Materials Used For Mural Art Work

Traditional Indian mural painting is done only in five basic colours (Panchavarna) such as yellow, red, green, black and white. The murals are done on a meticulously prepared white surface. The materials used in mural art work like pigments, brushes, gum etc. are all taken made of natural materials like minerals, vegetables and plants. The most frequently used pigments are saffron-red, saffron-yellow, green, red, white, blue, black, yellow and golden-yellow.

In the traditional method, a pencil is prepared by grinding a black stone and mixing it with cow dung. White is the wall itself and all other pigments are prepared from stones and leaves. The wall preparation is an elaborate process and on the specially prepared wall the picture is drawn first in line and complete in the above mentioned five colors.

The red, brown and yellow are made from soft stone, that is powdered and refined, green colors from the leaves of herbs, blue dye derived from the indigo plant, etc. Black dye is made from the carbon deposit gathered by burning a wick dipped in vegetable oil. The traditional painting brush is made of elephant grass locally called 'Kuntalipullu', that are deftly tied to a bamboo stick. In short, all painting tools are derived from nature. The white background, whether it is on the wall or hard board, is prepared with lime (calcium hydroxide) mixed with coconut water. This paste is evenly spread to get a glazed surface. No white color is used while painting; where white is required, the background itself is left untouched.

The peculiarity of Indian murals is their simple and thematic presentation of idealistic reproduction of humans, animals and trees with technical excellence, illustrated with rich and delicate strokes, hued with bright colors which epitomize Indain Murals.