Making Powertex art in a series or collection is a great way to practice techniques and develop a style. This small Powertex Bister series started out as an experiment with Rusty Powder and Bister while I took a break from acrylic painting.

Blue Bister and Rust art by Kore Sage from Rusty landscapes series

Use limited supplies

Keep to a limited supply list to spend less time browsing colours or searching for materials and more time creating. My supplies are:

  • Ivory Powertex
  • Bister sprays
  • orange Powercolor (in the first two only)
  • Rusty Powder
  • (and added white vinegar and 3D Sand for the rust mixture).

On a craft mat I lay out a flat paintbrush, a round brush, a plastic palette knife and a favourite stencil next to some heavy watercolour paper. Taping the edges of the paper means fixing it to my workspace and keeping a clean space around the art. It also has comes with the bonus of peeling the tape at the end to reveal your art!

Using Powertex Rusty Powder


The blue Bister and Rust combination is so good I thought to make more but I wanted to know how the other colours would look with the rust. This curiosity turned a one off play session into a series of Powertex Bister and rust art. Next I had a challenge to use other colours besides my familiar favourites and step out of my comfort zone.

This was the second painting. I use the same supplies but change the Bister to Red, with the addition of White Powertex at the end. The orange Powercolor was left out but I use the same layers and tools as before. This means the only change was in the colour and it could be related to the previous painting. Unfortunately I go quite overboard with the rust mixture and it overwhelms the picture. I also don’t like the pinkish tones of the Bister.

Red Bister and Rust Powertex painting


Next, I use the same idea with Black Bister. I find new ways to use the stencil with the Bister and create more defined lines with the rust. I’m not dripping just Bister in this painting but the rust mixture too as I play with the materials.

This green version is a challenge in response to a couple of Instagram followers who notice my avoidance of green paintings! This one has a beautiful misty atmosphere and is more recognisable as a landscape. The supplies remain the but with Green Bister. I use the same stencil, paintbrush and 

There may be more of these too because I’m practicing the layers, learning what works, what I like in each one and doing more of that in the next one. In an ideal world I would have space to work on several at a time but for now it’s great to keep playing with the possibilities from one to the next.

The Bister pigments are natural inks, (find out more here) and the colours are more muted than my usual vibrant orange and red. I can get some fantastic textures that are not possible with acrylics. If you would like to know more about how I use Bister inks in my painting take a look at my Bister Masterclass. It’s available to download as an eBook and is everything I teach in my Bister art workshop. Get a full list of the contents on Etsy.