Enhance the Asian decor in your home with creative Rangolis

As promised in this blog post on how to decorate your home in the Indian style, here is a handy guide to creating a Rangoli in your home. Rangolis are often referred to as Painted Prayers. They are traditionally linked to a religious event such as a puja in India, but of late, they have also become an easy way to pretty up spaces. Indian homes also create colorful rangolis at their doorstep as a symbolic welcome to guests. Believe me, one does feel honored and wanted when entering a home with a doorstep rangoli.
A colorful corner rangoli Picture courtesy:paulancheta

So why not learn this creative and easy peasy art, make your home look colorful, and welcome your guests
(it need not be on your doorstep, but on your living floor, or wherever your Indian decor is arranged) with a rangoli? If you are planning a party with the Indian theme, read the post below for a grand idea on how to do the "aarthi" for your guests too.

Coming back to Rangolis, they can be as simple or complicated as you wish. For a simple Rangoli like the one below, all you need is a piece of white chalk.
Picture courtesy: mr prudence

The above deign will look great on dark floors and wooden floors. If you are working on a light colored floor, then substitute white with a dark colored chalk.

That was a very basic rangoli design. How about making a more colorful one now? Check this out.
Picture courtesy: mr prudence

Much better, right? But still very basic.

This next one is really colorful, and the medium is rangoli powder (available in Indian stores), chalk and diyas. Quite a combination. It was clicked by photographer Naim Shaikh at his office in Mumbai last Diwali.
Picture courtesy: Naim Shaikh

You will be happy to know that Rangoli is not just about drawing designs with a chalk. There are various other media - colored powder (like the one above), flowers, diyas (small Indian earthen lamps, like the kind used during Diwali), grains and dried legumes. The most attractive designs use a combination of these media. Chalk is usually used as the base, to draw outlines of the patterns. The picture is then filled in and accented with the medium of your choice.

Rangoli designed, created and photographed by kamerakrazy

Rangoli with pulses and grains clicked at the YUMI Festival 2006
by food chain consultant Rose Bridger

Mixed Media rangoli/ Picture courtesy paulancheta

In my quest for beautiful and original rangolis, I came across this very simplistic, yet eye catching and thoroughly original design by Nirmitee. She uses flowers and leaves to make her unique rangoli. Check it out.

Rangoli designed, created and photographed by Nirmitee Raorane

And now, hold your breath, because nothing will prepare you for these awesome designs. Created by Sujata, these are true masterpieces.

The peacock below is done with rangoli powder and chalk, while the one on the
left is done with fresh flowers.

Rangolis designed, created and photographed by sujata

I asked Sujata for some tips and this is what she had to say, "Yes, I do
sketch sometimes on paper first but mostly its spontaneous. For a big rangoli, it's better to plan out the design, the colors and the medium out first. However, if you just want to create something fun, innovate as you create. Blend styles and mediums, and don't restrict yourself to the typical traditional styles.I love to explore and encourage those who are interested, so I hope these pictures help out the 'creative kind' who read your blog".

To get you started, here are links to sites that offer rangoli design pictures for download.
Aspex Design
Journey Through India

So there you go, add some color to your home and life. Make rangolis with
flowers, grains, legumes, beads, bottle caps, sand, anything! The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

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