Watercolour: Painting a Continent
Watercolour had a huge impact on the story of art in India. Watercolour paint-blocks were first manufactured in England in the late eighteenth century, and then shipped to India by the East India Company. For those on the move, including itinerant soldier-painters like Alexander Allen, and professional artists such as the Daniells, watercolour paint allowed them to quickly colour the pencil sketches they made on the road. Indian artists adopted this new medium. Company School painters used watercolours to depict trades and occupations. For Kalighat painters, watercolour shaped the aesthetics of their artform. Based at the Kali Temple in Calcutta, teams of artists rapidly produced images of religious deities as well as figures from the gossip and intrigue of daily life.