Pattachitra is an extremely traditional and heritage paintings from the state of West Bengal, India. It is a cloth based, scroll painting and is known for its extremely intricate artwork that has mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it. There are various themes and styles to this art work, showcasing the aspects which unrolled Bengal culture.
As per the tradition of Bengal, these painters are known as chitrakars. A studio of a Patta artist is none other than his/her own little abode with all family members. Women prepare canvas, glue and apply colours as fill-in, and give the final lacquer coating. Patta paintings are done on small strips of cotton cloth. The canvas is prepared by coating the cloth with a mixture of chalk and gum made from tamarind seeds. Then it is rubbed by taking the help of two different stones and then the cloth is dried. The mixture of gum and chalk gives the cloth’s surface a leathery finish on which the artists paint with vegetable, earth and stone colors. The painters do not use pencil or charcoal for the preliminary drawings. They are such experts in this artwork, that they draw directly with the brush either in light red or yellow colors. After this, they apply the fill-in colors. The final lines are drawn and the patta is given a lacquer coating to protect it from weather, thus making the painting glossy. This process of glazing or varnishing is quite interesting. The painting is held over a fireplace so that the back of the painting is exposed to heat. On the surface of the painting fine lacquer is applied.
Paintings / Art range from $30 upto $3000 or more ( based on size, artwork and story )
Each and every painting and piece of art is unique and holds a story . ( Photo Courtesy : Poonam Sh)