our children to the arts and to support their continued enjoyment of them.

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