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Introduction to India Folk Art: How to make Sohrai Paintings

A complete course on Sohrai covering it's history, practices of making a Sohrai artworks requiring beginner level skills
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26 students
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Platform: Udemy
Video: 53m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

Table of contents


The Sohrai art painted on the mud wall is a matriarchal tradition of eastern regions of India, handed down from mother to daughter. Usually either monochromatic or colourful, these paintings are done totally by using natural pigments mixed in natural earth. These wall paintings are considered auspicious and intimately related to fertility and fecundity. The Sohrai art celebrates fertility in harvest where the walls are painted with animal motifs.
Immediately after the twinkling lights of Diwali, the walls of the tribal houses of Jharkhand start scintillating with the layers of indigenous white clay. To welcome their winter harvest, to worship their cattle as the Goddess of wealth and to offer a thanksgiving to the forces of nature, the tribal communities (Santhal, Munda, Oraon, Prajapati, Khurmi etc.) of Jharkhand and West Bengal celebrate a festival called ‘Sohrai’ in the month of October-November. The tribal women decorate their mud houses, repairing it after the rains, with designs of flowers, fruits, sparrows, peacocks, squirrels, cows, and various other nature-inspired designs. These wall paintings of Jharkhand are traditionally known as Sohrai, named after the namesake harvest festival.
The name ‘Sohrai’ is said to have derived from a paleolithic age word—‘soro’, meaning to drive with a stick. One of the oldest art forms of wall painting, this tribal art has continued since 10,000-4,000 BC. It is said to be following upon the similar patterns and styles once used to create ‘Isko’ and other rock arts in the region like Satpahar in Hazaribagh district. This art form was prevalent mostly in caves but now has been primarily shifted to the houses with mud walls.
Apart from depicting the Indian Tribal Life, Sohrai also serves as art therapy. You’ll learn:

•An introduction to the rich cultural importance of Sohrai in India.
•The Historical significance of this ancient form of Indian Folk Art
•Traditional materials, and practices of making a Sohrai artwork
•Making traditional shades of Sohrai using poster colours
•Brush handling techniques for various aspects of making a Sohrai painting which includes: the surface, border, motifs, and patterns
•Drawing Sohrai motifs and patterns
•Composition of a Sohrai artwork

You will learn

✓ A complete understanding of how to make a sohrai painting
✓ An introduction to the historical and cultural significance of Sohrai in India
✓ Understanding the usage of art as a storytelling medium
✓ Making traditional shades of Sohrai using poster colours
✓ How to use poster colours
✓ Basic brush handling techniques
✓ How to draw Sohrai motifs and designs
✓ Understanding the composition in a Sohrai artwork
✓ You’ll be awarded a certificate of completion at the end of this course


• No prior experience required in the field of art
• Basic art supplies: Brushes, poster colours, and acrylic sheets.

This course is for

• Beginners and hobbyists willing to explore new forms of art
• People already practising art and willing to add another feather to their hat of achievements
• People seeking art therapy
• Visual Art Students
Indian Folk Art Courses & Art Marketing
Shuruart, a for profit social enterprise, is based out of Varanasi. The company is a platform for small town Visual Arts students to grow as a professional. We sell their artworks and also groom them to become future art entrepreneurs when they leave college. Currently we’re active in Varanasi and Patna.
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Platform: Udemy
Video: 53m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

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