Learn to draw Warli tribal art of India: Step by step guide

What is Warli art?

India has preserved various forms of folk arts that also include sculptures, pottery, painting embroidery and more. These folk art are practised mainly by the tribal people living in the interior regions of India. Warli art is a famous form of folk art made by tribal people living in the Maharashtra region, India. The tribal people of this region are known as Warlis, hence the art form is called Warli art.

The Warli people follow a simple living lifestyle. Warlis live in a mud hut. Their main God of worship is mother Nature. Farming is their main occupation. They celebrate every occasion with simplicity and oneness. Celebration is carried out mainly by dancing in a circle, while the musicians play Tarpa and drum (musical instruments of Warlis). This joyous moment of dancing in a circle is depicted in most of their paintings. Warlis use different geometrical shapes, inspired by nature to make a painting. For instance, a circle depicts the sun, and a triangle shape resembles a mountain. Warli art is drawn on the brown mud walls of the huts, using twigs with rice paste.

Picture credit: Unique art of Warli painting by Sudha Satyawadi

Two forms of Warli art : Ritualistic and non- ritualistic.

The ritualistic form of art includes the art made during an auspicious ceremony like Marriage popularly known as Lagna chowk and Dev chowk. Initially, only married women made ritualistic warli art on the walls, for special occasions.

Non-ritualistic forms of Warli art include drawings of day-to-day activities of the Warlis, with different human figures, animals, birds and insects, musical instruments, dancing in circles and so on.

Learn to draw Warli art

Warli art is the story in itself, a self-explanatory art that can be drawn digitally or on paper, on a wall or on a cloth. Inspired by the simplicity of the art, I self-learned the art by referring to various books. With the intention of sharing what I have learned, I wrote a book on How to draw Warli art which is available on amazon.

You can purchase my paperback book on How to learn Warli art from Amazon here.

You can also buy my first poetry book Treasures of life with Warli illustrations here.

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