Here are examples of many different marbling patterns which I have made over the years. Each one was individually hand-printed, and therefore is an original work of art; no two ever come out exactly alike. These are not for sale, they are just samples you can click on to look at, in order to get familiar with the many different patterns and possibilities of marbling. Most of the 44 pages below contain two or more examples -- over 100 in all.
Click on names below to see examples. Please remember that these computer-scanned examples can in no way compare to the original hand-printed originals in richness of color and detail.
Stone Marble: Gives the effect of real marble -- this is why this art is called marbling: when naturalistic colors are used, this pattern almost looks like real rock.
Colorful Stone Marble: You don't always have to use natural stone colors in a stone marble though, you can use any colors you like.
Peacock (or Bouquet) Pattern: The peacock is the most popular and famous pattern in marbling. It's not one of the easiest to learn, though.
French Curl: A traditional pattern, often seen in old bookbindings -- this one has been around for centuries. Sometimes called the Snail pattern.
Combed French Curl: A much more detailed and intricate version of the above, which has also been produced for a long time.
Feather Pattern: A basic pattern made with comb and rake; not as complicated to make as it may look.
Antique Spot: A series of diagonal stripes of various colors, with an overspray of small dots and spots.
Nonpareil: One of the most basic patterns, in which the comb was drawn in a straight line from top to bottom.
Spanish Wave: Several examples of the famous Spanish waved pattern, which have diagonal ripples to create a beautiful 3-D effect.
Bird Wing: A pretty, feathery pattern, rather hard to make. This is not a common pattern, but it is one of my specialties.
Ripple: A more modern development in marbling, not seen in antique papers. Gives a striking effect like rock layers.
Thistle Pattern: A complex, difficult pattern, similar to the peacock but more detailed.
Space Marble: Obviously a modern invention, a deep black with many swirled veins of brilliant fluorescent colors and an overall spray of tiny white "stars".
Balloon Pattern: This strange pattern is my own invention; I've never seen anybody else do it. Looks like hot air balloons!
Italian Vein: A light, lacy paper, predominantly white, with very fine veins of many colors. Good as a background pattern for artwork.
Moiré: One of the most impressive but difficult patterns, the moiré gives the effect of draped fabric on flat paper.
Fishtail: A rare and unusual pattern, highly detailed, which requires special-made tools not normally used in other patterns.
Frog Foot: Similar to the peacock, but with the points facing up instead of the loops. Looks like little webbed frog flippers!
Overmarbling: One pattern is printed on top of another; also called ghost marbling, shadow marbling, or double-dipping.
Chrysanthemum: A fairly simple but effective pattern. I've never seen anyone else produce it, though it's not difficult.
Swirl Pattern: In spite of its detailed look, the swirl is one of the easiest patterns, and it is the one I make more often than any other.
Gap-tooth Pattern: Made with a comb that has had some teeth removed, in a series of gentle S-curves. Several versions are possible.
Butterfly: This starts with a nonpareil, then a rake makes a series of gently curving lines first up, then down.
The Gel-git: You hardly ever see this pattern by itself, but it is a very important intermediate step on the way to many other patterns.
Fantasy Moiré: One of the most complex patterns of all, involving a little bit of everything, with curving waves for a beautiful fabric-like effect.
Dragons in the Sky: An unusual but effective combination of red, yellow and orange combed areas with a dominant turquoise overlay.
Cable and Curl: A rather odd pattern that I came up with while experimenting one day.
Straw-blown Pattern: The colors were raked back and forth first in a large zigzag pattern; then the pattern was gently swirled by blowing on it through an ordinary drinking straw.
Stormont: The flakey effect in the large drops of color is caused by adding turpentine to the paint.
Tornado Pattern: I just gave it this name because that's what it looks like.
Rainbow Peacock: A full sheet is shown here, though shrunk considerably -- the original is 19" x 25". About 10 colors were used, applied in diagonal bands.
Masking: This involves masking off certain areas with tape, frisket film, or liquid masking gum, which is peeled off after the paper is marbled, leaving a blank area where the masking was.
Flowers, Fish, etc.: An example of figure drawing, a more artistic and imaginative type of marbling which has been very popular since at least the 1500's.
Portrait 1, "Bruce": A more artistic application of marbling. By extensive use of masking, 2 different marbling patterns were used to create the effect of a portrait.
Portrait 2, "Buck": Another example of a portrait; made by masking. 3 different patterns were used to create the effect of a face and a border.
Marbled Fabric: Silk is the best fabric for marbling, but other natural fibers work well too, such as fine cotton.
Marbled Landscape: A tree, a pond, some fish, some flowers, some grass -- all done by various marbling techniques.
Odds and Ends: Here are several more patterns that didn't seem to fit in any of the above categories.
Rodeo Poster: No doubt this was the first marbled rodeo advertisement in history! Made by three layers of masking.
Pyramid Picture: Four patterns on the same sheet, achieved by extensive masking.
Marbled Backgrounds: I drew these three bird pictures with light, pastel marbling in the background.
Set of Dishes: I did a special order blue free-form paper for Neiman-Marcus, who had it reprinted on some chinaware.
Abdu'l-Bahá: This shows the use of marbling as a border and as a background for a pencil drawing.
The Star of the West: One of the most complex things I've ever done in marbling, it uses 3 different marbled patterns on the same sheet.
See a selection of my marbled paper patterns on YouTube!