Very few of the books written today have any pictures but, if they are needed, most scribes rely on the services of a painter and his assistant at Shimagile Giyorgis. The scribes simply leave a space in the text where the illustration is to be painted.
Illustrations were, until recently, usually painted using locally gathered natural colours and pigments. Now, factory made colours are more often employed. The brushes used are made by the painters using hair from the manes of donkeys.
Sometimes the start of a chapter is marked by a decoration known as a harag. Whilst some scribes commission the harag from the painters, many others paint their own.