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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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Styles of Ebru art. Guest post by Katya Ryazanova

Katya Ryzanova is one of my featured guest bloggers. She has quite a few guest posts here. You can find a list of them here. Today she continues a story of ebru and shows what she and her kids have created!


Let's talk about the ebru styles. There are surprisingly many of them!

All water drawings can be divided into two groups: the textures (abstract drawings and background drawings) and the pictures with an image (mostly flowers).

There is one more group that stands alone.  It is ebru with the words, that is the most complicated and time consuming.

Almost each kind of ebru kept the name of its creator. For example, Hatip ebru has been invented at the beginning of the 18th century by Hatip Mehmet Efendi, who was a preacher. He invented the ebru technique in which the paint is being dropped with a needle to the surface in a series of drops. Then a different color is dropped to the middle of the circles created by the first drop of paint to draw flowers without leaves and stems. The technique is used to create floral ornaments.

For a long time I could not figure out why the masters of ebru liked to repeat the same flower again and again in one picture so often. I found my answer when I started drawing ebru flowers myself. It became obvious that that repetition of an ornament was a sign of an artist's skill! It is incredibly difficult to create two identical images side by side because we are drawing on a liquid.

Can you imagine how trained your eye and your hand needs to be to pick up the same amount of paint with a needle to drop it on the surface of water again and again! They need to be absolutely identical: maybe 2, or 4 or 20 at a time! Usually they create 20 identical flowers (5 by 4) when draw in the Hatip ebru style. A master gets this skill after years and years of practice!  

Battal Ebru is another kind of the ebru technique. It is used to create textures. They usually use 4 (or so) colors to create it. The colors are splashed on to the surface of water. This technique gives a textured pattern resembling marble pattern.

Another ebry style is used for creating textured patterns. It is called comb (or scaly) ebru. Special combs are used to create it. The pattern resembles  a snake skin pattern.

Other variations of ebru are called Wave ebru (Gelgit ebru) and "the nightingale nests" (Bulbul Ebru). I won't be talking about them today :)

Katya Ryazanova

I would like to share a few samples of ebru drawings by an artist Mustafa Duzgunman (1920 - 1990):

You can see more of his works here.
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