Today I want to continue telling you about the amazing ancient art of drawing on water – “ebru” (see the beginning of this story here).
From very beginning, I wanted my children to become engaged with ebru. So, we bought a starter set. That includes a plastic tray for tableware, size A4; basic colours and thickening powder. These days they make acrylic paints for ebru, which can also be used for painting on natural fabric such as silk, cotton, etc. Thickening agent is made from synthetic resins. In the set of colours, it is necessary to have one bottle of white colour (better to have two), as background patterns are traditionally made with pastel shades. Instead of traditional used for applying the colours drop by drop, we use fine metal knitting needles. We use the most basis office paper. We also use paper tissues to wipe the needles clean after each movement.
We need to dissolve the thickener in clean water (we usually take 1 liter of water per the A4 tray). Proportions are indicated on the package of the thickener. We mix the powder in a vessel or right in the tray, it needs to be mixed for 20 minutes without any haste, so that not to have any clots there. Then we cover it with a newspaper to protect from dust and leave alone for 6-8 hours (usually till morning).
In the morning, we filter the solution or mix it in a blender and let it stand for 30 minutes so that there are no small bubbles.
It is important not to make kitre too thin, as you can’t reverse it! So, proportions are usually indicated for a thicker solution. After you practice making kitre several times, you will know how it must feel to the touch. Skills come through practice.
There are numerous styles of ebru. All paintings on water can be divided into two groups: textures (abstract background) and specific images (mostly flowers). A separate category is ebru with inscriptions which is more difficult and time consuming. They usually use decals for that.
Story by Ekaterina Ryazanova (KatyaCoil) (to be continued).
Translated by Eugenie (MulberryWhisper)