Master the Art of Warli in 22 Easy Steps

Passion for learning and doing something new has always been a top priority in my life since I am a creative person and love indulging myself in new healthy hobbies. Last month I finally set my mind and joined a gym class which is a mixture of yoga, aerobics, boot camp and weights. I have not joined to lose weight but to tone my muscles, get more flexible and stay healthy from within. It’s been such a stress buster too. I dedicate that one hour entirely to myself and it’s an amazing feeling. Now I know what muscle pain feels like but I’ll quote what my fitness freak friend quotes each time after class; “no pain is no gain!”

The other thing that I took up is something my artistic soul wanted to learn years ago. My cousin uncle from Pune, Shabbir Khambati, is an astounding artist. He was the first person who taught me how to colour neatly, that is, by first colouring the borders of the picture and then colouring the inside space in one particular direction. This must have been around 12 years ago or more but I still remember it clearly. We were at his place for his daughter’s wedding. When I was about to enter his home, I spotted this red coloured wall that had white figures painted by joining triangles, dots and lines. My parents asked my uncle what this form of art was called, to which he replied, “It is a WARLI PAINTING!”

Warli Painting is a tribal art mostly done by Adivasi from North Sahyadri Range in India but it’s now a trendy quotient. I am sure you must have spotted it on walls, on canvas paintings, bags, earthen pots, kurtas, sarees, etc. I had seen it on my college campus walls. Even Coca-Cola had made a few advertisements during 2010’s Diwali based on Warli Art.


I have been quite independent when it came to learning anything new, I have never been trained. I guess I have a natural ability to pick up things on my own. But I do need some observation or guidance. For instance, I never learned to actually weave a dreamcatcher through someone who sat next to me and taught me step by step. I simply watched a Youtube video and picked it up in one go. From there on I always keep improving on this skill I picked up and that’s how I am good at the things I do, I keep practicing and adding my touch of creativity.

Recently, Uncle Shabbir, a former Mercantile Marine Engineer in the Merchant Navy and now a full-time artist, compiled a beautiful book that would help every artistic soul to learn the Art of Warli Painting. He also personally teaches in Pune and USA but he wanted to reach out to a wider audience and make them aware of this art form and learn it all at their convenience and in their comfort zone. After all, we are a part of the DIY generation and this totally meets out needs of learning at our own pace and time, considering our busy and competitive lives.

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This book, Master the Art of Warli in 22 Easy Steps, comprises step by step graphical instructions on how to make human figures, animal figures, non-living things, nature and abstract designs, etc. in Warli. There is a practice page for each step. As you progress further you realise you are getting a hang of it and begin to understand the shapes used to make each symbol and figures. Towards the end, there are exercises on how to make an entire village scenario and much more. The book ends with the artist’s work done in various places and pictures of his students at the Warli Workshops and so on.

Warli Book 6

This book is great for beginners and suitable for every age group. Also, you don’t have to go all the way to a class to learn. Order it home and carry it along anywhere you go and keep practising page by page. Soon you can make paintings in Warli form on walls, canvases, mud pots, bags and so many other surfaces. You can get so very creative after learning Warli through this book. If you are a teacher or parent you can get this for the kids and learn along with them as such activities bring out a lot more creative interaction. The book is written with lucid language which is simple to understand. I have tried a few of the steps myself and I cannot wait to do all of it as in when I get time. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who has a keen interest in art. So bond along with art and get your copies soonest. I would love to know if you would like to buy this book. If you do buy it do share your experiences!

Warli Book 5

To purchase: Contact the artist Shabbir Khambati or his daughter Najma on their Facebook page to order this amazing DIY book. The book is priced at INR: 350/- [Free shipping is valid for a limited period.]

P.S. Please do like their Facebook Page and share this with people who love art or even better, gift them this book! #StayCreative #KeepLearning


-Zainab Attari


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