The word “malyovanka” (мальованка) comes from the Ukrainian word “malyuvaty” (малювати), which means “to paint or draw.”  Malyovanky were generally created using a brush and paint rather than a pysachok, beeswax and dyes.

Malyovanky have been created through the years using all sorts of paints–watercolor, tempera, oil, acrylic (i.e. whatever was available). This term is also used to describe those eggs decorated using a pen and ink, and today includes eggs decorated using markers of all sorts (as in the egg pictured above right).

Malyovanky have never been very common in Ukraine, except perhaps in the Bukovyna region, where they remain both popular and relatively common. The two examples above were created for me by a friend and pysanka teacher from Volyn (left, using paint), and one of the Hutsul cooks at our 1999 summer camp (right, with markers). The latter was demonstrating to me how her family used to decorate eggs for Easter (although I suspect they used ink rather than markers).

Examples of Bukovynian malyovanky from the Ivan Balan collection are shown below.  In most cases, the entire egg is painted, with black being used to outline the designs.  Less commonly, a colored design (often realistic) is painted onto a natural white background.

A pysanka-like design


Bukovynian floral malyovanky


Watercolor-like malyovanky

(To view more malyovanky, look at the gallery here.)

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Painted Eggs