The process of preparing the canvas and painting a Cherial Scroll Painting from Telangana, India
Three coats are generally applied. This is to make the canvas stiff and to allow free movement of the brush for outlining, to help in colour absorption and increase the lifespan of the painting.
The solution made of rice starch, white clay, boiled tamarind seed and lac solution is prepared to treat the surface.
A soft cloth, folded into a round shape, is used to apply this solution.
Once the canvas is prepared, the artist marks out the frame using graphite.
Brushes made using squirrel and camel hair are used to outline and paint.
The outline of figures is drawn free-hand, in clean brush strokes, with no preliminary markings or rough drawings.
The outlines are sharp and well defined.
The outline is painted directly onto the canvas in red using a fine squirrel hair brush.
The more well defined the lines, the more is the depth of the experience of an artist.
Bold solid colours are used to fill in the painting.
The artist fills in the background with red colour.
Both natural and commercially available colours are used for painting.
The artist excludes the outlines that have been drawn while filling the background with colour.
The artist does not use any visual references or guides. The composition is in his mind and unfolds on the fabric with each brush stroke.
After the background is complete and dry, other colours are filled into the defined spaces.
Natural colors used for painting are extracted from different elements such as stones, ash from an oil lamp and sea shells.
Yellow is obtained from a stone called pevdi in Telugu, which is the local language.
D. Vaikuntam, whose family has continued this tradition since the 15th century, is one of the masters of this art.
A traditional Cherial painting based on the life of Rama.
Text: Aloka Hiremath and Jaya Jaitly
Artisans: D. Vaikuntam and family
Ground Facilitator: Shalini Shashi
Curation: Ruchira Verma