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

Insignia Powertex canvas by Kore Sage

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.

Bister granules and Powertex
Bister granules and Powertex

Top Tip

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.

Blue Powertex and Bister granules
Mixing Bister with Vinegar spray
Powertex Bister Granules

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.

Close up crackle of red bister

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.

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

You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see more of my mixed media and Powertex art of find some examples in my Gallery.

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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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