Karunakaran studied at the Government School of Arts and Crafts, Chennai and began his professional life as an art director. He also made advertisement films. In 1973, he returned to his home state and opened the first private art gallery in Kerala.
His canvases were often crowded and the colours vibrant and brilliant. He would say that he painted the happiness of the poor. He held more than 60 solo exhibitions of his paintings in the country and abroad.
Karunakaran also worked as art director in Malayalam films and was a former chairman of the Kerala Lalitakala Academy.
Karunakaran's body is likely to be taken to his home town near Guruvayoor. The last rites are likely to take place Sunday.
--IANS (Posted on 14-12-2013)