Mehandi of the Bride

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The whereabouts of women and the goings-on of their hearts, constitute an entire world within the apparent worlds of human existence. This painting by Kailash Raj, done with luxuriant oils on canvas, brings out the aspects of this women's world with great keenness and beauty.
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Item Code: OQ47
Oil Painting on CanvasArtist: Kailash Raj
Dimensions 42 inch x 35 inch
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100% Made in India
100% Made in India
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Mehandi is not just a decorative element in the bridal toilette; it is as much a spiritual libation. Poured into intricate designs on the skin through the medium of a peacock feather - one of the Orient's strange yet deeply symbolic rituals - it is said that the intensity of the hue obtained after having washed off the applied coat is indicative of the husband's loyalty to her. Kailash Raj captures to perfection the flurry of emotions typical of a bride's state of mind: the raised brow, the pursed lips give away her curiosity, what with the bridal mehendi being the precursor to her fortunes.
She is in the kind of reclinement that women in this part of the world allow themselves either in their own company or strictly in the presence of their handmaids. Her thighs are delicately parted, just enough for the fluid silk of her ghaagraa (Indian skirts) to plunge in between against her skin. Her sheer dupatta, having slid off her rubescent bosom, has gathered in such sheer lifelike folds on one arm that one could almost hear the rustle. Her tattooed hands are dangling mid-air as she eagerly waits for them to dry and be ready for rinsing, her elbows propped up on a couple of cushions to facilitate the arduous mehendi procedure.
Her tattooed feet rest daintily on the distinctly North Indian carpet that clothes the floors of the bridal chamber. The dense and richly coloured embroidery sets off to perfection the mehendi florals on her feet, one of which is yet undone. She has removed her gold anklets and kept them on the table next to her green velvet couch, which she will put back on as soon as her feet are rinsed and dried in a few hours. The rest of her jewels are elegant and decidedly bridal - bangles aplenty, signature danglers, matching maangteekaa, and profuse necklaces, all fashioned from the purest golds and pearls of the land. They complement her resplendent red-and-gold bridal ghaagraa (reds and golds being the signature hues of the North Indian bridal trosseau). The modest pastel ensemble and the simple silver jewels of her handmaiden are in sharp but fitting contrast to her regal toilette.
The naturalism of the painting is such that it affords a thorough view of the outdoors. Yet a few hours to the roseate twilight of the Eastern world, the clouds are at their most playful, the lush fields at their greenest. The floors are painted with such perspective as to reflect with great perfection the regal installations atop the same - for example, the characteristically carved opening that leads to the sprawling, checquered balcony. The greens and the purples and the velvets of the interiors, not to mention the luscious brushstrokes the painting is finished with, complete the regality of the setting.

Crafting Masterpieces: An Insight into the Making of Indian Oil Paintings

Oil painting is the most interesting technique in art. Unlike other paintings or art forms, oil painting is a process in which colored pigments are painted on the canvas with a drying oil medium as a binder. This medium helps colors blend beautifully to create layers and also makes them appear rich and dense. Several varieties of oil are used in this painting such as sunflower oil, linseed oil, etc., and depending on the quality of the oil, a particular consistency of the paint is developed. With the use of an oil medium, the painting gets a natural sheen on the surface which appears extremely attractive. India is famous for its old tradition of making oil paintings. This art form was brought by Europeans in the 18th century and is now practiced by almost all well-known artists. Nirmal, a small tribal town in the state of Telangana is the center of traditional oil paintings in India where the local people practice it with dedication. Most Indian artists still use the traditional technique of oil painting.

Canvas of the required size is prepared

The artists use either a wood panel or canvas made from linen or cotton. Sometimes the canvas is stretched onto the wooden frame to form a solid base, or cardboard may be used. The canvas is coated with a layer of white paint or chalk mixed with animal glue. This mixture is then smoothed and dried to form a uniform, textured surface. The wooden panel is more expensive and heavier but its solidity is an advantage in making detailed paintings with ease.
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Sketch is drawn on the canvas

Now the artist starts to draw the subject of the painting on the canvas using the actual charcoal or a charcoal pencil. Sometimes, he may sketch with thinned paint as well.

Oil paint is applied using paint brushes or palette knives

Now that the rough sketch is prepared, the artist is now ready to paint. Oil paint, a special paint that contains particles of pigments suspended in a drying oil (usually linseed oil), is again mixed with oil to make it thinner for applying it on the canvas. Proper consistency of the paint is maintained to avoid its breakage. The most important rule for the application of oil paint is “Fat over lean” in which the first layer of paint is thin and later, thicker layers are applied. This means that each additional layer of paint contains more oil. This results in getting a stable paint film. Traditionally, paint was applied using paint brushes but now the artists also use palette knives to create crisp strokes. To paint using this technique, the edge of the palette knife is used to create textured strokes that appear different from that of a paintbrush. Sometimes, oil paints are blended simply using fingers for getting the desired gradation.
Smaller oil paintings, with very fine detail, are relatively easier to paint than larger ones. The most attractive feature of these paintings is the natural shiny appearance that is obtained on the surface because of the use of oil paint. The blending of colors looks extremely realistic and this is the reason why oil paintings are loved by everyone throughout the world.
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