Powertex Bister Granules for mixed media art

Have you tried Bister granules in your art? 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 the granules for mixed media art is a bit different than adding other pigments because they add colour and create texture.

These pigments are intense so a little goes a long way. Just a tiny amount of these granules can produce a sea of colour on your canvas. When dry the texture is rough and varied.

Insignia Powertex canvas by Kore Sage

3 ways to use Bister granules

Make your own Bister sprays

These granules can be mixed with water and used in a spray bottle. If you use a lot of Bister this is a great way to buy your pigments as it’s cheaper than buying the ready made sprays. You’ll need to use distilled water to mix your sprays. You can add as much or as little as you like to create the strength of colour you want and you can mix different colours of granules together. Be sure to dissolve the granules properly or you’ll have a clogged spray very quickly. Start with just 1/2 tsp in 100mls and build up slowly.

Using Powertex Bister pigments on a textured surface

Mixing granules into Powertex

The Bister granules can be used to colour Powertex Universal Medium. Start with a tiny amount and add more slowly until you get the colour you want. Again you can mix your granule colours to make gorgeous Powertex colours and a little goes a long way.

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. Mix well if you want to avoid the rough texture.

Bister granules and Powertex

Mixing Bister and Ivory POwertex

Using Bister with Coloured Powertex

You can also mix with other colours of Powertex to get different 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. It’s worth experimenting until you find your favourites.

Sprinkle onto a wet Powertex surface

Dropping Bister granules onto a wet surface will add intense colour, a fine texture and create interesting effects as the colour bleeds into the wet surface. If the surface is already textured this can give really interesting results. These sort of organic effects can’t be planned so it’s great if you love happy accidents! Try sprinkling the granules onto wet Powertex and spray with a white vinegar and water mix to let the colour brighten and flow on your art. This works really well on a very textured piece.

Powertex mini rust art by Kore Sage

A note about Bister

Bister granules are for you if you want to mix your own sprays or add intense colour and fine texture. Mixing your own needs reliable spray bottles and distilled water. However it also allows you to mix your own strengths and colours. Purple Bister is in your reach!

It’s worth remembering that Bister will stain surfaces but it’s not really permanent or lightfast. After drying it can reactivate when wet. If you’re using Bister in your mixed media projects I recommend using a spray varnish to protect the colour.

Find out more

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.

I also have a digital Powertex Bister Masterclass in my Etsy shop. This downloadable pdf is full of tips for using Bister, techniques, a step by step photo tutorial to my signature style Bister art and much more.

Follow me

Take a look in the Gallery for ideas to inspire your Powertex art. You can also join me on Facebook and Instagram. Pin this image to your mixed media art board on Pinterest.

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Powertex Bister - How I use Bister in my art - Kore Sage Art · 30th June 2019 at 6:14 pm

[…] The Powertex sprays that I use come in a natural brown ink and six other tints. They are also available in granule form, to mix yourself or apply to a wet Powertex surface for texture as well as colour. While Bister is water reactive after drying it can be varnished successfully using a spray to preserve it’s colour and texture. This is my first article about using Bister. You can read my second article about Bister granules here. […]

Powertex Bister planets on canvas art - Kore Sage Art · 7th July 2019 at 5:19 pm

[…] also have an article on using Powertex Bister granules but my next article in the series will look at using Bister in a textured artwork. I’ll be […]

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