Painting on water (aka paper marbling)

Craft & Design

MAKE subscriber RabLabit sent us a link to this video of an artist who “paints on water.” What he’s doing is actually paper marbling, a form of “aqueous surface design.” You’ve certainly seen marbled book or journal end-papers, for instance. Those pattens are created using this process.

The video is a little… meditative, but the results are lovely and it’s a process I’d never actually seen. It makes me want to try it. [Thanks, RabLabit!]

You can find more info on marbling on Galen Berry’s The Art of Marbling website.

Driven to tears by sand painting

16 thoughts on “Painting on water (aka paper marbling)

  1. Shadyman says:

    I’ve seen something similar where they put a small ‘drawing’ onto cardstock before, but this is intense. I certainly wasn’t expecting the lightning-esque clouds in the background!

  2. Simon says:

    The music made me want to order a hot vindaloo and a couple of poppadums but yes, that is very impressive. Seeing what actually came out on the paper is very cool and very unexpected.

  3. Thomas says:

    I was watching some TV show and saw how a hunting gear maker applies camouflage patterns to rifles and shotguns using almost the same process.

    They had a tub of liquid with the rifle stock immersed in it. They pull the stock out of the liquid and the entire surface has the pattern.

  4. Yumna Arshad says:

    aoa.i also lved it..kindly send me the process
    im a student in punjab university lahore,doing bfa in painting..i xtremely  wanted  to learn it.plzzzzz n kindly help me.thnxx.Yumna Arshad

  5. Yumna Arshad says:

    asalam u allaikum.sir i loved dis wrk..this is vry beautiful wrk..i xtremely wantd to do dis..kindlyy help me to learn this type of work..wud b thankful to u.plzz
    em Yumna Arshad doing BFA in painting from Punjab University,pakistan lahore.
    waiting for your reply.

  6. illavazhagan .N says:

    can u pls tell that which type of paint is used in this morbling painting….
    waiting for replay….

    1. Leota says:

      I’m not sure what paint he used in the video, but I heard that tempera paint works.

  7. mallika says:

    pls say me what type of paint you are using in the vedio. and how to drag on the chat.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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