Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rangoli 2012

Hello! Wish you all a very happy new year!
Here is the picture of my final Rangoli of Mother Teresa at a portrait rangoli exhibition with the Kala Chhand rangoli group, Thane.

Close-up images:

We were free to select any subject/theme. I decided to do Mother Teresa again.

I was asked to increase the difficulty level of rangoli this year and had to do a little more than just one figure/portrait like i did last year- <link>. So I had to have a nice composition too!

I could either have had two portraits, one in color and the other one would be monochromatic or black and white. But then I felt it was too ambitious for this time... So I decided to symbolize her love for every living being showing two hands freeing the bird.

So here are the images of how I started and how it took shape:

Day 1:
We were given three days to complete this rangoli. Because I had been working with paper and clay for a couple of months and learning new craft, I took considerably more time to sketch the portrait and compose the whole picture. Ideally I should have had the sketch ready so that on day 1,  I can paste, and get started with the colors.. But whenever I switch between the mediums, it takes me a lot of time to get used to working with a different medium. And somehow this time, I had a feeling that I had become super slow.. mind was pre-occupied and I took a lot longer to sketch simple figures.. So on my first day I just managed to finish the sketch late in the evening, rushed to the place, and pasted my sketch on the floor. Was too tired to prepare the colors/shades that day and rushed back home after pasting the sketch.

Day 2:
Started post lunch. Took about a couple of hours to prepare the basic shades.

The practice is to start filling up the area from the top left corner and then finish off at the right bottom corner.

Managed to do the eyes that day.

Day 3:
I started post lunch, around 2 pm. And was very slow at everything.. 
I got a feedback that the skin looked very dark and it had to have a little pinkish shade to make it look closer to the character. And so I removed the colors around the eyes carefully with a paint brush.

Prepared new shades for the skin color, adding more pinkish red to the yellows and browns plus white.

New shades!
After preparing the shades, it took a lot of time for me to convince myself that yes!! this is all going to look fine!!! I asked everyone around, if the new shades were fine and if I could start without spoiling the work. As it was the last day, I had no option but to stay back until I finish my full rangoli. I had to just get started as quickly as possible.

I knew in the beginning that it would be a little difficult for me to complete this rangoli and that it could be a little stressful, but then the character itself inspires. You remember what she said, and that gives you new energy to think positive and continue to do what you are doing. I have always had a lot of respect for her because there was no difference between her words and her deeds. I can only imagine how strong and sensitive the heart needs to be! to be able to see all the pain and sufferings and to love unconditionally… 

Patience is all that is needed! really. The room is so hot and after a while you feel tired sitting with legs folded… 
One of her quotes kept me focussed:
"Not all of us can do great things. But we all can do small things with great love". 
-Mother Teresa.

It was midnight by the time I finished the teeth and the face. Then the drapery took a lot longer than I expected.

The reference picture of pigeon had too many details in the feathers and the wings.. So I decided to make a simple pigeon that people can identify with fewer details. 

It was already 7.30 am on the inauguration day (4th day) and I still had to color the hands. Was too tired to do it! So thought of dropping them to finish off rangoli by filling that area with dark background.. But then Yogesh, whose rangoli was next to mine in the room, insisted to complete hands and not leave things unfinishd.. His works are brilliant! chk his amazing Gulzar rangoli here.

So with a couple of chai breaks, and nice breakfast, managed to do those hands with moderate level of detailing.  It was the first time after IDC days that I worked on something for about 20-21 hours at a stretch.

For the text, there's a calligraphy artist who has written quotes and nice things for everybody - for all the rangolis in the exhibition. I totally love the way it's been written!

In 2009 I made this rangoli of mother teresa at home. I did use the same quality of colors, but there wasn't anyone to tell me how to go about it. 

This year, I am happy with the progress I made. It is only possible if you have people who can point out your mistakes, give feedback, inspire you, motivate you, help you! And I am so SO glad that I am getting this opportunity to put rangoli with such fine artists and learn from them. Learning form the right people who can guide you and knowing the right techniques- both are equally important!

Hope you enjoyed reading the post and the process. Thanks for coming by! 
The exhibition is open till 23rd November. 10 am to 10 pm. New Girls school, Ram Maruti road, Thane west. Do try to come if you are around! :)

I am including the following two pictures that I found on the net, containing beautiful quotations by Mother Teresa.


A lot of people have mailed me asking for the address of the shops that sell these lake colors. So here is the address:

1. Mangal Jyot: Get off at Kari road station, take the east bridge, and take right turn outside the bridge. Ask someone about Bharat Mata theatre. The shop that sells lake colors is right opposite the theatre. You've to cross the road.

The second shop is in Masjid Bandar. Right opposite Jama masjid, sheikh memon street zaveri bazar
The name of the shop is Enayat.


  1. Hemali! This creation of yours is a marvelous story of commitment and labour of love! And I am surely posting this story on my page of inspirations! BRAVO! Keep up your amazing creative endeavor!
    Love & Wishes
    Chitra :)

  2. Amazing work dearo ... I feel short of words here to praise you and your creation. You are my star :) Keep up the good work as you always do !!

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Tanu :)

    1. I'm all smiles Tanu… thanks so much!
      Love and hugs back :)

  3. मेहेनत, धेर्य, और समर्पण की जीती जागती मिसाल हैं आप हेमाली :)

    1. वाह नवीन, बहुत धन्यवाद आपका .

  4. Really beautiful work. Reminds me of Michaelangelo's quote 'God is in the detail'. In its a fitting tribute to Mother Teresa... Someone who sacrificed so much for the joys of others!

    1. True. Unforgettable service with a beautiful persona.

  5. Hemali Hemali Hemali!!! I am at a loss for words! Brilliant is an understatement for both the blog and the Rangoli!

    I remember seeing your 2009 Rangoli and thinking to myself... 'God Hemali's work is brilliant'. Now when I see this one.. I don't know what to say... Really!

    I had no clue you blogged. I am going to read them all I promise!

    Feeling so inspired by Mother Teresa, the Rangoli, the simplicity of the blog and most of all YOU!

    Cheers and congratulations on all this brilliant work! I would love to see this exhibition. Will try and drop by!

    Love always,

    1. Moushmi! :) thanks so much :) Now stay inspired and start blogging!


  6. Excellent excellent, Hemali, and a fantastic, straight-from-the-heart blog! Kudos!

  7. This is brilliant work Hemali! Sharing this on Fb if you don't mind! :)

  8. Brilliant work, Hemali!This goes to show the level to which you are committed. Thanks for sharing it with us. Very inspiring indeed! Keep it going!

    Hope you are doing good!

    Phani Tetali

    1. Sir, thank you so much for encouraging words :) I'm doing fine, trying to explore more mediums and its applications before I narrow down the scope.. All the feedback and exposure that we have had at IDC, is tremendously helping me now. thanks you again! :)

  9. hi hemali...your art is awsome.. i attended the exhibition ..i have one query if you dont asking.. i also draw fine art rangoli at my office place..but i dont know how to make such fine colours i.e. texture so thin.. can you please help me so that i can draw a good potrait next time...please

    1. thank you Sapna:)
      Basically the colors that you need to use for portrait rangoli are called Lake colors. They look the same as the colors that you see in the market. But the difference is when you mix them with chirodi(white rangoli powder) they stay bright even after mixing... I mean you need to rub the lake colors really well with chirodi and it will still stay bright enough..Preparing the colors takes a lot of time..You might even feel the heat in your palm and fingers while mixing them..

      And once your basic colors are mixed well with chirodi, you need to use a sieve to remove all the bigger/coarse particles.. And you will be left with finer sieved rangoli powder which you can use to make different shades.
      Hope that explain things a little:)

      Also, if you need to learn it from a rangoli artist, then you could contact Umesh: +91 9967296039
      Umesh takes classes for portrait rangoli in Thane.

  10. just awesome..

    me bhi rangoli artist hoon. lekin aap jaisa nahi hoon.
    check my blog "".

    1. Thanks for sharing your work Ganesh. Very nice work with the portraits. I am so glad you made a blog showcasing all your rangoli works. Kala Chhand is also planning to have a website for all the rangoli artists. Will surely mail you the link to join once it is up. thanks again.

  11. Hi Hemali !
    just chanced upon ur blog while searching for something. Great work ! I am not a rangoli artist but I am going to participate for rangoli in my ladies club (trying to learn a bit on my own ). I do make simple rangoli at home on occassions. Can u guide me where can I buy lake colours in navimumbai/ mumbai/ thane ? I am so much inspired by ur work ! would like to try with lake colours, please help !

  12. Hi Hemali,
    Nice work, i am also interested to learn rangoli portrait. I lived in pune. Can yo please guide me where did i get these lake colours and is there any workshop conducted by you in Pune?

    1. I haven't bought colors in a long time because in the exhibition, we are provided these colors by the organizers.. But I remember having bought these colors from a shop near Parel station(central railway line). You can ask anyone outside the station for the direction, it is supposedly a very famous old shop that sells lake colors. Sorry, I dont remember the name.. Also there are places in thane..If you go before/during Diwali, it should be easier to find the shops.

  13. Very Good Madam ,
    Plese send me u r Contact no on

  14. hii hemali ... i liked ur work very very much .. lots of wishes to u .... can u pls tell me the name of colours u use for portraits.. actually i also tried making portrait .. but i used the colours i use for sanskar bahrati .. normal rangoli powder .. which dint gave me the effect i wanted ... also can u pls tell me where can i get this colours in thane.....

  15. Hello!!
    I got the address of two shops in Mumbai from where you can buy these lake colors used for rangoli:

    1. Get off at Kari road station, take the east bridge, and take right turn outside the bridge. Ask someone about Bharat Mata theatre. The shop that sells lake colors is right opposite the theatre. You've to cross the road.

    2. The second shop is at Masjid Bandar. Right opposite Jama masjid
    The name of this shop is Enayat.

  16. Thanks for sharing it

  17. Bro plss tell me how to make skin tone colours on rangoli .. which color mix together we get skin colour plss tell help me ??