Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and are characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, holi, surya shasti, kali puja, Upanayam (sacred thread ceremony), and durga puja (when one prays to Goddess Durga).
The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithala Painting are shrouded in antiquity and mythology.
Madhubani painting has been done traditionally by the women of villages around the present town of Madhubani (the literal meaning of which is forests of honey) and other areas of Mithila.
The themes & designs widely painted are the worship of Hindu deities such as Krishna, Rama, Siva, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Sun and Moon, Tulasi plant, court scenes, wedding scenes, social happenings around them, etc. Floral, animal and bird motifs, geometrical designs are used to fill up all the gaps. There is hardly any empty space in this style. The skill is handed down the generations, and hence the traditional designs and patterns are widely maintained.
Cotton wrapped around a bamboo stick forms the brush. The colours applied are prepared by the artists. Black colour is obtained by mixing soot with cow dung; yellow from turmeric or pollen or lime and the milk of banyan leaves; blue from indigo; red from the kusam flower juice or red sandalwood; green from the leaves of the wood apple tree; white from rice powder; orange from palasha flowers.
Forms of Goddess Shakti:
The colours are applied flat with no shading. There is normally a double line drawn for the outlines, with the gap between the lines filled by cross or straight tiny lines. In the linear painting, no colours are applied. Only the outlines are drawn.
Raas Lila (Lord Krishna dancing with Gopis):
Tree of Life: