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Sunday, November 15, 2015

The art of Ebru, part 2

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.
Then we put a pilot drop of paint in that solution, preferably light in colour, to see how it behaves. If the drop drowns, possibly the solution (kitre) is too thick. In that case, we need to add a bit of water and mix it again. Then we put another drop. When the drop touches kitre, it must bloom like a flower, turning into a correct circle. 
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. 

When you are ready, you can start painting. You can use fan shaped brushes to spray background patterns. I would advise to cover the whole table with newspapers, as paint can get even on the floors when you spray it, and you cannot wash acrylic paint off when it is dry. 

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.
The most basic style is Battal Ebru. For this style, they usually take several shades, mostly four of them, and do spraying in different colours, one after one. This results in a textured marble-like painting. It is also easy to make waved ebru (Gelgit); you need to spray first, and then to make straight lines with your knitting needle, first horizontally, then vertically. This will give you beautiful braid-like waves.

Story by Ekaterina Ryazanova (KatyaCoil) (to be continued).
Translated by Eugenie (MulberryWhisper


Φιλία said...

Very interesting posts..... Thank you!
Have a joyful week

Sveta Chay said...

Very interesting!

Natalia Georgieva said...


bysiki said...

OMG, looks so interesting!

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