Rajput painting, also called Rajasthan painting, evolved and flourished in the royal courts of Rajputana in northern India, mainly during the 17th and 18th centuries. Artists trained in the tradition of the Mughal miniature were dispersed from the imperial Mughal court, and developed styles also drawing from local traditions of painting, especially those illustrating the Hindu religious epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Subjects varied, but portraits of the ruling family, often engaged in hunting or their daily activities, were generally popular, as were narrative scenes from the epics or Hindu mythology, as well as some genre scenes of unnamed people. The colors were extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones. Gold and silver were used. The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking 2 weeks. Brushes used were very fine.