Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Steps for making Ebru Art

Before the preparation process, gum tragacanth must be soaked in water for two days. So, Ebru artists need two days before they plan to create their arts.

Step #1 Prepare the mixed water

It is very crucial to reach appropriate density for dyes to float on the water surface; otherwise dyes might be accumulated at the bottom of the container. So, Ebru artist should strictly follow the resting time of mixed water and water-gum tragacanth measurement.
First, add 3 teaspoons of gum tragacanth in to a gallon of distilled water. Then, mix the water untill gum tragacanth melts completely. After it is melted, leave the mixture to rest for two days. At the end of the two days, the mixture is formed into a thick-sticky liquid, which has proper density for Ebru art.

Step #2 Prepare the dyes

For each dye, make sure having enough empty bottles. Mix 2 teaspoon dyes with one cup of water in the empty bottle, then add  2 oz. Ox gall. Now, liquid pigments can be used for Ebru.

Step #3 Prepare the container
Pour the gum tragacanth mixture into the metal container, and make sure that there are no bubles on the surface. Shaking the container or a flat stick may help dispel the bubbles.

Step #4 Sprinkle the liquid dye

Dip one of the brushes into dye bottle-for this step dark color can be used- and sprinkle it onto the water surface. One of the best way to do it is tipping the top of brush on other hand, so paint drips do not disperse all over the water surface. After four or five times tipping, the dye must paint the entire surface, which also is the background of the design.

Step #5 Sprinkle another dye and shape

Now, the same sprinkling process is applied with different color, but tipping the brush only two or three times. Wait a few seconds so dye drops expand their circles on the surface. Then, with a needle stir the floating color and shape it into a flower, if desired, or any image. After shaping the flowers, sprinkle green dye, or any color, closed to the flower image, and shape the steam of the flower. If you sprinkle too much green on the surface, do not touch them and just leave them on the surface; they will not be seen once the design transferred to paper. As many possible as images can be practiced at this step. If you cannot obtain a nice shaped image at the first time, do not give up and try one more. As I said at the beginning, Ebru art requires time and patience, so practice and practice.

Step #6 Place the paper

After shaping all the dye drops, place the absorbent paper onto the water surface. Then, gently lift the paper off and put it on a table by facing the color side up. Wait until the paper dries out; this process might take up to two or three hours.

Step #7 Have a piece Ebru!

Now, you are an Ebru artist and you can be proud of yourself as being one the few Ebru artists in the world! You deserve to have a nice frame to put your first Ebru work. 


Yilmaz, A. (2010). Art of Ebru (Power Point Slides). Retrieved from Ebru Evi Web site: