The Indian Artist: Art from a Cone

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all doing well! Today I wanted to do a shorter post sharing with you all my newest mehndi and henna designs. I hope that you all enjoy!

I have gone into a little more detail as to what exactly henna, or mehndi, is in a previous post of mine on my piece, “The Art Between Genders“. But for the sake of explaining, here is a brief introduction into what exactly mehndi is. Henna, the plant itself, which is found in many parts of the world, is a small four-petaled flower ranging from yellow to pink. Twice a year the leaves are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder. This powder is used to dye hair and for the ancient eastern art of mehndi. Powder from the henna plant can be fine or coarse and pure natural henna powder can be bright to deep green, khaki, or brown. These powders render stains that are orange, red, burgundy, cinnamon, bittersweet chocolate brown, burgundy-black, black cherry, and near-black in color. Colloquially, mehndi and henna have become the same, referring to the method of applying body art with a smooth silky paste. It is most commonly applied to the hands and feet during times of joy and celebrations. No Indian wedding is ever complete without a Mehndi ceremony.

I fell in love with the beautiful art form that is mehndi from a very early age. I started trying my own hand out early on as well, practicing on anybody and everybody who would let me. Now, I practice on myself and my friends as well as simply

on paper.

Generally, mehndi can be commercially bought in a cellophane cone. This makes it easy to handle and apply as if you were using a pen to draw on the skin. Becoming comfortable with the cone, pressure, and speed takes a lot of practice and patience but is well worth it.

I see mehndi as a way of spreading joy and pride for my culture. If any of you every are interested in getting henna done, please do not hesitate to reach out!  If anything that I discussed in this post stands out, or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!


Looking forward to next Monday!


~ Riya


Personal website:

Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Junior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in this revamped column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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