Tirupati-based artist an expert in Thanjavur paintings

Tirupati-based artist an expert in Thanjavur paintings
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The city-based 35-year-old R Balaji has been creating fabulous Thanjavur paintings for the past 15 years. Specially, he is making the paintings of Lord Venkateswara, Mahalakshmi and Srikrishna.

Tirupati: The city-based 35-year-old R Balaji has been creating fabulous Thanjavur paintings for the past 15 years. Specially, he is making the paintings of Lord Venkateswara, Mahalakshmi and Srikrishna.

Majority of his art works relate to mythological characters, but he also created art works like money plant, Pothuluri Veera Brahmendraswamy and politicians.

At the age of 15, Balaji had started learning Thanjavur painting work. There is a lot of difference between regular painting and Thanjavur style paintings. Thanjavur painting process has similarities to Srikalahasti style of art where artisans use tree gum and natural colours instead of paintings to create colourful portraits.

It takes at least a month time for him to create one piece of Thanjavur style of painting.

In general, artists use teakwood boards and diamond rubies to draw Thanjavur paintings while Balaji has been using only normal wood to draw Thanjavur paintings. He is using material like tree gum, chalk powder, natural colours and Jaipur stones for painting. Presently, such type of artists are available in Chennai and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. In Tirupati, R Balaji is the only person, who has been making this type of art forms. So far, 116 Lord Venkateswara portraits were painted by him.

Speaking to The Hans India, he said, "From my childhood, I have been painting arts, but at the age of 15, when I was studying in Class X, I had learnt Thanjavur style of painting."

Presently, an artwork of Thanjavur painting costs up to Rs 50,000. Many people are approaching me to draw the religious portraits like Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Mahalakshmi, he added.

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