A Must Attend Master Class: Matryoshka Doll Painting

12 September, 2014

A Must Attend Master Class: Matryoshka Doll Painting

Yesterday was a creative Matryoshka Doll Painting evening for nine of our students! They met at 5 p.m. to paint their own matryoshkas! Varvara Shironosova, an art student and teacher at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg, explained us everything about matryoshkas and this special type of art.

Matryoshkas are not an old Russian tradition, as everybody might think. They came to Russia from Honshu, the main island of Japan. Quite late, in 1890, the first matryoshka was carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and painted by Sergej Maljutin. It consisted of eight dolls, and presented the image of a family. As you can see in all souvenir shops of Russia, the typical colors for matryoshkas are yellow, red and green. Nearly every matryoshka wears a Sarafan, which is a traditional Russian jumper dress, an apron and a headscarf. While Varvara told us all this interesting facts, we painted our blank wooden matryoshkas in slight white, in order that the color we will paint on afterwards will be brighter. The color dried very fast and we were ready to paint our own matryoshkas.

This was the starting point where we could set our creativity free and design our own matryoshka. First of all, we had to imagine how she should look like. For that we sketched out the design on the blank matryoshka: We drew the headscarf, the apron, the sarafan and added our own details. Then we could start to paint our dolls and everyone choose their own style of combination. It was very interesting to see how the creativity differed between the matryoshkas. Some of us accepted the offer from Varvara to draw anything we wanted. Most of us struggled with the painting of eyes, so Varvara took the brush and added beautiful and filigree eyes, eyebrows and lips to our matryoshkas. Unfortunately, after two hours of painting, our master class was over, but in the end, everybody had his own individual matryoshka! A very special souvenir from our amazing time at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg! For my part, I could have painted matryoshkas for hours!!



This post was brought to you by Christina, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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