How to Make Coloured Paint

Preparing colours for Cherial painting from Telangana, India

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Cheriyal scroll painting: Detail (2010) by D. VaikuntamDastkari Haat Samiti

Cherial scroll paintings

Cherial scroll paintings are narrative pictures painted on cloth that were used by traditional storytellers who travelled through villages, reciting tales of legendary heroes. They belong to a glorious narrative tradition of the Telangana region in northwest Andhra Pradesh.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2010) by D. VaikuntamDastkari Haat Samiti

Traditional scrolls are mostly in a vertical format with illustrations of stories on horizontal panels, all separated by floral borders.

When narrating to the audience, these panels are either held with both hands or suspended from a tree.

Cheriyal scroll painting: Making a Cheriyal mask (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Tamarind and lac

Most Cherial artworks are painted in vivid hues using primary colours, predominantly red in the background. To prepare these panels, tamarind seeds are grounded into a paste and mixed with lac.

Cheriyal scroll paintingDastkari Haat Samiti

Tree lac is one of the primary ingredients used in creating the colours.

Cheriyal scroll painting: Making a Cheriyal mask (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Tamarind seed paste and tree lac are mixed together to form a paste that is then used along with mineral colours.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Bright colours of Cherial

Cherial paintings are identified with their rich colours. Some of the colours used are sourced in the form of stones or crystals that are grounded by hand with a mortar and pestle. Sometimes, artists also procure colours in a powder form.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

This stone will soon be ground to render a rich yellow colour when mixed with the tamarind seed paste and lac.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

It is the use of natural pigments that gives Cherial paintings its signature brilliant hues.

Cheriyal scroll paintingDastkari Haat Samiti

The ground powder is mixed with lac and tamarind seed paste in water to make a smooth, rich paste.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The colour is then collected into small containers, ready for use on the Cherial scrolls.

Cheriyal scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Seen here are some of the naturally rendered colours ready to be used on the canvas.

Cherial scroll painting (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Read more about Cherial Scroll Paintings and Masks here:

- Cherial Scroll Painting
- Cherial Masks

A Gallery of Paintings
Credits: Story

Text: Aloka Hiremath and Jaya Jaitly
Photography:Chirodeep Chaudhuri
Artisans: D. Vaikuntam and family
Ground Facilitator: Shalini Shashi
Curation: Ruchira Verma

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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