Questions and answers about marbling
Materials list:  Mulberry Bleached White paper, 45 GSM

                     —Lambda Caragheenan powder (moss, organic)

                     —Marblers’ Alum

                      —Marblers’ Oxgall (organic)

                        —Grumbacher Academy watercolors

                       —Winsor Newton gouache, Permanent White and Lamp Black

—eye droppers

—plastic cups

—newspaper strips to clean size after marbling each time

—marbling tub

—lotus bowl for mixing paints

—painters’ brush for blending paints with distilled water

—distilled water (only!)

—paper cutter

—paint roller to distribute alum water across paper for mordanting

—rack for drying paper


—broom straw whisks

—rinsing board (I use the lid that came with the marbling tub)

—a sink with running water for rinsing the marbled paper

—watering can for gently pouring water over paper to rinse

—iron, to get the wrinkles out of the dried, finished paper

For reference, please visit the Sue Zajac Marbling channel on YouTube:


—The first dropping of paint is a test.  If a color sinks to the bottom, add more oxgall.  Dark colors need more oxgall than lighter colors. White gouache has much oxgall in it already.

—Oxgall is bile, from the beef industry.  Oxgall enables the paint molecules to bond.

—If a color has too much oxgall, use only the tip of the stylus to drop the paint onto the caragheenan size.

—Always rinse the freshly marbled paper.

—Clean off the size after each paper.  I clean several times.  The surface of the size gets dry and will crack if not cleaned thoroughly each time.  The paints willl crack if the surface is not clean.

—Designer watercolors have too many additives. They will sink to the bottom.

—You should be able to over-marble your first design after it dries, without applying alum again. 

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