Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface (support base). The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is also used outside of art as a common trade among craftsmen and builders. Paintings may have for their support such surfaces as walls, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer, clay, copper or concrete, and may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, clay, paper, gold leaf as well as objects.
Painting is a mode of expression and the forms are numerous. Drawing, composition or abstraction and other aesthetics may serve to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, be loaded with narrative content, symbolism, emotion or be political in nature.
A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by spiritual motifs and ideas; examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to Biblical scenes rendered on the interior walls and ceiling of The Sistine Chapel, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other scenes of eastern religious origin.
Miniature Paintings were complex, colorful, and small in size, with delicate brushwork. Western Indian Jain miniature paintings have, however, left a permanent mark on succeeding Indian Painting. Jain religious themes and motives did not inspire copying but their influence was on style. The Jain use of strong pure colors, the stylish figures of ladies, the heavy gold outlines, the reduction of dress to pointed segments, enlarged eyes and square shaped hands are reflected both in Rajasthani and Pahadi paintings.
Various themes of miniatures are ‘The Ragmala’, ‘Nayik Nayika’, ‘The Seasons’, Gods, Goddesses, Animals of mythology, Folk themes, etc. There were various schools such as the Pala, Jain, Malwa, Mughal, Rajput, Pahari and Deccan. Each of which have a specific style and a specific theme of miniature paintings.