Ebru - a technique for creating masterpieces

Do you know what to draw on water? And for this you do not need to be a wizard, it is enough to master the Ebru technique!

What is ebru?

Ebru is a unique drawing technique that involves the creation of patterns on the water and their subsequent transfer to any surface, for example, paper or cloth.

By the way, the name from the Persian language is translated roughly as "on the water." But also this technique is often called the Turkish mram in the world, although other names are known: "dancing colors", "floating colors", "clouds and wind".

Appearance history

When and where did the Ebru technique appear? This is still not known for certain. Some consider it the homeland of Turkey, but there were also references to drawings on water in such countries as India, Japan, China and even Russia (namely Altai).

The exact date of the beginning of the history of this art is also impossible to name, but the first drawing created using this technique is dated to the 11th century, although historians believe that the direction appeared much earlier, since the image was of high quality, created by the hand of a true master.

But it is safe to say that Ebru has Oriental roots, because only this culture has such smooth lines, a certain meditativeness, tranquility, subtlety of all movements and, of course, the patience of the artist.

What is needed?

Immediately it should be noted that special tools and tools are used for drawing, and even ordinary water will not work.

So, this is what you need for drawing at home:

  • A rectangular container, preferably transparent or light, so that all the patterns created are clearly visible. You can use a specialized container (you can buy it in the departments that sell accessories for creativity) or, for example, a baking sheet. One way or another, the container must be of sufficient size. Ideally, they should match the size of the base on which you plan to transfer images.
  • Thickener. In order for the water to acquire the necessary viscosity, and the paints do not sink or dissolve, but remain on the surface, it must have a certain consistency. And to make it thicker, plant extract is used.The resin is extracted from the stems, which is then dried in the sun and sold in the form of petals to the kitre or the finished powder. It is worth noting that the petal kitra will have to insist for two weeks, so it will be much easier and more convenient to use the powder form (but in this case you will have to wait a while, it should be indicated in the instructions). But instead of Heven extract, thickeners based on sea red algae or synthetic substances are sometimes used.
  • Paints, as well as a thickener, natural. They consist of water, natural pigments, and bile, which allows the patterns not to spread and stay on the surface of the water. Primary colors such as blue, yellow, red, black, white and green are the most common. Shades or halftones are created by mixing.
  • Brushes. They can have a different thickness, depending on what pattern you want to create. Usually brushes are made of horsehair, but synthetic ones can be used.
  • Knitting needles or sewing. These tools create the necessary shapes, thin outlines and borders of images.The artist moves the awl on the water surface and creates unique drawings.
  • Comb is used to create the so-called scaly patterns (usually they are used as a background).
  • Pipettes are necessary for applying paints to water.

How to learn?

On the one hand, the technique of drawing an ebru may seem rather simple, because all you need to do is brush the water.

But, on the other hand, creating an image is a rather painstaking and time-consuming process, because you need to subtly capture all the movements of colors on the surface of the water surface and skillfully create patterns, combining them with each other and avoiding color mixing or intersection of certain elements.

Drawing on the Ebru technique consists of several stages:

  1. First you need to prepare the water. To do this, study the instructions attached to the thickener and follow all the instructions clearly.
  2. Next, you need to drain the liquid so that it does not have a single unsolved grain of thickener. For straining, you can use a piece of cloth, folded several times gauze, or, for example, nylon panty hoses or stockings.
  3. Pour the prepared solution into the container and place a newspaper on top to collect and remove all air bubbles from the liquid (they can interfere with drawing and spoiling the finished patterns).
  4. Now prepare the paint colors you need. To impose them on the water can be used brushes or pipettes.
  5. Next, use brushes, knitting needles and awls, create an image. In the process of movements, intricate patterns will be formed, with which you will be able to attach the necessary contours and shapes.
  6. Next you need to take a piece of cloth or a sheet of thick paper and put it on the surface of the water. After 5-10 seconds, remove the base. The easiest option is to simply let the picture dry. But experienced masters complete the image by applying the main theme (for this, stencils are used).


To learn the technique of ebru and create real masterpieces, follow a few simple tips:

  • To your drawings pleased you and others, get only high-quality materials, because on their characteristics will depend on the final result of your efforts.
  • You can buy a ready-made kit, which includes a container, a thickener, paints, as well as all the tools necessary to create patterns.
  • Begin to master the simplest elements, for example, curls, loops, transitions and so on. And then try to move to more complex images and combine patterns.
  • To create drawings you can use both ready-made examples and your own inspiration.Just take paints and brushes and start creating, trusting your intuition and your talent.
  • If you do not understand something, try to see detailed training videos with a step-by-step description of the whole process.
  • Have patience, because real masterpieces or even more or less successful drawings will not start right away. Everything takes time.
  • The classes should be started in a calm state and in a good mood, and then everything will work out!

Stock up on everything you need, catch the inspiration and start creating unique drawings on the water using the Ebru technique!

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