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Patachitra Art

Sunday, September 06th, 2009 | Author:

The root of the Patachitra paintings was in the 8th century AD and it is regarded as one of the earliest forms of home-grown paintings. This symbolic form of folk significance is exclusive in the history of Indian and European paintings. The unlikely illustrative ideas, the peculiar conventions, the astonishing arrangement of line patterns and vivacious application of colors make this art form stupendous.

The foundation and growth of Patachitra paintings are associated with the Jagannath Cult. The devotional art of Patachitras is limited to the community of painters called the Chitrakars. The chitrakars reside and perform their inherited art in Puri and in villages on its borders, Raghurajpur and Dandshahi. Every Chitrakar family possesses a family sketchbook handed down from their ancestors. Gods and Goddesses, legends and animals, are all portrayed in these sketchbooks. These books are the chitrakars’ most precious belongings.

The process of arranging the canvas (Pata) is time-consuming, generally taking at least five days. It includes the preparation of a tamarind seed paste, which is mixed with water in a mud pot and focused to additional action. It is called the ‘Niryas Kalpa’. The chitrakar then chooses two pieces of cloth and attaches them together with this paste. Clay powder is then added to the combination and two or three coatings of this blend is applied on to the organized canvas on both the surfaces. When the canvas is dry, it is polished, a process that takes quite a few hours. Painting can begin only when it’s dry.

Patachitras are usually painted in a regular series of steps. The present practice is to put a thick coat of varnish with a cloth. Once the varnish dries, the Patachitra is trimmed down to the attractive margin. The standard painting is finished in a week. But there are complex ones that take maybe even a month.

Silk Paintings

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 | Author:

Silk paintings are another form of popular Indian art. Even though it is a traditional form of art, we still see it being practiced in contemporary times.


The fabric of silk is used as the canvas for creating art in Silk Paintings. Silk painting can be traced back to the 2nd century AD and it gradually gained popularity in the 17th – 19th centuries. Craftsmen and women helped to grasp the paint in vivacious detail on the silk canvas through a special process.


Silk painting can be created on a whole host of silk products or fabrics. Silk painting, is vastly done on scarves, sarongs, bandanas, clothes, etc. Recently, silk painting has gained popularity on portraits, wall hangings, draperies, curtains, sheets and home decor furnishings.


Silk paintings can be performed on a multiplicity of silk fabrics like silk gauze, silk chiffon, silk organza, silk twill, silk velvet, raw silk and many more.

Furthermore, unlike normal painting techniques, silk painting requires special purpose dyes and paints. The major attribute that distinguishes dyes and paints is that, the dyes molecularly link to the fabric and become a vital part of it; whereas paints do not get attached to the cloth.


Artists create a variety of designs on the silk canvas like animals, birds, floral designs, decorative patterns, mythological figures, sceneries and culture paintings. The outcome depends upon the quality of the silk used and the type of painting procedure used in specific paintings. Consequently, they vary from cultural and course to elaborate and polished.


Royal court life and religious themes are often portrayed as a feature of silk paintings. Attractive women are often a part of these works of art along with effervescent gemstone colouring. Another distinctive characteristic of these paintings is the heavy use of gold leaf.


Silk paintings have an eternal appeal and their sophistication, style and magnificence gives them a exalted recognition.

Phad Paintings…

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 | Author:

Phad paintings are stunning examples of the Indian cloth paintings that have been originated in the noble state of Rajasthan. The portrayal of the Phad paintings in its totality and the colour format thereof preserves an unusual appearance of the painting gratifying to eyes. This is further augmented and enhanced by artist’s style united with the graceful beauty and elegance of its movement, tempo and power.


In the earlier times, the Phad paintings illustrated the life incidents of the Rajasthani heroes like Prithviraj Chauhan, Tejaji, Goga Chauhan, Amar Singh Rathod and various gods and goddesses like Pabuji, Dev Narayan, Rama and Krishna.


Phad paintings are known for their lively and charming colours and features. This form of art makes use of natural earthen colours and specifically of vegetable colours mixed with gum, water and indigo. These paintings are splendid and remarkable. Colours in these paintings are very specific – orange for limbs and torso, yellow for jewellery, attire and designs, gray for structure, blue for water and curtains, green for trees and plant life and red significantly for the dress. The outlines of the paintings are first drawn in block and later filled with colors and thick black strokes.


Phad painting is a kind of scroll painting. Before the painting is initiated, offerings are made to Goddess Saraswati. A rough sketch is then drafted out on a khadi material and the portraits are perfected. The empty spaces are filled in with flowers and plants. In the “kachcha” base, all the portraits are painted in the colour yellow. The ritual of the youngest girl making the first stroke is followed. The ceremony is ended by celebrations.


The distinctive magnificence and themes of Phad paintings have made them the most wanted and appreciated paintings in the world of art and culture.