As a nation, we have failed time and again to celebrate the value of art, though our history declares otherwise. The large part of the population still considers art as a non-essential affair, not paramount to our living. In the recent years, the scenario has begun to change. More people embrace the craft, and there an increase in its patronage. The success of art biennials in prominent cities across the nation are proof of this fact.
An Introduction to Illustrations
An illustration is simply a printed work of art. It can be anything from a drawing to a painting or a simple sketch. Illustrations mostly accompany any text, which can also be of commercial nature. For several years illustrations were predominantly a part of newspapers and magazines.
One can commonly find illustrations in comic books, cartoon strips, greeting cards, advertisements, and as animation. Many techniques are used to create illustrations, like sketching and painting.
To replicate these illustrations processes such as woodcuts, etching and lithography were commonly used. Since the advent of technology, the graphic software is used to create illustrations. Among the most widely used software are Photoshop, Abode Illustrator and Corel Draw.
A few illustrators, however, stick to the traditional methods of pen and ink, watercolours, and wood engraving.
The History of the Craft
The origins of illustrations are as old as civilisation. From the cave paintings of India to the ones in Spain, different races have embodied this form of art. These caves have several illustrations of what the people observed around them. The artwork on the cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora are renowned for their unique style. It has survived thousands of years since its inception.
From the earliest collectives, it is apparent that several rulers and kingdoms across the Bharat continent patronized art. From the Mauryans to Guptas to the Mughals, there have been great connoisseurs of art. Before the Mughal era, the illustrations on the temple walls in the Northern region were imminent.
In the Medieval age, during the rise of Bhakti Movement, illustrations were found accompanying texts that supported the Vaishnava cult.
Following the Medieval period, since the early days of printing, illustrations have accompanied written texts in the newspapers and magazines. During the independence struggle, several home grown publishing houses, depended on the power of illustrations to add dynamism to the written texts of patriotism.
The Styles of Illustration
There are several styles of illustrations. The ones for children or the ones used for arts and crafts are prevalent. The other forms that are practised include:
- Art Deco
- Post-modern illustrations
Is Illustration Considered Fine Art?
An illustration is seen as an explanation of an idea, and hence people do not view it as a fine art. Fine art is an approach that creates thoughts and raises questions. However, these petty differences cannot deny the fact that any art is supreme.
The illustration is a more freeing art form, something that a common man can appreciate and enjoy without much examination of the minute details. Illustrators require high levels of skill and vision and a signature style. Several talented and young Indians embracing this art form are on the rise.
In the recent years, corporate houses have supported this type of art, in accommodating them in their spaces. There are several platforms including the virtual ones and flea markets that bring this kind of art to the masses. Illustrations are the objet d’art that is an aesthetic collectable for a common man.
LSI Keywords: work of art, drawing, painting, plain sketch, fine art, illustrations in comic books, pen and ink, watercolours, wood engraving, illustrations for children, collectable for a common man.