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First of all, Ebru takes dedication, patience, concentration, and practice.


  1. Tray – Ebru Teknesi

  2. Paper – Kağit

  3. Carrageenan – Kitre

  4. Brushes – Firça

  5. Paints – Boya

  6. Ox-gall - Öd

  7. Jars - Kavanoz

  8. Droppers

  9. Water bottle - Piset

  10. Metal Pins – Biz Takimi

  11. Comb – Tarak

  12. Turpentine - Terebentin

  13. Newsprint


Basin -Tray (Tekne): It is the container in which the Ebru is prepared and it can be made from Galvanized plate, chrome, glass or wood. It has be 1-2 cm longer on each side than the size of material (paper, fabric etc.) you want to work with. The size of typical ebru tray is 35 cm by 50 cm long and 5 cm in depth.


Paper (Kağit): The paper has to be a good absorbent and a better quality of the paper gives better results. It has to be clean, smooth and also should be about 1cm smaller on its each side than the tray. Ideal papers are handmade, acid-free and absorbent papers, but these are very expensive and hard to find. Any kind of absorbent paper which is not lacquered or polished may be used in Ebru.The color mostly preferred is the cream color since it provides a very good contrast against all bright colors. You can use any size tray with any size paper for marbling.

Carrageenan (Kitre): Marbling begins first with the dissolving seaweed powder in water,  Seaweed is a white material derived from an ocean plant . A type of gum, seaweed gives the water a degree of viscosity. A tray  with the approximate dimensions of the paper to be marbled is filled with this liquid to depth of about six centimeters. Blend 2 1/2 tablespoons of powder for one gallon of water. Wait for the bubbles dissipate at least for 6 hours.


Brushes ( Firça): They are made of horsehair with a rose stem handle. They are preferred over modern brushes due to light weight of the rose stem, and its flexibility and that the horse hair does not absorb paints. They are prepared by an artist very carefully with a special technique to tie up the hair. The length and thickness has to be proper for perfection in the artwork. It is possible to control the amount of paint to sprinkle by using appropriate brushes with different thickness and length.

Paints (Boya):  The colors used in marbling are obtained from different natural  substances such as soil, lahor indigo, carbon etc.  The paints are  crushed earth-based pigments  in various colors are insoluble in water and are not affected from sunlight. They are sold as oxide and organic pigment paints in the powdered form and also already crushed pigments in the cream consistence.


The preparation method is; The marbler has to mix the pigments on a marble or glass slab and thoroughly crush the pigments with a specially-shaped marble or glass pestle for 1 and a half or 2 hours with using a special technique. Then the paints have to be left standing  for 12 months. After that the water drained away and the sinked colors are used which is the ready crushed forms that we use marbling.  Each of these paints are placed in a separate glass jar and mixed with a small amount of water.

There are no specific measures for the paints used in the marbling. Different pigments have different characteristic and therefore the preparation of paints requires verification with water and ox gall.


Ox-gall  (Öd): The ox gall is a substance that the artist must best understand in the process of Ebru. It is the key material in Ebru. Gall lowers the viscosity of the base liquid and enables the paint to disperse on the water surface. Paints without ox gall will sink to the bottom of the tray. It prevents the colors from mixing with each other and helps the paints to cling to the paper. Also, the ox gall enables the artist to make different shades of the same color.It allows paints disperse over water without precipitating. Oxgall( not synthetic oxgall) comes from bovine gallbladder and it can be obtained from slaughterhouses.

If it is boiled with the double boiler method (bain marie), then it can be preserved and used for a long time.


Glass Jars (Kavanoz):Paints are kept in jars and some empty jars are always kept beside the apparatus for making some new paints.


Droppers:  Two small 2 ounce droppers for ox gall and turpentine is used for adding small amounts  oxgall or turpentine to the paints. Ratio of paint, water, and ox gall must be carefully adjusted considering the desired outcome, which is only learned with time and practice.

 Water bottle: A peri bottle could be used for a water bottle or any similar spray bottle for adding water to paints.


Metal Pins ( Biz Takimi) : There are many different sizes of  pins used for manipulation and erasing of paints. Each of them has different affects on painting. Marblers use pins very carefully for the special detail purposes. It can be learned by the time and practice.


Comb (Tarak): Handmade combs are used for abstract designs. There are many types of  combs for different designs.


Turpentine (Terebentin): Turpentine is used for making paints spongy, three dimensional look. It gives dimension to marbling paints with own different style. Turpentine must have its’ own brush and this brush cannot be used with anything other than turpentine.


Newsprint: Newsprint is used for preparing and cleaning water before and after each print.


Water: Water with low degrees of calcium, chlorine and lime and good quality potable waters are suitable for Ebru. Distilled water is the ideal one.




How to make Ebru art?

Step 1

how to alum paper.JPG

Step 2





The tray needs to be filled up with carrageenan (Irish seaweed) powder blended with water solution to a depth of at least 1" and you let it sit at least 6 hours.

Carrageenan size recipe for marbling

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) Carrageenan powder

5 lt warm water (hottest tap water)

Blend 2.5 lt water and 1/4 cup carrageenan powder with blender until the carrageenan mixed well in the water add 2.5 lt more water o complete to 5 lt. Water quality is the main issue for marbling. Clorine in the water or too much alkaline water might not good for the marbling I recommend distilled water or rain water for marbling which are in neutral ph's and free from additives.

Marbling Studio Carrageenan

Step 3

how to make ebru paints.jpg
ebru marbling paints.jpg




First step is aluming paper with a damp sponge dipped in aluminum sulfate diluted with water. This helps your paints adhere to paper. Traditional way, we never use alum but this makes Ebru art even more difficult.

Alum solution recipe for marbling

250 ml hot water

1 tsp aluminum sulfate

Prepare well mixed solution until the alum dissolve in the water. Dry papers at least 2-3 hours before marbling. Flatten alumed papers under heavy weights over night. Once the papers are alumed, you need to use them in 2-3 weeks before they are oxidized.


how to make water for marbling




Paint mixing recipe for abstract marbling (stone, gelgit, comb etc.)

30 ml of paints from main jar*

70 ml of water

15 drops of oxgall

!!!This is an initial recipe for paints. Ebru art is all about adjusting amount of water and oxgall in the paints. This recipe is from my experience from 13 years of working as a marbler. This will be your working jar** and it is always change with temperature, condition of the solution, using amount, paints will be used with etc.!!!

Balancing the colors is often the most difficult and time-consuming task in Ebru art.  Start by testing each color mixture, colors that continue to be very difficult to spread keep adding ox gall drop by drop . If, on the other hand, the color spreads out too quickly, its reactivity should be reduced by adding water.

Between each series of trials, make sure the surface is very clean of paint. This can be done by laying down a newsprint to collect any paint.


Once all of the colors seem to be spreading at roughly the same rate and relatively the same size diameter you can start sprinkling paints with your horsehair brushes, according to the color sequence established during the balancing of the paints. The surface is saturated, or "full," when additional drops of color no longer spread out over the surface or begin to sink.


For drawing designs, apply a drop of each other color directly into the center of the circle and shape them with stretching, moving color on the surface. Every design has a particular steps and you need to follow that steps for final result. You can use combs, pins or other tools, manipulate the colors into a pattern.Marbling Studio Ebru Paints


*What is main jar?

Ebru paints are very heavy paints like cream cheese.(it is very hard to explain the consistency: :))

Paints should be diluted with water in main jar in heavy cream consistency. Do not add oxgall to your main jar.

**What is working jar?

The jar you will use by the tray for marbling with oxgall.


Step 4


Transferring Pattern to Paper
Once the pattern is created, carefully lay the paper onto the surface. This should be done by holding opposite corners of the paper, then allowing the corner the surface of the medium first. Let go of  the paper will lay down evenly. Allow 3-5 seconds for the pattern to transfer. Gently pick up the paper at its corners, carefully smear your paper on the edge of the tray for removing excess medium. Place your paper flat to dry.




  Step 5


Drying marbled papers

​There is two way to take your papers from the water surface. Turkish method is smearing the marbled paper against the edge of the tray. Western method is lifting up the marbled paper and wash it under smoothly running water. You can use both way remove excess solution on the paper. Whether you can hang your papers on the rod or clip them on a rope with clothes pin. If you don't use alum, you need to put your paper flat for drying. Screen drawers might be good option for quick drying process. Paints on the non-alumed marbled papers tend to run  when it is hanged.

Step 6

Flattening papers

You can place your papers under heavy items or you can use a book press for flattening your paper. You can iron your paper from the back side of the marbled paper.

Heart & Hands


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Watch videos about step marbling

DIY Ebru Art/ Marbling Art with Sevim Surucu

This video explains what you need for ebru art ?

This video explains how to prepare marbling solution ?

Ebru Art Styles

A. Traditional Ebru

Traditional Ebru has the patterns mostly used by the masters in the known history of Ebru. Some of the main types of traditional Ebru are Battal, Gelgit, Taraklı, Bülbül yuvası.

1. Battal Ebru

This is the oldest pattern to be known. All the other patterns are derived from this design, so we can call this pattern the mother or the origin of Ebru designs. In the application of Battal Ebru, the sequence of the colors is determined according to the amount of gall in the color. The color with the least gall should be set first. It can be mono-colored or multi colored. Paints are dripped on the surface of the basin and then transferred onto the paper.

• Neftli (Turpentined) Battal
This style is obtained by sprinkling paints with some added drops of turpentine (preferably pine turpentine) onto a “Battal” background. It gives a wavy appearance.

2. Gelgit(Tidal) Ebru
First a “Battal” background is set down and designs parallel to the side of the basin corner are applied next (in other words, diagonally across the basin, starting in one corner) are set by means of a pick, needle or a bradawl. The distance between the parallel lines may vary: as thicker points will influence wider areas, this distance should be larger. The distance between thin points may be less. These parallel lines may be repeated several times in opposite directions using a special comb. Tidal lines can also be used diagonally.

3. Şal(Shawl) Ebru
First a “gel-git” pattern is set, and then another “gel-git” with wider tracks is made diagonally across the first design. These diagonal lines may be drawn in the form of “S” shaped figures.

4. Taraklı(Combed) Ebru
This pattern is obtained by working with a comb on a “gel-git” background, moving the comb against the direction of the first “gel-git” design. It is also possible to obtain different patterns using combs without using gel-git background.

5. Bülbül Yuvası (Nightingale’s nest)
A small “Battal” pattern is first set, and then spirals of 3-5 cm diameter are set from the outside towards the middle, or vice-versa. The same pattern may also be set on a “gel-git” or “taraklı” background. These patterns are made one by one using a bradawl, or in one shot by using a comb with thicker points or a special comb covering the whole surface of the basin. In the application of this pattern, the sequence of the colors is determined according to the amount of gall in the color. The color with the least gall should be set first. It can be mono-colored or multi colored. Paints are dripped on the surface of the basin and then transferred onto the paper.

6. Kumlu (Sandy)
The most beautiful sanded Ebru is obtained by using Lahore dye, a vegetable based pigment, mostly used with indigo. To obtain this pattern, the paint is dropped in the centre of the basin. The same process is repeated until all the surface of the basin is covered and the drops squeeze each other and start to crack. Another way of obtaining this pattern is to drop the paint from the one middle side of the basin to the other middle side. This style is frequently used by calligraphers as borders or rulers.

7. Double Printing Ebru
In this style, a new design of marbling is used on already produced and dried Ebru paper. If necessary, more than two designs can be made on the same paper.

8. Akkase Ebru (Stenciled Ebru)
This is a pattern obtained by making several imprints on the same background, and popular with calligraphers. The base consists of a “light Ebru” upon which the script is written using a special fluid prepared with Arabic gum applied with a reed pen or a brush. Thus the surface of the light Ebru is covered by the Arabic gum. After drying, another design using darker colors is applied on the same paper: the parts covered with Arabic gum will resist the second coat and will therefore display the script. The same technique may be applied using a stencil, and other substances can be used instead of Arabic gum (i.e. heavy gum tragacanth, silicone, several transparent glues etc.).

9. Hatip (Orator) Ebru
It consists of concentric shapes of several colors formed one inside the other and can be acclaimed as the foundation of flowery Ebru. First, one of the Ebru patterns is set as background. On this background equidistant circles of 2-4 cm diameter are set by using a bradawl or dropper. Generally, the first color is dark. Later, the second, third or even fourth color is set. Then the design is formed by using a fine point, needle or bradawl.

B. Floral Ebru (Necmeddin Ebruları)

This style of Ebru is developed by the late master Necmeddin Okyay and is known by his name. This type of marbling has helped the art of Ebru to take place among other plastic arts. Any type of Ebru is set as background. Usually, a light colored Ebru pattern is chosen. On top of this base, the drops of paint are designed into the shape of leaves and flowers with the help of a bradawl. The flowers that have been generally designed are tulips, carnations, hyacinths, violets, daisies and roses.

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