If you've ever taken a Powertex Mixed media art workshop with me you will know that Powertex Bister Granules are on my favourites list! Using Powertex Bister granules for mixed media art is bit different than adding other pigments because they also create texture.
Powertex Bister Granules for mixed media art
The main thing I love about Bister granules is the intensity of the pigment. Just a tiny amount of these granules can produce a sea of colour on your canvas. When dry the texture is a tiny rough crackle.
Mixing granules into Powertex
I mixed Blue Bister Granules into Transparent (at the top) and Ivory (bottom) Powertex. The Transparent dries clear so doesn’t have so much impact on the finished colour. The Ivory tints the Bister a little. You really need much less than is shown to colour the Bister, unless you want grains to show when it’s dry.
Use a white vinegar and water spray to brighten the colour of the Bister.
Using Bister with Coloured Powertex
You can any colour Powertex with Bister. The lighter or brighter colours tend give you better results. Transparent doesn’t tint the Bister but can leave a slightly glossy finish. Ivory and White work well and blue, red and yellow all have their own unique results.
In this test, I’m using Blue Powertex with Black, Brown (natural), Yellow and Red Bister Granules to show how intense the colour can be.
You can use any colour of Powertex with Bister but different combinations will achieve very different results. It’s worth experimenting until you find your favourites.
These are the red Bister Granules that dried in the Blue Powertex. These crackles are tiny but can you see how the red Bister has coloured between the crackles even on the Blue Powertex? It’s a gorgeous texture to add even to large canvases because it adds so much interest to the surface.
It’s worth remembering that Bister will stain surfaces very well but it’s not permanent or lightfast. If you’re using Bister in your mixed media projects I recommend using a spray varnish.
A note about Bister Sprays
Bister is available as ready mixed sprays which can be useful. Mixing your own sprays needs reliable spray bottles and distilled water. However it also allows you to mix your own strengths and colours. Orange bister anyone?!
As a UK tutor I get my supplies from Powertex UK and use sprays and granules in my art. If you would like to know more about how I use Bister in my art you might find this blog Powertex Bister helpful.