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Painting Process

Preparing the paper:

Painting is done on art paper. The paper rolls are straightened by rolling in the opposite direction and then treated with a solution of cow-dung and water. Cow dung is first dissolved in water in a bucket and the mixture is then filtered through a piece of cotton cloth. The filtered water is light brown in colour and the artist makes sure that there are no solid particles remaining. A fresh piece of cloth or cotton or painting brush is then soaked in the filtered water and applied evenly on the paper. Thereafter the soaked paper is dried in the sun and it becomes light yellowish in colour.
Making natural colours:

Experienced artists know the technique of making natural colours, but these are seldom used these days as preparing the colours take a long time. As per Mamta Devi, a very experienced artist, previously people did not have much painting order. But at present there is pressure for order supply and hence the artists buy readymade color from the market. Meera Devi another experienced artist explained that self-life of natural colour is very less. However, she says that if mixed with chemical ones the natural colourst gives a different effect altogether. Other artists explained that choice of colors depend upon the purchasers.

Following list provides the colours and their sources –

Koro ka per ( Koro plant)– Red
Seem ka patta – Green
Genda flower – Yellow
Singhar tree flower – Yellow
Peepal ka per ke chal (bark of Peepal tree) – Brownish Red
Aparajita - Blue
Black colour is sourced from the soot (soot is collected from the burning of lantern). Soot is collected and mixed with water. Then it is placed on fire in a vessel and boiled. And some Gur (molasses) is mixed to deepen the colour. When the water dries up to an extent, the colour is collected in a glass bottle for further use.