Traditional Tanjore Painting Near Me – Learn Online
– By Senthil Vel
The forgotten way of Traditional Tanjore painting “Unwrapping The Old Secret”
Whilst there are many great and experienced artists and schools, teaching traditional Tanjore painting classes, very few teach “The Old Way”, or what is becoming the forgotten way. This is an opportunity to learn Traditional Tanjore Painting online.
We are in a world where data is now moving at around 200 terabits per second. Likewise, most Tanjore painting artists/business today have migrated to modern ingredients and created “fast track” process. This allows Tanjore painting to be created in 25-50% less time, compared to what it would normally take by the traditional Tanjore artist community, such as Rajus of Thanjavur, Trichy and the Naidus of Madurai.
Obviously, this has been driven by the commercialization and ever-growing demand for this beautiful artwork. I believe we will continue to see this market grow.
However, by going back to “The Old Way”, we not only preserve the hundreds of years of tradition, but I also believe the “The Old Way” of Tanjore Paintings also has a proven history of longevity, due to uniqueness, it increases in value as we pass it on from one generation to next. This is my initiative to preserve this technique and help you learn traditional Tanjore painting online.
So, this is my effort to unpack the forgotten way of Tanjore painting process and repack it for the new generation of artists. Especially for those who have the love for Tanjore painting and also appreciate “The Old Way”, and hopefully they will be able to pass it on to the next generation.
Origin of Tanjore Painting
Tanjore Painting is one of the most beautiful Indian Folk Arts that takes its origin from the murals of the Vijayanagara Period (1500-1600 AD), acquired its rich and vibrant colors from the mural paintings during this period. Maratha rule in the next two centuries (1600 AD -1800 AD) brought a distinctive style change to Tanjore paintings with the use of Gold, gems and precious stones, inspired by Mughals and European artisans.
Learn Traditional Tanjore painting, “the old way” has this distinctive uniqueness that is not seen in other paintings. One of the very few styles of paintings that you can pass it on to many generations to come and the value appreciates as it gets older.
The obvious difference, it takes longer!
In terms of process, there are many differences, one of the core difference is use of special clay (also used in construction industry). This is extremely solid material compared to soft chalk powder used in most Tanjore paintings today. Of course, we also don’t use Fevicol (Wood PVA Glue) for preparing board or the relief work.
“The Old Way” of Tanjore Painting is one of the very few courses available that still use natural ingredients, such as tamarind, natural clay, chukka kallu, sudha kallu etc.,. Sadly, it’s not something you can buy from your common grocery or hardware store. One of the reason, why artists are moving away from “The Old Way” of Tanjore Painting.
We try and use these long-lasting natural ingredients and processes that were followed some 400 years ago. Thanks to some of the traditional artist in Thanjavur who are still following this technique, especially my guru and now his son.
These natural ingredients have longer processing and curing time. This means you cannot move from one step to next quickly as done with modern techniques.
I want to take back students to the old ways, from preparing the board to sketching, aligning and fixing stones, clay relief work to detailed relief work, gold gilding to colouring and correction, resulting in a beautiful Tanjore painting for your home, perfect for your puja room, new home or to gift someone special. Please see below some of the steps involved in the Old Way of Tanjore Painting.
“Gurukulam” The best way to close the gap!
Using world-class learning management & online platform, “Gurukulam“, we are pleased to introduce all-new professional university-style but “The Old Way” of Tanjore Painting, in two program formats:
- Four (6) week for hobby artists, including children (Basic)
- Twelve (16) weeks for serious artists (Intermediate)
I, along with my core Gurukulam team has spent over 12 months collaborating with artists and students to create a world-class study format for the Tanjore painting classes. This is a result of many hours of experiments and research, including sourcing of natural ingredients and the development of over 300 GB of digital contents.
I believe the younger generation of artists have a far greater appreciation for the environment and natural ingredients that were used hundreds of year ago. it’s also our responsibility as an artist to preserve, nurture and pass the tradition to the next generation while aligning and exploiting the technology for delivering courses.
I have created a basic program for the hobby artist and younger generation to explore the natural process of creating these beautiful Tanjore paintings. Plus, having a lot of fun at the same time.
For the serious artist, through our 16 weeks program, I have included a more elaborate curriculum to help them take on a slightly more complex subject.
The only course that takes you through all the seven stages of the Tanjore painting process, as identified by the Government of India, GI Journal. I have in fact added the eighth stage to help students explore some of the techniques in depth.
Also to ensure the best transfer of knowledge and skills, we try to work with a group of no more than 5 to 8 students.
Hundreds of years of tightly kept secrets are shared through these courses. The course is very structured with over 60 training videos in ten step by step lessons. Each video helps students to understand the intricate process involved in each of the eight stages in the learning process. I hope through this course, the students will appreciate the traditional artists who created this amazing painting process that is designed to last for centuries.
Learn at your convenience
I understand and appreciate that most of us have a hectic week with day to day work routines. Also, most likely our learning behaviours are probably different, so I have designed the course in a way, that allows you to plan your learning when the mind is free of distractions, and you can work at your own pace. One to one coaching is provided during the entire course with periodic group review to share key learnings.
Students can interact with other students and guru during the course using an online forum. All students should expect to commit a minimum of 6 hours per week to complete the course.
I have coached students from India, Australia, the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, both adults and children. The format works very well and helps to deliver course remotely anywhere in the world.
India is a host to over 40 traditional folk arts. These folk arts have been passed on from generation to generation for over 3000 years. Indian Folk Art is rich in beauty and represents thousands of years of Indian heritage and culture. I’m also calling fellow Indian Folk Artists to come forward, use Gurukulam, as your platform to promote your knowledge and transfer your skills to the next generation using structured training programs.
Do visit Gurukulam, we’ll continue to add more and more courses on Indian Folk Art. Look forward to your feedback, please leave your comments below.
Founder – International Indian Folk Art Gallery