Ebru brushes (fırçalar - fyrchalar)

The main task of Ebru brushes is to take more paint and easily give it away in a form of many small drops.

Mostly brushes made of horse hair or hog bristles and dried stem of rose.

Horse hairs or hog bristles are preferred, because it is thick and straight, so that you can splatter paint in a desired way.

It also prevents bacteria and mold from multiplying and growing.

Rose twigs are flexible and durable. With every strike we make to splatter paint, it bends allowing the paint drop on the surface in a proper way.

However, according to one of legends, reason for the widespread usage of rose twigs stems from the fact that the Ebru master Necmeddin Okyay was a master gardener of roses.

Brushes are bound by fishing line, and without using any kind of adhesive or tapes. With time, the strings of the brushes, which are kept in water, bend and that gives them a nice curve and it becomes easy to control the direction of the drops.

Also in Ebru fan brushes are used very often.

Ebru Tray

Specialized Ebru trays are a custom solution for painting with Ebru. The trays are well proportioned to ensure that you have a good angle for removing paper combined with sufficiently high sides to hold enough water without spilling.
Usual tray sizes: A4, 25x35, 35x50, 50x70, 100x100, 250x170

Ebru needle tool, drawer (biz)

Needle tool for drawing and shaping paint (ink) on water

Ebru needle tools (awls) are made of nails and needles of various size and thickness. They are used for dropping and shaping Ebru colors afloat on the surface. It is important that they are made of stainless steel.

Some are using regular or knitting needles, as well bamboo skewers

Ebru Combs (tarak)

To obtain a Flake pattern artists use combs, length of which usually corresponds to the length or width of the tray.

Needles of combs are made of stainless metal, have the different distance between needles.

Also sometimes small combs used, starting from 5 cm in width.

The Combs are perfect for a space-filling pattern and to create the background.

In addition to the main accessories and tools, such as brushes, combs, needle tools and trays you might need:

Small glass jars

Glass jars with twist lid are ideal for Ebru paints (painting, storing and mixing)


Pipette to add ox gall into in the paint.

Ox gall and extender

Ox gall and extender are solutions to adjust the consistency of colors.

It increases the circumference and the flow of the paints.

In order to have Ebru colors to spread on the surface of the liquid and to prevent them from sinking, you have to use ox gall, which is a surface active substance, breaking and regulating the surface tension. It also prevents colors from blending. Gall is a secretion of the liver, involved in the digestion of lipids.

Ox, Sheep and Turbot gall are also used for Ebru. Turbot gall gives good results for Kumlu (Sandy) Ebru. Şebek Efendi, in Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri (1608), reports that in older time’s tobacco leave extract was used instead of ox gall as a dispersant.

Balancing the amount of gall we put in the colors is the most important and the hardest part of Ebru-making. While first colors spread easily, since there is little surface tension, we need to add more ox gall in the following colors as the tension builds up with more colors. Unbalanced colors may sink, may be fragmented or even smudge when we take it on paper.

Pour the paint into a separate container, and add 1-2 drops of the ox gall or extender. After you mix it, use a needle tool to sample a drop or two of paint onto the surface of the water. If necessary, add another 1-2 drops at a time.

For ox gall you should use a pipette to ensure consistent measurement.

Go slowly to ensure you achieve the consistency you desire.


*Artdeco extender should be used for Artdeco paints


Turpentine with chemicals or with oil derivatives shall not be used for ebru-making, only natural turpentine must be used. It gives a three dimensional, spherical effect to the colors. It is used to make Ebru with sprinkles or in Battal type of Ebru.

After adding turpentine to Ebru colors, drops sprinkled to vessel scatter if there are small air bubbles inside. The usage of turpentine hides mistakes resulted from dust as it makes effects like dust hole dropping to vessel. It’s necessary to try by adding it in one drop step and be patient to find right proportion. You need to squeeze brush as much as possible before you sprinkle onto the surface, because turpentine produces bigger circled shapes and changes surface image. It looks aesthetic to make small sprinkles on vessel.

For turpentine we recommend to use a pipette to ensure consistent measurement.