10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

This article will tell you about 10 Indian Folk Art Paintings. Folk art and painting styles from ancient India have been passed down through generations and are still being practiced today in various parts of the country. Let’s take a look at the uniqueness of 10 folk art forms.

Folk art from India is passed down from generation to generation. Culturally distinct and diverse, many art forms have developed over the years. Some are unaffected by modernization, while others adapt to new paint colors or materials. 

Although they all depict religious epics, Gods, and Goddesses, each one is unique, admirable, and inimitable in its own way. They were originally made using natural dyes and colors from soil, mud, and charcoal on canvas or cloth. This gave them a feeling of antiquity and vintage nostalgia. Here are 10 folk painting styles that are still being practiced in selected areas of the country.


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

It is also known as Mithila art. It originated in Nepal, where it was called after Sita’s father in Ramayana. It is popular Indian folk art, performed by people who worship god. This art form is characterized by its geometric patterns. It was not known outside of India until the 1930’s earthquake when Madhubani paintings were discovered in destroyed houses. According to William G. Archer, it mirrored the work by Miro and Picasso. These paintings and wall murals often depict gods, flora, and fauna.

2.Miniature Paintings

10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

These paintings are distinguished by their small size, intricate details, and sharp expressions. Miniature paintings were created during the Mughal era around the 16 century. They are influenced by Persian styles and thrived under Shah Jahan’s and Akbar’s rule. It was later adopted by Rajputs and is still popular in Rajasthan. The paintings, like other art forms, depict epics and religious symbols. These paintings are distinctive because they depict humans with big eyes, a pointed nose, slim waists, and long turbans.


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

Phad telling a story about Pabuji

Originating from Rajasthan, Pahad is a religious scroll painting that depicts folk deities Pabuji and Devnarayan. phad is the name of the 30- to 15-foot-long canvas or cloth, it is painted on. These paintings are filled with vegetable colors and a narrative about the heroic deeds and lives of deities.


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

This art form was created in 2500 BCE by the Warli tribes of the Western Ghat of India. It is primarily the use of squares, triangles, and circles to create many shapes and depict everyday life activities such as fishing, hunting, and festivals. It is distinguished by its human shape, which is a circle and two triangles. The paintings are all done on a dark red ochre background or dark brown, and the shapes are in white.


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

The Gondi tribe of Madhya Pradesh is characterized by a feeling of belonging to nature. They created boldly colored paintings that depict mainly fauna and flora. These colors are made from charcoal, cow dung, leaves, and colored soil. It is composed of lines and dots if you pay attention. These styles can be imitated today, but they are now done with acrylic paints. This can be described as an evolution of Gond art, led by Jangarh Singh Shyam (the most famous Gond artist who revived this art for the rest of the world in 1960).


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

Kalamkari literally means “drawings with a pen” and is one of two types found in India. The other is Machilipatnam which comes from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Srikalahasti which comes from Chittoor, in the same state. The former refers only to block-printed art. The latter is free-flowing art using a pen on fabric. Kalamkari art can be found on ethnic clothing and sarees. It depicts everything from fauna and flora to epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana.


10 Indian Folk Art Paintings
10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

The Nayakas in Thanjavur encouraged Tanjore or Thanjavur, paintings to be found down South. A Thanjavur painting can be identified by the use of gold foil. This glitters and gives it a surreal appearance. These wooden panel paintings depict devotion to saints, gods, and goddesses. It draws inspiration from European and Maratha art styles, as well European styles.

8.Cheriyal Scrolls


This dying art form, which originated in Telangana today, is still practiced only by the Nakashi family, where it has been passed down through many generations. The Cheryl scrolls are a stylized version of Nakashi art that was influenced by the Kalamkari tradition and long scrolls.

 These scrolls of 40-45 feet depicted Puranas, epics, and were essential visual accompaniments for saints as they sang or narrated the epics. The scrolls look like modern comic panels with approximately 50 characters per scroll. They are made with primary colors and have vivid imaginations, which is a stark contrast to the traditional Tanjore or Mysore paintings.

9.Kalighat Paintings

10 Indian Folk Art Paintings

It is a recently discovered style of painting that originated in Bengal (from Kalighat) in the 19th century. This was when rebellion against the British seemed possible and exciting. These paintings on cloth and pattas depicted Gods or Goddesses at first, but they then moved towards social reform. 

The art featured cheap paper, paint colors, squirrel hair brushes, and color pigments. It was characterized by perfect strokes and bold drawings, as well as brushwork and flawless strokes. It was intended to raise awareness about social conditions among its viewers. Rich zamindars were seen drinking wine with women while priests were shown with ‘unchaste’ women and police being sloppy.

10. Patachitra

p00624 140202 maa saraswati black white patachitra painting

These paintings depict epics, Gods, and Goddesses in a cloth-based scroll painting. They are from Odisha, West Bengal. Originating in the fifth century, these paintings were created in religious centers like Puri or Konark. This was around the same time as sculpturing began. This art form is unique in that it features a heavily Mughal-influenced dress style.

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