Warli Art

1 hr activity

This Warli Art activity is suitable for all ages and can be simplified or extended to suit your child/children.

If you’re looking for printables, you can download the Warli Art activity worksheet here.

You will need:

  • Black felt tip pen or white crayon
  • White or black paper
  • Pencil

What is a Warli painting?

Warli painting is a tribal art which comes from Maharashtra in Western India. Traditionally it was created using a mixture of ground rice and water painted onto the mud walls of buildings. Warli paintings described myths, festivals and everyday life.

In 2006 a Warli artist called Ramesh Hengadi came to The Harley Gallery as an artist-in-residence. Over a two month period, he was shown around Nottinghamshire and painted what he saw including Sherwood Forest, Major Oak and Welbeck farmlands.

Making Marks (15 minutes)

1. Before your child starts to create their Warli art they need to practice the basic marks used in a Warli drawing.

Ask your child to practice drawing the marks below using a pencil and paper.

If you have younger children, encourage them to first draw the marks bigger and then smaller. They could also have a go at naming them such as a circle, square etc.



2. Now try drawing…

Warli Art examples - person dog house tree

Younger children may only manage drawing one or two symbols, ask them to choose their favourite to draw.

Warli Art Activity (45 minutes)

1. Using the Warli symbols of a dog, tree, house and person, create a scene.

You can use all the symbols, and more than once, or just select a few to use in the picture. Remember Warli art tells a story about their daily lives. Ask your child to relate their Wali art picture to their daily life (current situation or usual). For younger children, they could choose one symbol and repeat it or try to relate the symbols to members of the family, making children slightly smaller than adults.

Here is an example for inspiration, remember to keep it simple!

Warli Art example - finished drawing