Rangoli designs can be broadly categorized into dry and wet designs, based on the elements that go into their making. Before starting, the area where the design is to be drawn is thoroughly washed with water so that no sand or dirt remains. The design can be drawn when the space is still damp or even after it dries thoroughly.
As a first step, the person uses a dry substance such as chalk, sand or flour to mark a center point on the ground and cardinal points around it in the shape of a circle, square or hexagon, Filling in those points creates beautifully intricate designs and patterns. After the outline is completed, it can then be traced over with colored powders made of different substances. It can even be colored with water-based paints. rice water or gypsum powder.
In recent times, people have been known to even use colored cloth, acrylic paints, and even wax crayons. Stunning designs are possible with a mixture made of cement powder mixed with marble dust, which gives very realistic results. The outline can be left empty or filled in with colors, or even seeds, flower petals and grains for a more natural and elaborate look.
In addition to geometric shapes, motifs from nature and wildlife such as the head of a lion or a peacock and sometimes even entire landscapes are reproduced as Rangoli creations. In a day of fast-track methods, ready made patterns with stencils are quite common.
To achieve color in a very natural and safe manner, powdered rice can be dried and mixed with sindoor (vermillion color), turmeric (yellowish golden color or even vegetable dyes from vegetables such as carrots and beetroot. Red brick powder is a less expensive alternative. Creating a Rangoli design is a time-consuming task requiring considerable skill. But once the bright and colorful design is completed, it can last for almost a week and be a source of great joy.