First they burnish the paper by smoothening it with stone and then treating it with gum arabica. they then trace the drawing or make the outlines. they make use of special brushes made of squirrel hair and that of goat, donkey and cow ears.
some brushes are so fine that they are made of only a single strand. Brushes prepared from squirrel tails are used for good draughtsmanship. the artists use these brushes to make outlines in Chinese ink and on completion of this process, start filling the colours.
these colours are organic and mostly mineral based. Before they are applied on paper they are mixed with a binding medium like gum arabica to give them the opaque watercolour tone.
Like in the past when apprentices in the royal ateliers would crush and grind costly minerals like malachite or danafaharang and lapis lazuli or lazvardpathar to get green and blue pigments respectively, the artists follow the same techniques to obtain pigments from coloured earths, lac secreted by a beetle for a particular shade of red, indigo or dallikaneel for blue, a brilliant yellow or gaugoli from the urine of cow fed on a diet of mango leaves, a colour mostly used in Basohli paintings and black from lamp soot. After the artists fill in the colours, they devote time to decoration. the figures are dealt with at the end and the face in portraits at the very end.