Powertex powder pigments

Powertex have a line of powder pigments to use with their art and craft supplies. The range includes matt (Powercolor), pearl and metallic (Colortricx) colours and there are several ways to use them. They are suitable for use in a variety of mixed media art and craft projects. I’ll share my favourite techniques and include a few tips for getting the best out of them.

Powertex powder pigment pots open and viewed from top

Why should I use powder pigments?

There are great benefits to using powder pigments rather than ready mixed paints.

  • A little goes a long way
  • They can be mixed with a variety of mediums
  • Mix up only what you need with little waste
  • Mixing your own colours and adjusting how intense the colours are
  • They store for a long time and remain stable for use

5 ways I use Powertex powder pigments

These are ways that I have used powder pigments in my art. The technique I use usually depends on the project. The Easy Varnish technique is really useful in mixed media or fabric sculpture pieces. I’m more likely to mix up Easy Structure in textured art than highlight with Easy Varnish.

Note: Powertex Universal Medium is often referred to as just “Powertex”.

Mix pigments with Easy Varnish

The powder pigments require a binder or adhesive so the colour sticks to the surface of your project. Powertex tutors usually recommend using Powertex Easy Varnish for this. It has the benefits of being UV protective and weatherproof but acrylic mediums also work. For example fluid and gel matt mediums.

This method is perfect for “dry brushing” over hardened textures.

A small mixed media art with black Powertex and brushed with powder pigments and easy varnish

I like to use a craft mat for mixing because it’s easy to clean but any smooth plastic or ceramic surface will do. It’s useful to have a flat paint brush and a paper towel or rag for this technique. I never use my best brushes for this!

Mixing Powertex pigments with Easy Varnish on a craft mat

  • Put out a small amount of Easy Varnish on your mat (1/4 tsp) with your brush
  • Wet your flat brush with the varnish
  • Dip it into your pigment lightly and mix this up on your mat
  • Add more pigment until you have the right consistency
  • Brush off excess paint onto a paper towel or rag before you apply it to your project

TIP: Use a “dry” paint to brush over textures and build up colour in layers from dark to light.

Mix with Easy Structure

This is one of my favourite ways to use pigments. Easy Structure is a brilliant hard wearing, heavy texture paste that can hold deep textures. Tinting the paste with pigments opens up lots of options for adding colour as well as texture to your art.

Powertex Easy Structure paste mixed with lilac pigment on a craft mat

Mix pigments together to get the colour you need or create gradients, fades and blends. This technique works best with matt Powercolor pigments. I have an article here about Easy Structure.

A textured Powertex painting with coloured Easy Structure circled in the photo

Mix into Powertex Universal Medium

Tint Powertex with powder pigments to mix small amounts of your own colours. This works best with White, Ivory, Transparent and Yellow Ochre Powertex. It’s worth pointing out that metallic and pearl colours lose some of their sparkle when mixed into Powertex.

If mixing Powertex colours sounds fun, take a look at this blog about Powertex colour mixing.

Using a palette knife to mix powder pigment with Powertex Universal Medium

Sprinkle onto wet Powertex

Adding the pigments onto wet Powertex can add intense colour and a different texture. It can be a fun way to add bursts of colour in your art. Leave the surface to dry fully before dusting away any excess powder. This technique works best on flat surfaces! You can also blend the pigments into the Powertex with a brush which can get some gorgeous blends and fades.

A piece of mixed media art showing powder pigments sprinkled onto wet Powertex

Mix your own colours

The powder pigments are all fully mixable. Pastel tints can be created with a white pigment and a hint of other colours. Add black (sparingly) for deep dark colours or mix in Powerpearl for a shimmery effect. It’s possible to create gorgeous blends this way.

Mixing red Powercolor and Pearl powder on a craft mat

A note about metallic and pearl powder pigments

The Colortricx pigments have a pearl or metallic component. Powerpearl gives a lovely sheen over any colour with a beautiful but subtle finish. On the other end of the scale is Bronze Gold which is bright and warm and mixes into a luxurious and opaque metallic paint.

One last thing

I trained as a Powertex tutor in the UK and my supplies have come from Powertex UK. There you will find the pigments I have used in this article and many more. If you have any questions about using powder pigments get in touch via the Facebook group and I’ll do my best to help.

My in-person workshops are currently on hold. But you can find written instruction in my Etsy shop and lots of tips here on the blog for using your Powertex stash.

[Reviewed February 2024]