Straight From My Art – Workshop 6 – Elephant in Madhubani Style

My sisters are getting better and better at the artworks they attempt along with me every week. And that in turn keeps me motivated and enthusiastic to give them more artistic and creative challenges.

We all seem to love elephants! There is a certain grace and beauty that comes with this gentle giant that translates so well into art.

Additionally I wanted my sisters to try something different from the typical mandala / zentangling projects we had been picking each week.

Knowing our collective love for the elephant I chose this vibrant and beautiful elephant set in Madhubani style inspired by this post on Pinterest for our next attempt. The suggestion was received with a lot of enthusiasm!

An ornate border and a bright colourful palette typically depicting nature in its glory are the hallmark of a Madhubani painting. It has a rich history going back over 2500 years. I was fascinated to read about this art form and its origins in the Mithila region of Bihar, India.

Another characteristic of a Madhubani paining is unlike what we attempted, it is usually fully and completely filled up with drawings with little or no blank spaces.

Well, here’s our humble efforts to attempt a very basic version of this traditional art.

We began by pencil sketching the decorated elephant under a tree. We also gave the painting a beautiful border.

Then we outlined the painting with a pen. Typically once we finish painting, it will require one more touch-up to redraw any lines that get smudged or hidden by the colouring.

This is my eldest sister Bala’s vision. Her choice of bright colours for the border just lit up the page and further brightened the surroundings of the colourful elephant. I love the different hues of green she has achieved on the tree. She used sketch pens to colour it in.

My sister Lakshmi who has also been attending some art classes decided to use water colours. The foliage in her version has subtle shades of lighter green and yellow as well and gives a different effect. She also used different colour pens than black for her outlines which also changes the look. Here’s her version!

My cousin sister Goma used gel pens to colour in her elephant. I love the purple popping out of the borders and the elephant giving such a wonderful and bright effect.

And finally here’s mine!

We all have grown so much over these months and I’m a proud teacher! In a span of just a few months we have become comfortable to start off an artwork in our workshop and then work on it independently over the week.

Earlier our confidence levels were still low and we would wait to get together each week to get together again and support each other through the chosen drawing. We’re now comfortable enough to draw the basic structure and then just let our individual style and creativity take over.

Fills me with pride every single time!


2 comments on “Straight From My Art – Workshop 6 – Elephant in Madhubani Style”
  1. Lakshmi Kumar says:

    I rekindled my confidence all because of Raji and you so thank you👏👏👍👌👌😘😘

    1. You’re very welcome. And thank you for keeping the enthusiasm alive in me too!

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