"Meenakari is the art of royals."
Have you ever visited the Taj Mahal?
If yes, you must have seen how beautifully meenakari art was cherished by the royals of that period.
Meenakari paintings have been a charm in the eye for centuries, mainly because of their use in bridal jewelry, metal ornaments, and unique process.
If you saw the all-time blockbuster movie "Jodha Akbar," the look of the actress must have taken your attention in a second. Elaborate necklaces and intricate earring designs never go out of fashion.
What makes this art more special is its story and the sense of heritage it comes with.
If you are a beginner to this art and want to know its story & make a Meenakari painting for yourself, this is what you're looking for!
What is Meenakari Painting?
Meenakari Painting is one-of-a-kind art that still stoles the heart of the wearer. It comes from a royal heritage and is loved by all. The art of Meenakari has been passed over generations, making learning the art a bit difficult.
It is one of the most famous art forms used since ancient times and continues to flourish today. The reason is simple: Meenakari artists have always encapsulated the essence of culture and tradition in their paintings.
The art of Meenakari is based on the process of enameling, which involves intricate designs over metals filled with vibrant colors and then heated to give the perfect finished look.
The main idea behind Meenakari Painting is to capture the beauty of nature in a single composition that can be finished quickly by artists. You will see birds, flora, plants, and a royal caliber in every meenakari painting images you'll see.
What is the Story of Meenakari Art?
When one talks about Meenakari Painting, a royal feel is there, but how and when did this art form start, and how did it end up being Rajasthan's royalty?
Meenakari originated in Persia. The word "Meenakari" is derived from Minoo, which means heaven in Persia.
It was brought to India by the Mughals. They adored elaborate and intricate designed jewelry and recognized meenakari as Shahi's artwork.
And that led the art to spread its name in other places. Meenakars (who make meenakari designs) started Meenakari not only on jewelry but also on handicrafts artifacts.
This art form gained great recognition when Raja Man Singh of Rajasthan decided to use it for Darbar ceremonies and portraits. He embraced the art in 16th century and requested the Meenakars to visit Rajasthan.
To this day, Jaipur prides itself on being a brimming hub for Meenakari.
Thanks to him, these Meenakars were able to bring their art to Jaipur. Since then, the craft has been able to flourish. And people have used Meenakari art abundantly.
5 Types of Meenakari Paintings you can Try.
You'll find five types of Meenakari Painting, mainly based on the colors used in their making. Red, Green, Blue, and White enamels dominate in the art.
It majorly depends on the design, many ornaments have different intricate designs which need to be enameled accordingly.
And then, precious stones such as diamonds, Rubies, and Emeralds are used for decoration which makes it more beautiful.
Here are the five types of Meenakari paintings you'll get to see:
1. Ek Rang Khula Mina.
This type of meenakari is done with a single color and is used to fill the depressions of art. The Color is transparent and leaves a golden-ish outline around the figures to focus on the details, which is mesmerizing.
2. Panch Rang Mina.
Panch Rang Mina uses 5 colors to make colorful figures and give intricate details to the design. The colors used are White, Light Blue, Dove, Dark blue, and Green.
These designs represent a particular theme and are combined with the techniques to flourish the design.
3. Gulabi Mina.
The Gulabi Mina is very popular in Varanasi and is an eclectic style of Meenakari. The dominant Color, as suggested by the name, is Pink, taken from original roses.
In this art style, the pink enamel is applied on an opaque white background, and different shades of colors are used to highlight the subject with contrast.
4. Bandh Mina Khaka.
This Minakari art style is similar to "Ek rang khula Meena." The difference is that in "Bandh Mina khaka", the transparent color has opaque outlines to highlight the figures instead of golden.
5. Stone Carving.
Stone carving is mostly used in jewelry design to make a deep impression on the article. In this mini style, different stone carvings are combined with the art of enameling, creating a beautiful Kundan.
What Colors can you Use for Meenakari Painting?
The colors or enamel used to fill the design depressions on metal are not standard colors that you use to paint usually. But these colors are essentially metal oxides infused with powdered glass.
These colors are different in their raw form and change into the original meenakari shades slowly. The shades of the Color mainly depend on the concentration of these oxides.
The actual enamel color comes out only when the metal is heated (at 850 degrees Celsius).
Meenakars often rub the designed metal with some tamarind or lime to enhance the Color of the enamel.
Here's How you can Get the Shades for Meenakari:
The primary colors: Red, Blue, and Green, come from iron, cobalt, and copper oxides.
The Secondary colors -
- Violet - manganese carbonate
- Yellow-potassium chromate
- Black - a mixture of cobalt, iron, and manganese.
Additionally, the designers use clear glass, the powder of several precious stones, in the coloring process to give it the desired look.
Which Metal Should you Choose for Meenakari?
Meenakari Painting is done on metal enameling, so choosing the right metal comes out as a task. Some metals are used more promptly for meenakari than others.
Silver is Meenakari's most frequently used metal, as enamel adheres best to pure metals. Also, silver withholds primary colors like green, blue, and yellow just fine.
Contrary to that, Gold has always been the first choice for Meenakari jewelry. It holds the enamel better and brings the colors right out of the enamel. Gold can take all sorts of colors, which looks as stunning as possible.
Gold, copper, and silver used to be the most used metals. But, these days, you can find a far more affordable metal - "the White metal."
All pieces of Meenakari paintings hold the durability of the metal they embossed on. You can find many products with Meenakari enameling almost everywhere these days.
It is a common misconception that Meenakari is only used on ornaments and jewelry which is not really true.
The art is used on multiple products, often with a copper or marble base, including bowls, vases, spoons, figures of deities, wall pieces, and many more.
How the Process of Meenakari Painting Looks Like?
Meenakari Painting is done on a metal which is called 'chitras.' And the artist who makes intricate meenakari designs is known as 'Meenakar.'
The art is based on the process of enameling, a metal substrate is fused on high heat, which allows the meenakar to create intricate designs with colors directly on the metal surface.
Let us try to understand the steps involved in making meenakari art on metal:
- Firstly, make depressions on the metal that has to be enameled.
- Then, you have to fill the base with white or pink enamel.
- You can add different combinations of colors depending on the design and requirement.
- Usually, five colors are applied to the engraved method.
- The metal goes through intense heat to intensify the appeal of the enamel.
- Finally, the metal is polished for finishing. You can choose to apply more heat to polish the design.
- Then, decorate the structure with precious stones to turn it into a beauty.
This process was primarily invented to be used on metals; however, later, Meenakari was done on stones, marbles, and everything that could withstand the enameling process.
For a better understanding, you can also refer to images of meenakari Painting, which will provide you with a broad perspective of the art.
Where can you Apply Modern Meenakari Paintings?
Meenakari paintings are one of the oldest art forms which allows you to be creative with the art. You can take any metal, marble, or a simple bottle and try your hand on it.
Usually, meenakari paintings are done on metal or ceramic. After the design and enamel application, the pictures are heated to correctly set the artwork's Color.
Some designs have become the pride and recognition of the art, and the meenakari peacock painting is one of these.
Here are some of the applications of Meenakari art:
Meenakari is engraved on many pieces of furniture, including beds and chairs.
It gives a royal vibe and the intricate designs on the furniture make it expensive to buy. Still, when placed in home, the meenakari artworks greatly enhance the elegance of your house .
Meenakari jewelry is a rage amongst brides and is an essential part of a family's heirloom. This trendy jewelry still shines with its traditional outlook and precise design.
The meenakari jewelry looks awe-inspiring when combined with stone carving and Kundan work. You can easily find pieces of meenakari jewelry, like earrings, bangles, kadhas, necklaces, in markets nowadays.
The meenakari art form is also used to beautify several home décor and antiquities today.
You will find many trendy products like the meenakari royal blue swan set handle, white swan hand enameled in metal, and several other products.
These are among the distinctive assortment of meenakari art products available in markets.
Materials Required for Meenakari Painting?
Meenakari is a traditional painting technique. And it can be done on glass, metal, wood, fabrics, and marble, etc.
There are certain materials which are not suitable for the art of meenakari. Still, people have managed to beautify them with it and the genuineness stayed despite the changes in process.
If you are yet to make your first Painting, then starting with simple meenakari painting designs would be a good option.
But, for its making, you'll need suitable materials to make something creative with meenakari Painting:
Here are some of the materials good to have in your reach :
1. Canvas or MDF board 12×12inch
2. Glass bottle
3. Rectangular wooden plank
5. 3d acrylic cones
6. Glass colors
8. Flat brush
10. Bowl of water
12. Plaster of Paris
14. White acrylic color
15. Yellow carbon paper
Easy Steps To Make Meenakari Painting on Canvas.
Meenakari Painting on Canvas is on trend these days. If you want to make your canvas meenakari painting, starting with an Outline or structure always helps.
Preparing meenakari painting outline designs beforehand helps speed up the process.
Here are some basic steps to have a sense of structure in your mind:
- Clean the surface with a soft cloth and make an outline.
- Apply a base coat of paint.
- Apply the design with a brush and blend it into the parts until you have achieved your desired look, consistency, and texture.
- Apply another layer of paint if necessary to create shading. Then, add highlights or stones to areas, this will help provide depth to your Painting!
Make your own Meenakari Crafts.
This beautiful art is so famous to date that people have started to use the making of meenakari's idea and creatively transform it in many different ways.
You can craft your own idea, it can be as simple as a project you can do with your kids. To start, you can try meenakari glass painting, one of the simplest forms to excel.
You have to take care of some important things like getting the pattern right which is the base of the art. For this, you can use a stencil (a drawing made by cutting out shapes) and paint over it with nail polish to ensure you get your colors right.
The nail polish gives it an interesting texture that makes it look even more like real meenakari paintings!
If you don't have time for stencils or want something more permanent than nail polish, just use acrylic paints—they will probably work just as well.
Beginner Meenakari Painting Designs to Try.
Starting as a beginner is no doubt confusing. But there are plenty of easy meenakari painting designs for beginners that you can take as a newbie and learn the making of this beauty.
You can start with a stencil to prepare the structure( the border in case of a mirror). A basic design will help you decide the colors and stones to use better.
Prepare the materials beforehand to avoid any delay in the art, as the timing of each step makes the art more delicate and beautifies the intricate designs.
If you want to try metal meenakari, using "white metal" as your first choice might be wise.
Here are some of the basic meenakari designs you should give a try as a complete beginner:
- Make a beautiful mirror meenakari design.
- A metal bowl is perfect for giving it a try.
- Meenakari designs on a Canvas.
- Bottles and glasses look as pretty as heaven.
- Meenakari Painting on Marble.
No matter what article you choose to beautify with the art of meenakari, the look of the art always charms the eye of the viewer.
As you understand how the process works, you'll get a better pick up on it and have a favorite meenakari painting form without even realizing it.
Ready to be a Meenakar Yourself?
Meenakari is all about the art of Painting, and you can start your collection with a few simple steps. Whether you are interested in making meenakari on canvas or want to beautify the metal plates, you can shape up all.
Meenakari art is very complex and hard to learn in itself, so it won't be a piece of cake to learn. But with patience and determination, you'll surely be the creative guy!
If you want to learn meenakari art without the hustle and bustle of searching on the internet - "How to do meenakari painting on marble?"
We've got you covered with the right resources at your fingertips!
Download the BitClass app and start your Meenakari journey with a guide at every step.