All about Warli Painting
By Kinjal Trivedi
A few weeks ago we talked about ancient art when people of different regions and continents used to draw symbols on rocks and cave walls to communicate a message. Similarly the region of Maharashtra in India had this style of painting called Warli.
Warli painting is literally drawing with chalk, loose white clay or rice paste as a binder on cow dung or red brick covered wall. It was a style used by tribal people, not necessarily artist, to communicate where the cattle is, who the owner is, if there is a threat from any wild animals or hunters around. Over time, artists used this technique and enhanced the shapes and structure of this type of communication to create artwork that is relevant till today.
This region was mostly Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Palghar, Mokhada and Vikhramgad of Palghar district. If you go to Palghar area, you will still see artists who have enhanced and preserved this skill. Though some symbols are modernized, these are very much relevant in present understanding of communication. Instead of chalk or loose white powder they use poster color and paint on cow dung cardboard or wood and frame it for wall hanging.
Coca Cola had an ad campaign where they used traditional Warli paintings to promote the cold drink in India.
Warli style uses a set of geometric shapes like circle, triangle and square. The main idea of the painting is to portray scenes of fishing, hunting, community, school or celebration. Festivals and dances are common depiction of the Warli Art. People and Animals are represented by two inverse triangles and lines are used for hand and legs. Geometric shapes are predominant in Warli Art.
Next time you draw a stick figure you can enhance your skills to create fun and fascinating Warli art with the colors of your choice.