The famous author, Henry David Thoreau once opined, “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” That is what has inspired millions to fall in love with art in its many forms. Rangoli is one such art form that has been practiced since ages in India. Colorful, vibrant and creative, the Rangoli has been getting more creative each day. Known by various names in different regions, such as ‘alpana’ in Bengal, ‘kolam’ in Tamil Nadu, and ‘muggu’ in Andhra Pradesh, the art of making Rangolis has been a long-established ritual in each and every Indian state. In fact each of these states uses a different variant of the Rangoli. These beautiful patterns are diverse in the motifs used; while some stand out because of their geometric balance, others resemble paintings of gods and goddesses or even the simple flower. Every auspicious occasion in Hindu tradition, calls for a Rangoli, which is drawn on the ground, using a variety of materials. Be it a wedding or a pooja, a Rangoli is a must. There are several households where drawing a Rangoli is a daily affair. In fact, Rangoli making is such a rage that colleges, schools and offices even organize competitions to see who has achieved mastery over the much needed skill.
Tips For Making An Amazing Rangoli
• Before you begin your Rangoli, it is a good idea to have a vague plan on the design you would be drawing. If you are a creative person this step should come naturally to you. However, in case you don’t consider yourself an artist, fear not, because there are a wide range of books and websites that can give you a basic concept or even a readymade design to get a head start. For those who aren’t a pro at this, you could consider drawing a rough sketch on paper before you start.
• Choose your canvas; though usually drawn on the ground, you might want to place a large sheet of paper to make the Rangoli on. Ensure it’s a place where there is least possibility of people or pets stepping on your masterpiece. Also, selecting an area that is spread out, and free of clutter, helps you draw a bigger design, and gives you the option of using more colors.
• If you want you could draw the outline on the floor with a piece of chalk or a white glass marking pencil. You could also place small dots with chalk or the medium you are using, for instance, rice flour, as a guideline for your drawing. There are a lot of people who no longer need to do so, owing to years of practice.
• Once you have your outline ready, go crazy and fill it up with colors. Rangoli colors are readily available, but there’s no limit to your inventiveness. Use whatever kind of colors you wish to, and you will be showered with praise for your aesthetic sense and imagination.
• While filling in the Rangoli, you need to keep in mind to be careful not to let the colors merge, unless it’s precisely the effect you want. It’s also easier to make a Rangoli if you start from the center and gradually draw the designs outside, giving rise to a stunning motif. This way, there are fewer chances of the colors smudging, and more chances that you’ll get the perfect pattern.
• There are certain rules for making the perfect Rangoli, especially if you are using powdered color. You need to take pinches of the color and slowly sprinkle them onto your design. This technique allows you to draw finer lines, and keeps the color inside your pattern.
Medium For Rangoli
• Rangoli can be done using a variety of media. Depending on the design, you may choose the shades of color you want. You could use the floor as the background and make your design using a single hue, or you could use a combination of colors to make it look snazzier.
• Traditionally, different states use different materials to make their Rangolis. In the states down south, rice flour is used to make kolams, and sometimes it may also be replaced with wheat flour. For a dash of color, haldi and kumkum are used to fill in the gaps between the designs.
• In states like West Bengal, the ‘alpana’ is made using rice paste. Uncooked rice is soaked for more than an hour in water, and then ground into a fine paste. A small cloth is then dipped into this rice paste and the tip is used to draw the picture. For thicker lines, the tip is adjusted accordingly. This medium works best if the floor is red or grey.
• Nowadays with the fast life that people lead, they want things the easy way, and hence even making the Rangoli has become uncomplicated with readymade templates and stencils widely available in the market.
• Rangoli powder, which comes in myriad colors, may also be utilized. They are easy to use and can be swept off or wiped away without leaving a stain. A cheaper alternative would be food coloring, though the options become more limited in such cases, and the color is difficult to get rid of.
• Various kinds of flowers and their petals are also a popular medium for making Rangolis. They add a touch of elegance to your design, making people stop and admire it for longer than usual. Though the end result is stunning, it does demand a lot more patience on your part, since you have to choose them according to color, and then separate the petals as per your design.
• In case you want to think out of the box, you could use any material at home, be it hamas beads, quilling paper, fruits, stick on glass bindis, glitter, or sequins. For a more artistic touch, keep a bowl of water, and place flower petals and candles to build your own floating Rangoli.
Explore this article, and find out thirty innovative & simple Rangoli designs that are easy to replicate and will make you go, “Wow!” So, explore your experimental self this year, and have a blast making amazing Rangolis.