Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Make Warli Painting: Tutorial

We all want to decorate our home with beautiful paintings. How nice if we can make beautiful paintings at home, instead of buying them? When it comes to painting, I love Indian folk art. And I found the simplest among all of them—Warli Painting.

Warli paintings were originally used to decorate walls of village houses by Warli tribe in the state of Maharashtra, India. It’s a simple art form, basically contains geometric patterns like circle (representing sun and moon), triangle (representing trees and mountains), squares (representing land), which are joined together to form complete patterns.

The color theme is generally white painted on brick red mud walls. But you can experiment with other colours for background-- like, henna, indigo, ochre, black, earthy mud. The typical warli paintings are done on mud, charcoal or cow dung treated surfaces. Rice paste is used for the white color. But when doing it at home you can substitute the materials as per convenience and availability.

Materials you will need:
1- Handmade paper or cloth (Colored)

2- White Fabric colour for cloth or poster colour for paper

3- Tracing paper

4- Carbon sheet

Painting technique: The theme of Warli paintings are mostly celebration, harvesting, marriage and many such occasions in tribal life. There is a particular shape/design for man and woman, animals etc. So while choosing a design keep it in mind to get the original effect! It’s better if you can infer and draw something from the different Warli paintings available in websites.

Step 1- Choose a design from internet or books. Step

2- Enlarge it into required size. Step

3- Trace the design unto tracing paper. Step

4- Transfer the design unto the cloth or paper or wherever you want to paint, with the help of carbon sheet. Step

5- Now paint on the design with white color. Choose the appropriate brush size according to the size of your design. If using cloth, paint with fabric colour and let it dry for 24 hours. Then iron it from the back side of the cloth. Try experimenting on many types of surfaces, like bed sheet, T-shirts, wall hanging, lamp shades, cushion covers, clay pots.

You can also paint small corner of your house with geru (red mud) mixed with linseed oil for long lasting effect and do Warli art on it. This will take some time, but I am sure you will be surprised with the wonderful outcome.


  1. ur instructions are very helpful.......

  2. Very nice post and you have a wonderful space here. Checked most of your posts. Am following you :)

  3. its really helfull..I tought of joining the classes....but now I think I can try by my I have hands on experience in doing oil paintings...thanks again:)

  4. If u use red mud and linseed oil thats fine but than do we use rice paste to draw the figures. Thanks madhu

  5. Hi Very nice informative post..i want to try this on wall for my new home. So I have to go for red mud? where I will get that. please guide me on this-how to paint warli on wall.




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