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The art of painting on walls or Mural Painting dates back to the prehistoric era in Kerala. The inspiration and influence for Kerala style of mural painting as per research, may have been sourced from the Pallava art and the Dravidian temples, which can be traced back to seventh and eighth century AD. The oldest of these paintings is believed to be in the rock-cut cave temple of Thirunandikkara that is now in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

For these paintings, once the theme is selected, the outline is drawn with 'dung crayons' and then painted with the relevant colours. After the painting is done, an overcoat with a mixture of 'pine resin' and 'oil' is given for providing lustre and fastness to the mural. Three types of brushes are used to apply the paint - flat, medium and fine. Flat brushes are made from hair found on the ears of calves, medium from the hair at the bottom of a goat's belly and fine brushes are made of thin hair from the tails of muskrats or narrow grass blades. Mixing of colours is done in wooden utensils and sometimes the binding media used are tender coconut water and exudes from Neem trees, also lac is sometimes used for obtaining deep red.

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