Pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and popular art form of Odisha. The name of this painting is a Sanskrit word which means pata – Canvas & Chitra- painting. This painting is basically done on canvas and is manifested with a beautiful rich color application, Creative designs, and motifs. Pattachitra paintings generally depict simple themes, but mostly mythological scenarios.
One of the popular themes depicted through this art form is Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath; Krishna Lila – enactment of Lord Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child; Dasabatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu; Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity. These themes are clearly the essence of an art form which conceptualizes the meaning of the painting. Also, the process of making these paintings needs too much of concentration and careful craftsmanship.
Drawing this painting involves many steps. First, the patta is made; the artists make the canvas by preparing a tamarind paste which is made by soaking tamarind seeds in water for three days. Later the seeds are pounded with crusher and after mixing with water they are heated in an earthen pot to turn it into a paste and then it is used to make canvas by drying it and later by polishing it.
Next, comes is the preparation of paints. They use natural colors and natural color pigments to make the paintings look beautiful. The unique thing about Pattachitra painting is the eyes of the characters drawn. They are big and very beautifully drawn and this is the specialty of these kinds of paintings. With the passage of time, the art of Pattachitra has gone through a commendable transition and the painters have also painted on tussar silk and palm leaves and created wall hangings and showpieces.