In Sanskrit, Patta means 'cloth' and chithra means 'painting'. It's a painting on a cloth and this technique is quite popular in Odisha. The pattachitra painting mostly revolve around the hindu mythological characters of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. It's believed to have originated in the 12th century. During the 16th century, when the Bhakti movement started, a lot of pattachitra paintings based on the stories of Lord Krishna and Radha were popular. Till date, pattachithra paintings are quite popular in Odisha. The stories of Puri Jeganatha is the central theme for these pattachitra paintings for beginners.
This painting technique has a base which is similar to all cloth painting techniques. First a base is prepared by coating the cloth with white chalk powder, glue(from tamarind seeds). This technique prepares the cloth which is suitable for painting. Traditionally the artist makes a rough sketch with a brush using light red and yellow colors. Natural paint colors found in the earth are used on these easy pattachitra paintings. The most common colors used on these paintings are white, red, yellow and black. The completed painting is then treated with charcoal fire and a layer of lacquer is applied, to ensure they are water resistant. Domestic animals hairs are used as brushes in these paintings.
The pattachitra artists are known as chitrakaars. Pattachitra painting beginers can follow some of these top chitrakaars and hone their traditional artistsic skills. Some of the top chitrakaars are: Suman Chitrakar, Rupsona Chitrakar, Vidyanath Jha, Bachoudi Devi, Krishna Kumar Jha, Dhanalokata Sai Kiran Nakashi, D Nageshwar Rao Nakash, Sai Kiran, Prafulla Kumar Maharahana, Pramod Kumar Maharana, Prakash Kumar Maharana, Bhim Sutradhar, Fatik Sutradhar
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