Pranab Narayan Das, Pattachitra, Orissa
A traditional art of Orissa, Pattachitra is the art of painting on primed cloth or patta in the finest detail. The themes depict Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, the famous Rath Yatra festival as well as the Krishna Leela. The chitrakars or artists stick together layers of old dhoti (thin cotton) cloth with tamarind paste, lime and water. After drying, the surface is polished with a white stone to give it a smooth finish. The theme is sketched with a pencil and then colored with a fine bamboo brush using colors from minerals. After completion, the painting is held over hot charcoal. Lac mixed with resin powder is sprinkled on the surface and rubbed to strengthen the painting. These days the artists stick an extra layer of cloth to strengthen it and do not use lac. The artists also paint on tussar silk cloth.
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