An Introduction to Marbling

Dates: 15-19 July 2024

Time: 10:00-17:00

Fee: £560

Level: Beginners

Tutor: Eloise Dethier-Eaton



This decorative surfaces course covers paper marbling techniques ranging from basic patterns to intricate designs, followed by trompe-l’oeil techniques to mimic natural materials like marble and stone on wooden surfaces. With guidance, participants will acquire a versatile toolkit of decorative painting techniques for applications in their own creative practice.


In this course, you will firstly learn the art of paper marbling, a mesmerising process where patterns are achieved by dropping liquid paint on a surface of thickened water. At its simplest, this creates a delightful arrangement of blobby shapes, but various tools can also be used to create more intricate patterns. You will learn how to prepare all the materials so that you can later replicate this process in your own practice.

You will then work through a whole range of paper marbling techniques, from basic patterns such as Italian Vein and Swirls, through to more sophisticated ones like Nonpareil, Bouquet, Spanish Wave and Double Marble. Finally, using the marbled papers you have made, you will upcycle an unassuming shoebox into a striking item for your home.

In the second half of the week, you will use illusionistic techniques known as trompe-l’oeil (meaning ‘tricking the eye’) to mimic materials found in nature, like marble and stone. By layering abstract shapes directly onto wooden board surfaces with traditional tools and brushes, you will paint faux malachite, marble and onyx veining.

This course will set you up with the toolkit to apply these techniques in many different contexts, from fine art to interior design, set design and restoration – or wherever your imagination takes you. This experimental course will be process-based as you explore these techniques with City & Guilds of London Art School’s current Decorative Surfaces Fellow Eloise Dethier-Eaton.

About your tutor

Eloise Dethier-Eaton’s multidisciplinary practice includes painting, printmaking and paper marbling. Eloise studied a BA in Fine Art & History of Art at Goldsmiths. In 2019-20, she did an apprenticeship in paper marbling, bookbinding and business administration. She graduated from an MA in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School in 2023, before being awarded the Decorative Surfaces Fellowship at the School with the support of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

What’s included: all teaching and materials.

What isn’t included: meals/refreshments. Please remember to bring snacks, water, a notebook, and a pen.


10% discount available for City & Guilds of London Art School students, alumni and staff. Contact to receive the discount code.


If the page is not loading correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.