Made With Love
Made To Last
Made To Last
How Rice Art Is Made
Rice paintings are made by highly skilled artisans. The work is intricate, and it requires a great deal of expertise and patience. Each painting is the result of many hours of devotion, dedication, and detail.
There is an art and craft to rice paintings. Rice artists have excellent creative and visual skills and can create beautiful works of art. However, a lot of craft and sheer hard work go into each painting too.
Dedicated artisans spend many hours selecting, roasting, and positioning the rice in order to create their beautiful pictures. The journey from piles of grains of rice to the finished exquisite image is a fascinating one.
Come with us as we show you how much love, craftmanship, artistic prowess, and dedication go into each rice painting.
Selecting the rice
Obviously, the main material in a rice painting is the rice itself. Vietnam is blessed with an abundance of rice. (It is traditionally known as the “Rice Bowl of the World” because it exports so much grain.) So it is rarely difficult to source the raw material for the painting.
Artisans have to carefully the select the best rice for their painting. Large round grain sticky rice, like a painter’s broad brush, can be used for making strong lines and bold outlines. This rice is essential in helping to convey shapes.
Smaller grains can be used for the more subtle lines that join the main arteries of the picture. These can be used to bring the different elements of the painting together.
Finally, broken rice can be used for the fine details. Think of these as the delicate brush strokes that artists use to bring their paintings to life. Broken rice is used to convey intricacies of tone, shade, and colour.
Roasting the rice
A rice painting is comprised of different coloured grains of rice that come together, like a very fine mosaic, to create a stunning image.
However, the rice isn’t simply dyed or painted on. These different colours of the grains are achieved by roasting batches of grains at different temperatures for different periods of time to create many colour shades.
Having selected the grains, the artisan decides which colours are needed for the picture. Roasted rice paintings are generally made up of shades of white, brown, yellow, and black. By combining these tones, the artisan can create a beautiful picture.
Rice grains are naturally white or off-white. By roasting them, you can also get shades of brown, yellow, and black. In fact, a skilled artisan could roast twenty batches of subtly different colors! Larger paintings allow for a greater variety of colour.
Roasting the rice requires great skill and patience. The artisan must monitor the grains as they roast, gently adjusting the flame to achieve the right tones. And of course they must ensure that the batch doesn’t crack or burn.
Making the sketch
Having assembled the raw materials, the artisan can start to create the picture. Every painting begins with the artist’s vision, an intangible inspiration that compels the artist to capture a fleeting moment in time.
The first step in making this vision a reality is to sketch out the final painting. Just like an architect starts with a blueprint, so an artist begins with a sketch, an outline to guide the brush.
Artisans also work from an outline sketch. They often do this while waiting for the roasted rice to cool. They use this sketch to help them position the rice to create the finished painting.
Although the sketch does not have to be very detailed, it does require skill to capture the essence of what the picture will portray. The final picture can only be as good as the sketch on which it is based!
Positioning the rice
Next comes perhaps the most difficult stage of the process: adding the rice to the sketch.
A rice painting is made up of hundreds of grains of rice!
First, the artisan adds glue lines to the main lines of the sketch. The appropriately coloured grains of rice are then meticulously arranged on these lines. As you can imagine, this requires great patience and steady hands. These initial lines will form the skeleton of the painting, so it’s essential that they are positioned correctly. Larger grains are used for this part of the process, to create strong lines that become the framework on which the rest of the painting can be built.
Once the main lines are created, the artisan has a strong outline of the painting. Then comes the second part of the process. This can be regarded as the “colouring in” stage, as different coloured grains of rice are then carefully added between the main lines.
First, the artisan again adds glue to the parts of the picture that need to be filled in, carefully working on one section at a time. The artisan selects the colours that are needed to create the right tones in each section.
For this stage, smaller grains and broken grains might be used to create the finer details needed. The colours are combined to achieve the delicate composition that the artisan is looking for.
Finalising the picture
The artisan now checks the painting to make sure that the rice grains are securely in place.
The picture is then treated so that it doesn’t attract unwanted attention from rodents or insects. Rice, after all, is food!
Then the picture is placed out in the sun in order to dry it. That can take a number of hours.
Once the painting is fully dried out, it is placed in a sturdy yet attractive frame.
At this point, all the elements of the process come together to make a beautiful but robust work of art that will give you pleasure for many years.
As you can see, creating a rice painting requires many hours of dedication, skill, and care. Each artisan approaches their painting with a spirit of patient love, committed to creating a unique work of art. Something unusual. Something unconventional. Something imbued with the maverick spirit.
Find out why you should choose rice art!