Mehndi or Henna represents the traditional method of beautification that has been around for ages. Mehndi originated from India, Pakistan, Egypt and the Middle East and continues to be very popular in all these regions even today. The art of Mehndi deigning involves applying a paste on your body in vibrant, vivid shapes and contours making your body an easel for beautiful intricate work to be displayed on.

There are various Mehndi designs and one of the most popular ones is the Arabic Mehndi design. As the name suggests, this form of applying henna originated from the Middle East but is now popular and loved all over the world. The chief characteristic of this design is the mirroring of the artwork that is done on one hand or finger about the motif created .The designs are not intricate and involve using a thicker paste, making them stand out even more. These designs are also very simple to apply and often take less time to create. This does not mean that the designs are not eye catching, in fact, they are considered to be very regal and beautiful in their simplicity. Arabic Mehndi designs are frequently put on by women during special occasions such as marriages or religious festivals such as Karva Chauth and Eid. They are therefore very popular and that makes learning about them an ideal way to start your adventure into the art of henna designing.

Basic steps for applying Mehndi in Arabic design

The Arabic Mehndi design is not intricate and involves the usage of thicker henna as compared to other designs. So this means that it is easy to master this form of Mehndi design and once you have, you will find yourself quickly creating wonderful designs in no time at all. A few basic steps are given below.

Begin by practicing tracing vines and loops. Vines form an essential part of Mehndi design and are often used to create more complex patterns. Once you have got the hang of creating these basic shapes, start working on combining vines and loops into the shape of leaves and flowers. Keep in mind that the henna used is generally thicker, so make sure you softly apply the paste or else you may end up smudging your design. Next, start creating floral patterns using vines and loops. A good point to note is that when you are working on the Arabic Mehndi design, your hand movements should be swift and flowing. Do not run over the same place twice and remember that smooth strokes are necessary to achieve the flowing outline of this design. As the designs are usually made on just fingers, they take less time to create, around five minutes and also take less time to dry up, usually ten minutes. After this, repeat the pattern on the opposite side of the drawing in order to achieve the mirroring effect.

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Simple Arabic Mehndi design

In this design, you create a floral pattern on your palm with two leaves on either side of the flower. For this design start off by creating a circle on the centre of your palm. Once this is done, start drawing evenly sized petals around it so that you create a flower. Then, highlight the edges of the petals that you have created by running around them again. After this step, draw smaller petals in between the larger ones by pinching the cone of the applier so that you are able to extract only a fine stream of paste. Once this is done, draw a leaf extending from part of the flower shape onto a finger. Shade the leaf drawn by using streaks. Now, as this an Arabic design, there will be a mirroring of the leaf drawn on the exact opposite end of the flower. Just like the first leaf, shade the second one too. Finally you end up with your simple Arabic flower design.

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Watch this video to get some more idea about drawing basic Arabic style designs in as less as 10 minutes !

Peacock Mehndi design

The peacock is a very frequently used shape in designs. A peacock Mehndi design involves creating a peacock on your palm by first drawing the basic outline of its shape. After that, fill in the details of the peacock, such as the eyes, feathers and mouth. It is at this stage that the design can be modified in a number of ways to create beautiful new designs.

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Combination Mehndi designs

As the name suggests, these designs consist of various known Mehndi designs combined together to form a pattern or motif. These designs are usually based on the three basic shapes, namely vines, loops and the peacock. Beyond this it is upto the imagination of the applier to create the design.

Mehndi has been around for centuries and its charm still holds intact. Even today this art form prevails and it seems like it will for a long time to come