History and Culture

Miniature Art Culture in Udaipur

Source: Art Udaipur

Miniature Painting has significance not only in being beautiful, but also academically, historically, and religiously. These paintings were used to record the lives of royalty. For a long time, when people couldn’t read, this artistry acted as a means of spreading and recording information, education, notions, and anything that needed awareness. This particular field of art needs extreme precision and finesse in the final product. It’s an exceptional thing for a person of Miniature Artistry to get the faces with utmost accuracy. Importance of Miniature Painting in Rajasthan is massive and Udaipur dwells on Miniature arts. 

Source: Udaipur Cycle Tour

The paint used in these paintings is mostly made from stones like Graphite, Lapis Lazuli, and many other natural resources. For colors like gold and silver, incredibly thin sheets of gold and silver are used called Varakh. Even while making the colors, the consistency of the color is vital. Details lie at the heart of Miniature Painting. Every stroke, fill, corner, and crevice of a painting demands a clean hand. So, naturally, the brushes used are excellent, they are made from the hair of a squirrel’s tails and it’s said, hair is also obtained from camel’s eyelashes. For mixing bowls, shells with smooth surfaces are used. For straight lines, wooden rod helps.

Source: Go Heritage Run

The four steps included in making a miniature painting are Sketching, done in reddish-brown ink, followed by Tracing done on the main canvas or paper, then the coloring is executed and lastly Stippling is done, where small strokes and dots are made with a small fine brush. Both round and flat brushes act as tools for the artists.

Source: Nat Geo Traveller India

Sadly, more than sixty percent of the miniature artists are changing professions as they see a bleak future. Art comes from the intensive conversation between mind and soul. An artist simply cannot function if these two decide to not cooperate. Everyone is gifted with a little bit of art but not all are called artists. It takes recognition of that art, and practice every day to be respectably called an artist. Even after so much effort and passion, Miniature Art is a dying one. There are great miniature artists in Udaipur who follow this art with all their might, but they don’t wish to pass it down to the generation.

Source: Pinterest

Miniature art is being kept alive by exhibitions, tourism, and a very small number of art lovers. If you are are someone who appreciates art, these paintings will amaze you. Visit the old city of Udaipur to support and appreciate local artists. Appreciating art is also an art.  


Is Miniature Art in Udaipur Dying?

The indigenous art forms are the soul of any place. They make up the city’s beauty in the same manner as the landscape does. Udaipur is indeed quite beautiful with the landscape part and also has a lot of artforms coexisting beneath the layers of modernization and technology. Well, there are many art forms such as handcrafted wooden toys, zinc artifacts, and others. Paintings take up a bigger portion of the art of the city and are one of the things not to be missed.

Mewar (Udaipur) is famous for its paintings. Miniature art is one such artform that is quite popular in the subcontinent and is aboriginal to Udaipur.

There are hundreds of miniature painting artists in the old city of Udaipur who are making their living by selling these arts to locals, foreigner and to bigger retailers.

I happened to come across one such artist who is painting miniatures since ages and makes his living through his art. The meager amount of money and newer generations not opting to learn the art is making this art of Miniature paintings drift into oblivion.

Let’s hear it from him- Is Miniature Art in Udaipur Dying?

(earphones recommended)


What are thoughts about the same? Do you also think that the artists are not valued much and hence are losing their art in the hands of inflation?

Share your inputs/queries at


Bet You Didn’t Know This is What Udaipur is Famous For!!

If you think the answer is lakes, then my friend you guessed it wrong. Most of the people in the city believe that Udaipur is famous for its beautiful lakes, but there is an art that is exclusive to the city and has the maximum number of artists of the same. By maximum number I literally mean quite a huge number, you can find these artists in every alley of the old city. And not just confined to the old city, many art galleries showcase a variety which is located outside a set circumference.

Well, Udaipur-the City of Lakes is famous for its Miniature Art, not only in India but also overseas.

Miniature Art
Source: Pinterest

Know what Miniature Art is and How it’s Made

Each creation takes from a couple of days to weeks to design depending on the detailing and size of artwork. The paintings are made with true stone colors. The powder is mixed with water and gum. To check if the color mix is ready to be used for art, it needs to be touched with a finger to see if it doesn’t stick back which confirms that the color is mixed well. It can then be used for painting on silk cloth or canvas. Black colors are derived from soot which is obtained from vessels put over chulhas fireplace used for cooking in villages. Gum doesn’t mix very quickly with these stone colors hence some laborious mixing is needed to develop them into colors apt for painting.

The making

The making of a miniature painting involves some critical steps:

  • Sketching

Done in reddish-brown ink, on paper.

  • Tracing

Once the sketch is done, the design is drawn on the main paper or canvas.

  • Coloring

After coloring and shading, the outlines of the object, as delineated in the initial sketch, are reconfirmed by a darker tone and the figures are given a well-finished form.

  • Stippling

Stippling is the process of softly stroking or shading by using small dots with a very fine brush.

History Of the Miniature Art

Miniature Art
Source: Webneel

The most excellent examples of painting belong to the first half of the 16th century, represented by a group of miniatures generally named as the “Kulhadar Group.” This group includes illustrations of the ‘Chaurapanchasika’ – “Fifty Verses of the Thief by Bilhan, the Gita Govinda, and the Bhagavata Purana and Ragamala. The style of these miniatures is marked by the use of brilliant contrasting colors, dynamic and angular drawing, and transparent drapery.

The miniature painting art form is famed across the world, but in the Asian subcontinent art, historians consider Rajasthan to be one of its cultural centers. Historians believe the Mughals to be the importers of miniature painting to India from Persia. Humayun’s team of Persian artists established the foundation of miniature art painting, while Akbar gave them patronage and had them train Indian artists to create art representing the royal Mughal life.

Featuring an Eminent Artist of Miniature

miniature art
Suchitra Soni

Suchitra Soni is one prominent artist in Udaipur, who has been painting for more than a decade, says that the art is mostly liked by foreigners and people who are new to this art form. She adds that this art-form requires intensive efforts and dedication as it is an intricate form of art. The art also involves using of 24 karat gold water and color that adds value to the painting.  She works under the name ‘Artistaan’ (formerly Winning Spirit) and values her art a lot. She has exhibited her work at various national and international galleries as well.

We visited her place, and undeniably it was a home of an artist. She also deals with Canvas making and several other forms of painting. The whole room, where she works, was filled with the aroma of colors and we could spot so many types of brushes and other drawing material. She also told us about the various forms of Miniature Art and how on the different variety of paper and ivory sheet or silk cloth the paintings are made. The brushes used are also very distinct from the usual ones and have very fine points or tips.

Upon querying about the time consumed to make an average size Miniature Art, she told us that it takes around 2-3 weeks to do the detailing while it may take a month or so to make a painting that requires intricate work.

Her conviction in her art is immense, and she runs classes of the same to teach the new generation about this ancient form of art.

Watch some of her art below:

Miniature Art
Her First Miniature Art


Miniature Art


Miniature Art
Fine Art- Miniature Art


Miniature Art
Radha Krishna Miniature Art


Miniature Art
Kangra Miniature Art


Miniature Art
Mughal Miniature Art


Miniature Art
A painting in Process


Miniature Art
A Painting in Process