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Travel to India and learn about the art of miniature painting, an ancient art of painting using bone instruments.
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Male 1: Udaipur is famous for its miniature paintings, equally so the city palace collection. Miniature doesn’t refer to the size of the painting but the detail within. So much so that they gain a real appreciation for the art that one must study each very closely. This art has been passed on from generation to generation and fostered by several miniature painting institutes.
Male 2: A very good artist we have here. Two of our many good artists and one is Mr. Keeshan. He is the master artist. He loves—he is working on the wood. I’ll show you his painting. This is the painting Udaipu Art School, the Mewar School of Art and we have more different school of art here. We have Jaipur Schoo of Art, they have the different study. All of the painting if you see that one. That is the different school.
But when you see the turbans in the paintings, when you see the turbans, you will come to know that each school have their own kind of turbans. That is the big difference and that is the only identity—that is the different school—the painting belongs from this school or this school.
Male 1: And how many years does it take to become a master.
Male 2: Well, that is a very good question you ask me. There's on the difference on the mood of artist in how many years he wants to be a very good artist because you cannot press the artist. If you press the artist, you won’t be an artist. You will be something else, okay? So to be an artist – to be a good artist like me, it takes at least 20 years, 20 or 22 years. But to be an artist like Mr. Lapini and I’ll show you here, to make this kind of painting, it takes five to six years to be a general artist. This kind of artist, they are able to arrange their bread and butter.
So what we do, here, we make painting on different mediums. We make painting on paper, marble, wood, cotton, canvass and on camel bone. Bone which is a substitute of iron so we started to make painting on bone after the independence and to make these paintings, we use natural colors and pigments, pigments which we are getting from here. We are getting basically six or seven from the hill. And to make another we mix two or three of them.
For example, I will show you, this is the one they did. So this is the side of the stone covered. This is I think the heaviest stone in the world. Do you want to hold this?
Female: It is very dense.
Male 2: It is. Because it contains oxide, zinc and many more different materials in this that’s why it’s too heavy. I will show you how to get color from this.
Male 1: Amazing.
Male 2: And I will show you one more stone which gives us a yellow color.
Male 1: And they’re a local stones.
Male 2: Local stones. This is orange color. I will show you the black one. This is zinc oxide which gives us black color. White you can get from limestone. Blue, we get from lapis and green. So while we are making painting with the yellow color. Generally, we use the yellow color with the stone but when apply gold and silver in between, underneath the gold, we use—if we feed the cow it will get more yellow urine.
I will show you. So this is two different yellows. We have—this is the color—we use this underneath the gold because we apply gold and silver in the paintings. And this is the stone which we use in other part of paintings. This is the very thin gold solidifying which you cannot hold in the hand or we cannot hold in the hand. If you’ll blow this, it will fly that’s why it is protected by the plastic bag so it’s quite difficult to apply this gold and silver in the painting as it is. So what we do, we boil the camel fat, first with a water. When it becomes liquid, with the liquid camel fat, we collect in their dish and we put gold or silver leaf regarding to the requirement of painting.
We put gold or silver in that and then we are rubbing it in the cycle to mix properly camel fat and gold and to make—there’s basically to make the painting good. I think you’re not going to stay here to see the gold bars but I will show you the different gold. This is gold, whenever we use this, we will put the drop of water in this and then we apply the gold and silver in the painting with the different—we have two different kind of brushes.
One brush that we use to make paintings that is made up of school heads. We catch this that indicate—we don’t plug the hairs, because if plug the hairs, that is painful fast. And second if we plug the hairs, the hairs will die very soon. So it will be useless for us. So to keep these hairs alive, to keep this hair soft with godly hairs and then we use this hair and especially these hairs it has different colors with these hairs, we can make a couple up here.