The world of Indian folk art is as diverse as it is beautiful. From Madhubani in the east to Warli in the west, there’s so much to explore and enjoy. Check out this article to find out more about fascinating folk art forms!
Folk art, is any form of art that is specific to a community or ethnic tribe, or region. Practiced mainly in rural regions and villages, furthermore folk art comes in many different forms. And the artists? These talented artists while not trained professionally, keep learning from their community and their heritage to produce these beautiful pieces.
What is Indian Folk Art?
India as a country is vast, diverse and home to many ethnic tribes which results in many different folk art forms. Some famous art forms around the country are Madhubani (from Bihar), Warli (from Maharashtra), Gond (from Madhya Pradesh), Pattachitra (from Bengal & Odisha) as well as Kalamkaari (from Andhra Pradesh). The common philosophy across all these art forms is to depict the beauty of nature and rituals of the ethnic tribe that have been followed for centuries.
As for now, we will take a quick glance at each art form. To make it easier for you to follow, we will anchor one common subject – ‘the parrot’ – and see how the same parrot can be drawn in each of the four art styles.
This colourful folk art comes from the state of Bihar. Traditionally, Madhubani paintings were done on plastered mud wall and floors of huts. Folk artists made their own colors by extracting them from plants and used bamboo twigs, matchsticks or even fingers in lieu of a brush or pen. Generally, in this art form, no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs.
Madhubani Art Activity Sheet
Here is a lovely parrot which you can download and colour as per your imagination. Think bright hues and be as creative as you can!
This primitive folk art form comes from the Warli region of Maharashtra. Warli art was done typically on mud walls of huts on special occasions. A mix of cow-dung & mud was used to create a unique reddish-brown background & then stick figures were drawn with a white pigment made of rice powder & gum. Major designs include harvest celebration, weddings, birth & other rituals.
Warli Art Activity Sheet!
Trace & color in Black and then finish the dotted lines of each bird in the flock. Don’t forget to make them similar to the bird on top. This activity sheet is just one simple download away.
Gond art originated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Traditionally, Gond paintings were done on the mud walls of huts with colours extracted from natural materials like soil, charcoal, cow dung & leaves. Nature is a dominant theme in this art form, as the Gond tribe mainly lived in forests. Gond art is characterised by the ‘dots & dash’ patterns across the body of subjects.
Gond Art Activity Sheet
For this activity sheet, you will have to follow the index that has been given. Each section has a different pattern and the colour of each section based on the index provided. Download and enjoy!
Mandala art developed across India, Tibet, China & Japan. In Sanskrit, mandala means ‘circle’.
The circular designs in this art form symbolises the idea that life never ends and everything is connected.
Mandala Art Activity Sheet
Let your imagination run wild with this one! Download and colour the Mandala given below in any way you want. The more vibrant and colourful, the better!
The objective of this article was to have a quick introduction about Indian Folk Art and to make it as interesting and informative for everyone reading it. Isn’t it quite amazing how you can draw one subject – a simple parrot – in different ways basis the different forms of folk art!
Stay tuned for more such activity sheets and articles in the coming weeks.