1. Making Process of Canvas
The Process of painting patachitra begins with the preparation of canvas (pata). They use western cotton cloth to prepare canvas as it is much softer and free from starch unlike the new cotton from the mill.. Traditionally, cotton canvas was used; now, both cotton and silk canvas are used for paintings. Processing of cotton canvas starts from dipping of cotton in a solution of crushed imli seeds and water for 4-5 days. The cloth is then taken out and sun dried.
After cotton is dry, a paste of chalk powder, imli and gum is applied on both side of the layered cloth and it is sun dried. After drying, khaddar stone is rubbed on the cloth several times for smoothening the canvas. When canvas is smooth then chikana stone is rubbed for shinning the cloth.
2. Making of Color
The materials used in ancient time to make this painting were vegetable, earth and mineral sources. Most commonly used colours were black, white, yellow and red. Color making process was the time consuming and toughest process in those days but now it is easy as they buy different types of stones from market in order to prepare each different colours.
3. Ancient Method of Making Colors
Black color is made out of lampblack; a burning lamp is placed inside an empty tin, till a considerable amount of soots collects on the underside of the tin. The soot is then mixed with gum and water for use. The oil used in the lamp is from polang tree seed, which are locally available.
Yellow from haritali stone and red from hingal stone, White is obtained when conch shell is powdered and boiled with kaitha gum, till a paste is formed. For use, little of this paste is mixed with water.
Green Is made by boiling green leaves like neem leaves with water and kaitha gum.
Brown is obtained from geru stone, whose powder is mixed with gum and water.
Red comes from a stone hingual, which is a locally available stone. The stone is powdered and mixed with water and gum.
Yellow is derived from yellow stone called hartal, which is found in Jaipur. The stone is powdered and mixed with water and gum for painting.
4. Modern Method of Making colors
All colors are mixed in dried coconut shells. Colors are prepared using different varieties of stones and chemicals which are available in market. Different shades of colors are made by mixing the existing primary colors, like, red mixed with white gives pink. In case the colors dry in the coconut shell then water is mixed in the color and it is reused.
5. Patachitra Painting Process
Borders are an integral part of painting and this is drawn first on the canvas on all the four sides consisting of two or three lines according to the size. The outlines of the figures are drawn first with pencil. The body colors are then added followed by coloring the attires. Once the painting is completed, outline will be given to the figure using black color.