Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem

Peace and blessings be upon you all

Hey, everyone!! I hope everyone is doing great. A few days ago on the 22nd of November, I attended a few events of IAF at Sir Syed Memorial at G-5 sector, Islamabad.

Among many other events that took place, for me the highlight of that day was:


Turkish Abro Art is a type of marble painting where drops of paint are sprinkled onto a special type of oily liquid, spread into various patterns and then transferred onto paper.

” The special tools of the trade are brushes of horsehair bound to straight rose twigs, a deep tray made of unknotted pinewood, natural earth pigments, cattle gall and tragacanth. Seljuk and Ottoman calligraphers and artists used marbling to decorate books, imperial decrees, official correspondence and documents.” Source: Turkish Marbling

The water used is a viscous water that appeared like jelly when the Turkish lady (I forgot her name) was demonstrating the art. According to her, tragacanth (or keragen according to what I was told) is used to make the water viscous. The paints are derived from natural extracts from a special type of Turkish stones which accounts for the freshness and vibrance of their colours and their lack of intermixing.

“Earth-based dyes in various colors are thoroughly crushed with a specially-shaped pestle on a marble slab and are reduced to powder. Each of these dyes is placed in a separate glass jar and mixed with a small amount of water. Into each is added five ten drops of ox bile (previously boiled to prevent it from spoiling). When added to the water of the dyes, this material spreads on the surface (not unlike olive oil) and it ensures that the dyes superimposed on one another do not become mixed.” Source: Turkish Marbling

Once all the ingredients are present, the painter sprinkles a variety of colours onto the solution. She has to mix the brush well into the paint and then squeeze the excess amount from the brush before using it to sprinkle. As the drops touch the solution, the intensity of colour appears to dissipate and the drops spread a bit across the solution.

Some paints have glitter added to them which give a final touch of shimmer to the solution.

Afterwards, a nail with wood attached at its end is used to spread the colours around however one wishes. Then a large comb is used to create regular patterns of colour. The variation in use of comb based on the distance between each stalk in a comb allows for different types of patterns to form.

In the end, a large piece of paper of similar dimensions to the container is place gently onto the solution. Then, ones hands are used to slide firmly across the paper to remove air bubbles that prevent the pain from attaching to the paper. Finally, the paper is slid against the edge of the container, allowing the masterpiece to appear row by row to completion.

Another piece of paper is placed on the solution in a similar way but it is used for removing the excess paint to clean the solution.

Here’s a video of how it’s done:

The Turkish lady was very kind as to allow us to try out Abro Art for ourselves. Here is the work I made. I asked her for suggestions multiple times.

If you are in Islamabad and are wondering about attending the event, don’t hesitate to. The schedules may be mixed up but exhibitions in PNCA and Sir Syed Memorial are on display and are one to look at. Also, multiple dance performances will take place on Thursday, 28th November from Ballet to Whirling Dervishes so stay tuned!

By Andale Seaworne

21. Pakistani. Muslim. People call me tubelight. Life is a roller coaster life but if you focus on the ups in life and have faith, life will be beautiful
Thoughts about things happening in everyday life stored in bubbles, waiting for the right time to burst out 😊
Loves McFlurry, Cheese and every food except green chilli, yoghurt, wasabi and humus 😎
Loves books and learning new things
Basketball girl 🏀
Helping out those in need
Holding no expectations, making no comparisons. We are all people of many colours. Accept us for who we are without labels