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Red sketch lines

Before painting the image, the artist made a preliminary sketch in red paint. Blocks of color and details were then painted over and within this sketch. The outlines were redefined in red or black paint. The red sketch lines are occasionally seen at the edges of the painted figures or where the paint has been lost due to damage.

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Sample of paint layers viewed under 10x magnification

Conservators removed a small sample (3-4mm square) from the edge of a hole in the painting. Viewed under a microscope at 10x magnification, a dark paint layer is seen on top of a white layer. Descriptions of traditional painting techniques mention the use of tamarind seed or another starch paste to size the textile before applying a thin ground in preparation for painting.