Abdur Rahman Chughtai began his training at the Mayo School of Art in Lahore in 1911. There he was taught by Samarendranath Gupta, who was a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore. The influence of the Bengal School is visible in Chughtai's early work, but what distinguishes Chughtai from the Bengal School is his exceptional skill as a draughtsman. Above all, Chughtai's paintings were different from the Bengal School because he painted in larger formats which gave him the opportunity to induldge in exceptional compositions with bold flowing lines. His pencil and brush drawings in particular reveal his skill in composition and his preference for intricate ornamentation.
It is likely that Chughtai's training as a naqash (one who draws floral and geometric designs) under his uncle at the Wazir Khan mosque contributed to and complemented his preference for geometric patterns in his work. This preference for a strong design element in his images was further influenced by the Art Nouveau movement in Europe; Chughtai's line drawings are frequently compared to the prints of Aubrey Beardsley, whose dense linear designs had become very fashionable in both Europe and India at the beginning of the twentieth century.