Powertex mini art with Yellow ochre and Bister sprays

Creating a small series of mini art is a quick way to test out an idea. In this mini series I used a combination of Yellow ochre Powertex Universal Medium and Bister sprays in warm colours. I used 9 small squares of heavy watercolour paper just 2″ square. This allows me to move quickly between pieces and not get too fussy!

Powertex mini art with Yellow Ochre and Bister

What is Bister?

Bister is an ink product from Powertex, available in 7 muted sprays and also in granule form. It’s not a permanent product and does require fixing for display as it will reactivate when wet. You can find an introduction to Bister here. I share a lot about how I create unique Powertex art with Bister in my Bister Masterclass if you’d like to know more. It’s also fun for creating backgrounds for your mixed media art.

Powertex Bister sprays

Using coloured Powertex

Powertex medium is available in a range of colours and they are also mixable so you can create your own colours and tints. Purple Powertex anyone?

Use a coloured base with Bister sprays for brilliant effects but avoid Bronze and Black if you want best results. I personally like to use warm colours together like Yellow Powertex with Red, Brown or Mahogany Bister but there are lots of fantastic combinations. (Another favourite is a blue base with Black Bister.)

Creating the base layer

I coat the paper squares with Yellow ochre Powertex first, this makes the paper more sturdy and less likely to curl. When these are dry I coat scraps of natural fabrics, threads and small texture balls with Powertex and layer into place. I make sure to keep lots of wrinkles and scrunches and folds in the fabric for texture. The small balls are the perfect detail to drop in, again coated with Powertex.

Yellow Powertex mini art with fabric textures

Adding and wiping back Bister

I sprayed all the pieces with Bister thoroughly, letting it run into the textures. This will create some dark ‘pools’ of colour that look great when it’s dry. Use Bister on a paintbrush to drop extra ink into specific areas.

Because Bister isn’t permanent, it’s possible to wipe back where you want highlights or on raised areas. Use a damp sponge or cloth to take off some of the ink and leave the yellow Powertex glowing through.

Mini Powertex art Yellow and Bister

Tiny Powertex art

This set has a gorgeous glow in my sunny window and looks fabulous framed. 

Group of Mini Powertex art with Yellow and Bister

Take a look at my previous mini Powertex art, there’s a mixed media with metallic pigments series and a set with Rusty Powder.

While I’m not running any in-person classes you can still find my tutorials in the Etsy shop. I’m a Powertex tutor and get my supplies from Powertex UK.