Speaking of technique, the finished pata-astra is first demarcated into panels, which is followed by sketching with conch-water (tipana). This is crucial to the finish that emerges later on. What ensues is a dynamic technique that almost amounts to ritual - luga pindha (painting on the divine raiment), then alankara lagi (painting on the divine ornaments). Finally, the work is finished with thick black colouring wherever required (mota kala), then delicate outlining to complete the details (saru kala). In other words, the chitra before you is a high-precision work that has taken an eye-watering proportion of time and skill and labour to be made. The most wondrous aspect of this painting is the composition of the Jagannath mukhmandal, with each feature made of tinier, more detailed panels depicting the Lord Vishnu.
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