Krapanky / Крапнки (from krapka / крапка, "a dot") are raw eggs decorated with the drops of wax utilizing the wax-resist technique; the drops do not form any designs or shapes.

In the Slavko Nowytsky film “Pysanka,” the pysankarka is shown dripping hot beeswax onto a raw white egg.  The egg is then dyed, more drops added, and the egg dyed again.  After it has been dyed black, a candle is used to remove the wax, revealing a beautiful multicolored egg.  Thus Nowytsky demonstrates the origins of pysankarstvo, and its technological underpinnings.

I’ve always thought that the krapanka must be the earliest form of pysanka.  It requires no fancy tools, and no particular skill, just the dripping or daubing of hot beeswax onto an egg shell.

One of the oldest Christian legends about Easter eggs refers to a krapanka: it tells of Mary crying over the imminent execution of her son, and her tears falling on a basket of eggs.  The drops magically turn into spots of brilliant color.

Pure krapanky are not very common.  The egg above is a modern version of a krapanka, with multi-colored dots carefully applied with a stylus.  The one below is also a modern version, with bright, modern colors, but utilizes dripping of wax rather than its careful application.

Drops were also applied to the egg with the stick end of a stylus; this was the easy way of doing so in earlier times, when molten wax was used, rather than our more modern candles. (Read more about techniques here.)

More often, in traditional pysankarstvo, this technique is often combined with the use of a stylus to add color and interest to a pysanka.  Examples can be found in pysanky from Pokuttya (from Oleh Kirashchuk’s site) like these:


The white lines are drawn in first, and then wax drops are added after dyeing the egg first gold, then red.  Similar techniques would have been used in making these pysanky from Hutsulshchyna (left) and Volyn (right):


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Simple Dotted Eggs