Nagamandala - The Process

When I sat for Ashlesha Bali pooja performed, the mandala art always caught my attention. It was also my pass time while the rituals were being performed. That is when the idea to paint it occurred and not just the mandala but how different people are involved in it. Most of my paintings, if not all are theme based and this had to complete that. Simply drawing a mandala would not serve the purpose or convey my intent.

Buying an easel came of great help. Though the initial sketch was done in matter of few minutes, the painting took several weeks due to long gaps between the sessions.  Sketch involves two aspects- One the mandala itself. Mandala is drawn as to invite God on to each place and house them there during a ritual. The second aspect is the pooja; for whom it is performed, by whom it is performed and how it is done. One of the priests is offering Pinda to the respective snake lord.

I gathered some images of the mandala from the net and from my recollections. The mandala colors are more or less same but I did change on the square box to black and some to have various shades of green. I picked blue for the background. 

As I approached the tough part of the painting – the finishing, I noticed the yellow being very prominent and out of sync. It had to be shaded and thus the yellow was changed to more presentable shade of colors.

I enjoyed playing with the colors here. I mostly used Chinese paint that I believe is poster color.  Handmade paper was my first choice for the painting as I just love the texture.

When the painting came to an end, I did make some final changes that perhaps changed the objective of the whole painting. I would not disclose it to bias your thoughts but the painting itself was an experience that changed certain perspective for me.


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