The meaning of word Pattachitra in Sanskrit is, Patta means Cloth and chitra means art. So basically Pattachitra means a traditional art cloth based scroll painting .Pattachitra is a traditional painting of Odisha,India.These paintings are based on Hindu mythology and specially inspired by Jagannathand Vaishnava sect. All colours used in the Paintings are natural and paintings are made fully old traditional way by Chitrakaras that is Odia Painter. Pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha dating back to 5th Century BC.

The theme of Oriya painting centres round the Jagannath and the Vaishnava sect. Since beginning of Pattachitra culture, Lord Jagannath who was an incarnation of Lord Krishnahas been the major source of inspiration. The subject matter of PattaChitra is mostly mythological, religious stories and folk lore. Themes are chiefly on Lord Jagannath and Radha-Krishna, different "Vesas" of Shri Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, temple activities, the ten incarnations of Vishnu basing on the 'Gita Govinda' of Jayadev, Kama Kujara Navagunjara, Ramayana, Mahabharata.The individual paintings of gods and goddesses are also being painted. The Pattachitra style are mix of both folk and classical elements but leanings more towards folk forms. The dress style has Mughal influences. All of the poses have been confined to a few well-defined postures. These are not free from monotonous repetitions, though at times this is necessary to accentuate the narrative character of the style.

Traditionally the painters are known as chitrakars. A patta painter's home with all the members of family is his studio. Woman members prepare the glue, the canvas and apply colours what we call the fill-in, and give the final lacquer coating. The master hand, mostly the male member, draws the initial line and gives the final finishing. Patta paintings are done on small strips of cotton cloth. The canvas is prepared by coating the clothe 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 colours.The painters do not use pencil or charcoal for the preliminary drawings. They are so expert in the line that they simply draw directly with the brush either in light red or yellow. Then the colours are filled in. 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.

The painters use vegetable and mineral colours without going for factory made poster colours. They prepare their own colours.[14] White colour is made from the conch-shells by powdering, boiling and filtering in a very hazardous process. It requires a lot of patience. But this process gives brilliance and premanence to the hue. The extract from leaf of Bur flower tree (Kadamb tree) gives green colour. 'Hingula' a mineral colour or red stone, is used for red. 'Haritala', king of stone ingredients for yellow, 'Ramaraja' a sort of indigo for blue are being used. Pure lamp-black or black prepared from the burning of coconut shells are used. There was no blue either cobalt or ultramarine in the earlier colour schemes. The colours used in the Patta paintings are primarily bright colours, limited to red, yellow, indigo, black and white. The brushes that are used by these 'Chitrakaras' are also indigenous and are made of hair of domestic animals. A bunch of hair tied to the end of a bamboo stick make the brush. It is really a matter of wonder as to how these painters bring out lines of such precision and finish with the help of these crude brushes.