Let’s paint Bengal folk art in the style of Jamini Roy.
Jamini Roy is a famous artist from Bengal who developed his own unique style of painting. He was born in a small village near Bankura in 1887 and studied art at the Government School of Art in Calcutta. He started as a portrait artist in western art style but soon started his own painting style which was influenced by the traditional Bengal folk and village art. Later, his work was also exhibited in London and New York.
His art was easily accessible for poor as well as for the elite. He painted scenes of everyday life in villages. He loved to paint the tribals of Bengal, the Santhals. The Dancing Santhals, Santhals mother and child, Santhal Boy with Drum are some of his famous paintings he made. He sometimes selected religious themes and painted scenes from Ramyana and Mahabharata. He painted animals like cat, horse, cow, elephant in his own style.
Jamini Roy painted in oil colors. He used his own material to create his pigment. His paintings are abstract but the subjects are clearly in focus. He used ‘flat technique’ for his paintings where he colored flat. He used less of perspective and used more of motifs and patterns that you usually see in Indian folk art.
Let’s paint in his style
We will use canvas sheets and acrylic paints to paint. Small children will also need markers to make patterns on acrylic paints. Take a canvas sheet which is A4 size or larger.
Children above the age of 7 should try his paintings.
We chose to paint the horse. If you want to paint the famous Bankura style horse, draw a long neck, short roundish body, pointed ears and a tail.
Color them flat in acrylic. Paint two layers of paint if the first layer is not smooth and uniform. Once it has dried fully start putting the patterns.
Visit Jamini Roy’s paintings.
In many paintings, you would see a set of three faces with one in focus. They are perfectly symmetrical and the three faces cover the entire painting area. These figures are usually draped in traditional Bengal sarees which are beautifully adorned with patterns.
Art lesson for kids from Jamini Roy
- Explore Bengal folk art. The shape of figures are different from other Indian folk art.
- Learn to make bold portraits in focus. They are abstract yet expressive.
- Color flat. Use bold brush strokes to make patterns.
Also, visit Bhil folk art to paint other folk art styles from India.