Backdrops painting for Nayanmargal Drama: A Journey of Creativity

~ Sharmila, Santhosh, Poonguzali, Preethi, Nithyasandhosh , Premkumar Murugan

Students of Isai Ambalam School decided to stage the “Nayanmargal” (saints in the Shiva) drama for the occasion of Sivarathiri and how their songs have made it to us now. The creation of backdrops played a crucial role in bringing the production to life. Over a period of six weeks, we embarked on the journey of painting these backdrops, encountering various challenges and experiences along the way.

Initial Challenges Encountered:

One of the initial difficulties we faced was sourcing the right materials after finalizing the scenes of the drama to be displayed. As it was our first-time painting on such large cloth we did not have confidence that we will be able to do it. We decided to create draft paintings on smaller cloth pieces to test our abilities. Upon seeing the results, we gained confidence in our skills. We then prepared a list of materials required for the painting and provided it to the organizer, Anita akka.

Step-by-Step Painting Process:

Conceptualization: Initially, we planned to paint four backdrops: 1) a larger flowing Vaigai river with trees and bushes on both banks, 2) a temple gopuram with trees and people, 3) Nandhi facing sideways with four pillars, and 4) a palace. Later, we added a fifth backdrop—the Kailash Mountain which was painted by Arham.

Sketching: With the concept in mind, we began sketching rough outlines of the backdrops on the cloth and finalized them with Anita akka. This stage allowed us to experiment with different compositions and perspectives to ensure that each backdrop would complement the unfolding story on stage.

Layering Colors: Once the sketches were finalized, we embarked on the colorful journey of painting. Using acrylic paints, we meticulously layered colors to create depth and texture, bringing each scene to life with vibrant hues and subtle shading.

Detailing and Finishing: As the paintings progressed, we focused on adding intricate details and finishing touches to enhance realism and evoke emotion. Every aspect of the backdrops was infused with care and attention to detail. Adding details to the backdrops took more time to complete.

Collaboration and Feedback: Throughout the painting process, collaboration and feedback played a vital role in refining our work. We regularly consulted with Anita akka, friends, and fellow artists to ensure that the backdrops aligned seamlessly with the overall vision of the production.

Overall Insights on Painting:

Painting the backdrops for “Nayanmargal” was not just about applying colors to clothe; it was a journey of exploration and expression. As artists, we discovered the power of storytelling through visuals, transcending language barriers to convey the rich tapestry of emotions woven into the fabric of the drama.

In conclusion, the creation of backdrops for “Nayanmargal” was a testament to the transformative power of art.  When the backdrops were hung upon the stage they looked really good and amazing. As a artist we felt happy and accomplished.

Individual Insight on Painting:

My name is Sharmila, and I stand for courage and patience for myself and others. As I love painting, I volunteered to paint backdrops for the “Nayanmargal” drama. Initially, we were a bit nervous about painting on such large cloth pieces and whether we could finish on time. However, working as a team, we were able to overcome our doubts. After completing each backdrop, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction fueled our confidence. The praise from Anita akka and others made us feel good and motivated us to carry on and complete the backdrops on time. I had a wonderful team to support me throughout. Through this activity, I noticed qualities such as care, love, taking responsibilities, deep listening, courage to create, and the ability to plan and execute effectively.

Insight of Santhosh

Doing backdrop painting for the Nayanmargal drama was a wonderful experience because this was the very first time I made big-picture drawings and paintings. when I completed my first backdrop of natural scenery with the Vaigai River I felt satisfied and also I had a wonderful painting team to support me with other backdrops. From this activity I learned my life lessons like stillness is very important, focus on what we doing now, full concentration, preplanning plays a major role and more creative imagination.

My name is Poonguzhali and I stand for courage for myself and others. I volunteered to paint the backdrops for the drama. Whenever I had time, I helped with the backdrops. As a team, we worked to our full potential, and I felt accomplished with the work. When the backdrops were hung on the stage, they helped in setting the scene for the play. It was more satisfying and added colors to the atmosphere of the performance. Being a part of the creative process made me feel courageous, happy, and proud of our work.

My name is Preethi. I stand for courage, kindness and perseverance for myself and others. When I’m doing drama backdrop painting, I get to learn lot about myself. when I was painting it reflected my thoughts, emotions, and creativity. It helps me to understand myself better and appreciate the beauty within me. I also realize making mistakes is a part of the process. Sometimes the imperfections make the painting even more beautiful. While doing new things and making mistakes helps me grow and learn. Through painting, I learn to be patient and keep going, even when things don’t work out the way I want. When I paint with others, I learnt lot from them and inspire one another to create beautiful things. It’s really a wonderful experience that I really loved

My name is Nithyasandhosh. I stand for kindness and equality to myself and others. I volunteered to painting a backdrop for Nayanmargal drama. I love painting, before I have done painting in wall and paper but Its was my first time I am painting in a big cloth. I felt happy to paint with my team, and learn from each other. When I was painting I felt more focused in what I’m doing.  After finishing our 4 backdrops, I felt responsible and integrity.

My name is Premkumar Murugan . I stand for self confidence and equality for myself and others. My insight for painting Nayanmargal drama. So far I have only experienced painting on papers, As this was my first time of painting on big clothe, I felt nervous but when I met with my group I felt, I could draw and then I tried drawing and painting and it worked out well. After completing the backdrops, I felt complete and happy. It also helped to recognize my talent within me. It gave me a wonderful experience.