India has a rich culture and tradition, which is reflected in its magnificent art and skill while creating Traditional paintings. Every area and state in India is associated with a certain traditional Indian art form, from Bihar's Madhubani painting to Gujarat's Pithora painting, Maharashtra's Warli painting to Andhra Pradesh's Kalamkari painting, and Telangana's Gond art to Madhya Pradesh's Gond Indian Arts

Numerous Indian folk art styles have received international recognition and acclaim. Through these art forms, we express our feelings, emotions, and thoughts, as well as admire our surroundings, nature, flora, and fauna, and revere our deities and mythology. Let's look at some of the different kinds of Indian paintings:

Traditional Indian Art Paintings 

1. Madhubani Painting- Traditional Indian Art 

Madhubani Painting

Madhubani paintings, also known as Mithila paintings, are largely done by women in the Madhubani village of Bihar. Fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, matchsticks, and natural colors are all used in this kind of Indian painting. These are painted on walls, floors of sacred sites, canvases, and other surfaces. These vibrantly colored Madhubani paintings are known for their geometrical designs and are popular in Bihar's Madhubani area. These paintings were created on mud walls and soil ground or floors. They're now also painted on canvases, cloth, and handcrafted paper. It is one of India's most well-known and popular folk art styles.

Scenes from nature, such as the sun, moon, and tulsi plants, as well as scenes from mythology and Hindu deities such as Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and others, are common themes in traditional​ paintings. Ardhanarishvara, court scenes, social occasions, and wedding scenes are among them. The origins of this art style can be traced back to the Ramayana period when Raja Janak (Sita's father) ordered that the locals paint the entire village for the wedding of Prince Rama and Sita. Many Madhubani artists have garnered numerous prizes, including the National Award and the Padma Shri, establishing the art style as well-known and respected. 

Read More: 7 Female Madhubani Artists you should know About

2. Phad Indian Art 

Phad Indian Art

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, this form of Indian folk painting is done. Phad painting is a religious scroll painting style that is traditionally done on a Phad, which is a long piece of cloth or canvas. The Phad portrays Rajasthani traditional deities, primarily Pabuji and Devnarayan. The Bhopas, Rajasthan's priest-singers of folk deities, carry and perform in front of a Phad, which serves as a portable temple. It is a narrative scroll painting tradition in which deities and heroes such as Prithviraj Chauhan are shown in mostly red, yellow, and orange colours.

Such Indian paintings are known to depict the romances, battlefields, and adventures of the older times. The professional Phad paintings are famous for their details. Such details are known to come together with stories on one canvas with every inch in it. One of the profound Phad artists is Shree Lal Joshi, from the Joshi community. They are known for their extensive Phad Painting practice and thus Shree Lal Joshi is amongst the Padma Shree holders as well as the Shilp Guru Award Winners. They modernised the style with the changing time and also came up with the school name “Chitrashala''. Here, the students were given the practice of Phad Indian Art by professional artists themselves. 

3. Warli Paintings 

Warli Paintings

Warli is a traditional Indian art that is known to belong to major tribes in Maharashtra called Warli. It has been used for more than 2500 years. It primarily represents local people's daily activities, such as farming, dancing, worshipping, hunting, planting, and so on, as well as natural aspects. These paintings are primarily concerned with depicting social and everyday life. Rather than depicting legendary characters and deities, they are strongly linked to nature.

Warli paintings are typically made with twigs and rice paste on the mud walls of homes. White-colored geometric motifs and patterns, such as triangles, squares, and circles, dominate these paintings. A triangle represents mountains and pointed trees, whereas a square represents human inventions. The circle represents the sun and the moon. The circular patterns also symbolise their belief that death is merely a new beginning.

The circular patterns also symbolise their belief that death is merely a new beginning. A Warli painting's principal motif is their Mother Goddess, Palghat, who is their fertility emblem. The sacred Warli murals that portray Palaghat are required for a wedding to go place. These paintings have proven highly popular and may now be found on canvas, paper, and cloth. Jivya Soma Mashe, a well-known Indian painter and legendary Warli artist, popularised the art form. In 2011, he was given the Padma Shri for his contribution to Warli art.

4. Kalamkari Painting 

Kalamkari Painting

The Kalamkari art form is derived from the terms "Kalam" which means pen and "Kari" which means workmanship. It is done by many families and people in Andhra Pradesh and a few communities in Tamil Nadu. Scenes from epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, musical instruments, animals, Buddha and Buddhist art, flowers, and Hindu symbols such as the swastika are commonly depicted in kalamkari. Kalamkari is an ancient Indian folk art style that involves organic hand-printing or block-printing. It has been done for over 3000 years. Natural and earthy colours and vegetable dyes such as indigo, green, rust, black, and mustard are employed in the painting, which is done on fabric with a Kalam or bamboo reed. It's usually done on cotton fabric and takes twenty-three steps to complete.

5. Gond Paintings 

Gond Paintings

This is a type of folk and tribal art from India. People from the Gond community in Madhya Pradesh practice them. The word "Gond" comes from the Dravidian idiom Kond, which means "green mountain." For almost 1400 years, this art form has been practised. Flora and fauna, people's daily lives, deities, festivals, and festivities are common subjects. They reenact legendary tales, natural phenomena, significant events, and ceremonies. These paintings are bold, brilliant, and vibrant, with a lot of detail and complex craftsmanship.

The Gond tribe is one of the country's oldest and largest tribes. Jangarh Singh Shyam, a Gond art icon and flagbearer, is credited with popularising the art genre. He was the one who brought the art form back to life and elevated it to new heights. He was also the first Gond artist to work with canvas and paper. He showed his paintings in museums all over the world, making the art form prominent and well-known. 

Colours in Gond art were originally drawn from natural resources such as cow dung, plant sap, charcoal, colourful dirt, mud, flowers, and leaves. Artists nowadays, on the other hand, employ synthetic colours such as acrylic paints, watercolours, oil paints, and so on.

6. Patachitra Painting

Patachitra Painting

Patachitra, also known as Pattachitra, is a traditional cloth scroll painting art form that originated in the Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. Mythological and theological themes, epics, Hindu deities, and other subjects are frequently depicted in this art form. Some of the popular themes represented by the Patachitra art form include Thia Badhia – a depiction of Lord Jagannath's temple, Krishna Lila – an enactment of Lord Jagannath as Lord Krishna displays his powers as a child, Dasabatara Patti – Lord Vishnu's ten incarnations, and Panchamukhi – Lord Ganesh's depiction as a five-headed deity. Patachitra is derived from patta, which means fabric, and Chitra, which means image. Natural and brilliant hues such as white, yellow, and red, as well as black, are used, along with bold and powerful outlines and ornate borders. Mohapatra’s are the artists who create this art style, which has been practised for over 3000 years. Raghunath Mohapatra was a well-known Patachitra artist who was also honoured with some of India's highest civilian honours.

7. Tanjore Paintings 

Tanjore Paintings

Tanjore or Thanjavur painting is a traditional Indian folk art form that originated in the southern Indian town of Thanjavur. It dates back to 1600 AD and is a typical South Indian painting style. These paintings are noted for their use of gold foil, which gives them a surreal appearance, the colourful panel painting done on a wood plank with a deity as the main focus, their use of semi-precious stones, and brilliant hues. Hindu deities, saints, scenes from Hindu Puranas, Sthala-Puranas, and mythological subjects are among the principal themes of Tanjore paintings.

These are panel paintings on a wooden plank, thus the name "palagi Padam," which means "image on a wooden plank." A fascinating aspect of Tanjore paintings is that the gold leaf used in them retains their lustre indefinitely. Tanjore’s paintings are exceptionally lovely and graceful.

Read More: Tanjore Paintings- Art to Cherish a Lifetime

8. Cheriyal Scrolls

Cheriyal Scrolls

The Cheriyal Scroll Painting style is a modified variant of Telangana's Nakashi art. These 40-45 foot scrolls, painted narratively, primarily represent stories from Indian mythology, Puranas, and Epics. Hand-woven khadi fabric is used to make these Cheriyal Scrolls. The canvas or fabric is treated with a carefully formulated solution and multiple applications are applied so that the canvas stiffens and absorbs colour, extending the painting's longevity. The artisans created the colours from natural sources, and the brushes are crafted from squirrel hair linked to a stick. Krishna Leela, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Shiva Puranam, and Markandeya Puranam are some of the most popular topics in Cheriyal paintings.

9. Kalamezhuthu


Kalamezhuthu is a ritualistic and ancient Indian art form found in Kerala's temples and holy groves. It is performed as a gift to gods and goddesses such as Kali, Ayyappan, Bhadrakali, and the snake god, among others. Natural colours and powders are used to create pictures of these gods on the floor. White – rice flour, black – charcoal powder, yellow – turmeric powder, green – powdered green leaves, and red – a blend of turmeric powder and lime – are the most common colored powders used. The artist creates the image with his bare hands, beginning in the middle and working outwards. Once the 'Kalam,' or floor drawings or paintings, is complete, the artist sings some ritual songs and plays some instruments to adore the deity, as is customary. The 'Kalam' is started at a specific moment and then deleted as soon as the rites related to it are completed. Kalamezhuthu is a unique art style whose practitioners are usually Kurups, Theeyadi Nambiars, or Theyyampadi Nambiar’s.

10. Mandana Art 

Mandana Art

Mandana art is a colourful, tribal type of Indian art that is also one of the earliest. It is painted on the walls and floors of homes in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as a protective measure for their home and fireplace. Mandanas are built to welcome gods and to celebrate special occasions. The first Mandana artists were women from the Meena community in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Mandana paintings are simple but striking. A bit of cotton, twigs, a clump of squirrel fur, and a date stick brush was used to create these paintings. Cow dung is mixed with rati (local clay), water, and red ochre to make the base.

Lime, brick, and chalk powder are used to create the design. Peacocks, tigers, florals, ladies labouring, Lord Ganesha, geometrical shapes, jaali, and Vedic yagna are some of the basic Mandana designs. The art form is on the verge of extinction, and it needs to be resurrected by those who can keep it alive and help it reclaim its former appeal.

11. Rajput Painting

Rajput Painting

Around the 17th and 18th centuries, Rajput paintings, also known as Rajasthani paintings, arose and flourished in the Rajputana royal courts of Rajasthan. The Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as episodes from Hindu mythology, are the principal illustrations. The paintings are intricately detailed and use vibrant colours. Minerals, plant sources, clams and shells, vegetables, and even precious stones are used to create the hues. There was also pure gold and silver utilised. The brushes used are manufactured from squirrel hair and are exceedingly delicate. The preparation of these hues takes weeks and months.

These Rajput paintings were usually found on palace walls, fort inner chambers, and Havelis. The Rajput paintings are divided into two styles: Rajasthani and Pahari. The Rajasthani style depicts Rajput courts in Rajasthan, while the Pahari style depicts Rajput courts in the Himalayan foothills.

12.Chittara Painting

Chittara Painting  

The traditional art form is generally practised by the females of the Deewary Community. They are seen residing in a district named Sagar in Karnataka. The Indian art paintings of Chittaraare known to be intricate wall paintings. These are the ones that are painted using resources available with nature such as yellow seeds and rice paste. The paintings are done on the walls and floors of their village dwellings, which are made of red mud. The daily life of tribal people, birds, and animals, flowers used for pooja, ceremonies, deities, socio-economic activities, and toys that children play with are all depicted in these Chittara paintings. In Karnataka, the art form is now practised by only about five families and is in danger of extinction. Colours are created by the community that practises the art form. They get their colours from natural sources including rocks and stones, minerals, trees and vegetables, and toasted rice, and they use a fine jute brush called a 'Pundi' to paint with. White, red, black, and yellow are the four primary colours they utilise.

13. Saura Art 

Chittara Painting

This tribal art style from the state of Odisha is a type of mural painting that resembles Warli paintings in appearance. The Saura tribe, one of the most popular and ancient tribes in the country, practises Saura paintings, often known as ikons. They regard these paintings as religiously significant. The Sauras' chief deity, Idital, is honoured with these simple yet detailed drawings and paintings on the walls of village homes. The sun, moon, tree of life, humans, horses, and elephants are all common motifs. The red or yellow ochre is used as a substrate for these Saura paintings and the brushes used are made from fragile bamboo shoots.

Wrap up:

India's brilliant art and craftsmanship represent the country's rich cultural variety. Paintings from many places, each symbolising tradition, customs, and philosophies, are passed down from generation to generation. Despite the overlapping themes of mythology and nature, each of these paintings has its beauty and flair. These art forms, which are all made with natural dyes and colours, will take you back in time and leave you in awe of their rustic appeal.

While you get to learn more about the traditional paintings and their history, you can buy and sell paintings online with Indian Art Ideas. Such online art galleries ensure a safe and secure online platform for you to buy paintings and sell Indian art paintings with utmost ease. 

Hurry up now!

Also Read For: How To Earn Money Through Selling Paintings Online?