I was asked for some tips on adding colour to projects made with Ivory or White Powertex. A customer had made a fabric sculpture but was unhappy with how the colours looked. When she explained, I knew exactly what she meant because I’d had the same problem!

Powertex triptych with Ivory

Creating with Ivory or White Powertex Universal Medium

I was quick to buy Ivory Powertex Universal Medium probably because I’m used to painting on a white(ish) surface. It’s a great starting place for mixed media projects but it can be a struggle when it comes to adding colour to sculpture. Take a look at my fairy houses here.

I made these when I was first starting out with Powertex. I was happy with the black fairy house with iridescent highlights. The yellow ochre house is not too dark or light but I chose coloured pigments that hardly show up. The ivory one on the left was dry brushed with many layers of pigments! I started with blues, then burgundy and pinks and eventually I used white pigment to cover up the colours! No matter what I did, it just didn’t look right.

Seeing shadows in your textures

This canvas is made with Ivory Powertex and texture mediums and helps to explain why it looked odd. (You can see the whole project step by step here.)

Powertex landscape Ivory

There are different shades of white here because of the different products I’ve used but what you can see are the shadows created by the different textures. The “valleys” in the corrugated card are dark shadows. The raised areas are lighter and it’s the same all over the canvas. My mistake with the Ivory fairy house was that the valleys or shadows were light (white) and the raised areas where the light hits, were darker when I coloured them!

The dry brushing technique I’d used only coloured the raised textures. It’s possible to mix a wetter paint and try to get in all the textures but it can be slow and maybe tricky if you’ve got tiny textures. The good news is that there are great ways to colour your Ivory Powertex that are easy and effective.

Spray Bister inks

If you’ve ever used spray colour in a mixed media project you’ll know how the colour moves around. It will run into the textures and colour them instantly. Bister spray from Powertex is a water based colour. My favourite thing about Bister is the muted colours. They are perfect for a vintage or “aged” project or for softer colour. Spray onto dry Powertex for best results.

These skull altered bottles were fabric wrapped with Ivory and sprayed with Bister in brown and green. The aged look is brilliant for these bottles. Just spray the Bister onto dry Powertex textures and wipe away from raised areas to lighten.

Acrylic inks

This canvas also uses fluid ink colour but this time it’s on Ivory Powertex mixed with Easy 3d Flex. Once 3D Flex is dry, deep cracks will form. Fluid colour allows you to drop and run colour in between these textures. This art uses transparent acrylic inks from The Secret Art Loft. After the colour is dry you can add highlights with Ivory or White Powertex.

Powertex textured art by Kore Sage

Using colour with Ivory or White Powertex is easy when you use sprays or fluid colours. Practice layering and varying the amounts for different effects. As a last tip on using Bister, it’s a good idea to seal these projects as Bister is not permanent. If it gets wet, the colour will run.

If you enjoy the dry brushing technique with powder pigments such as Powercolor I recommend using a darker colour Powertex as a base. Your colours will really stand out and highlights will look amazing.


Jinny Holt · 17th September 2018 at 10:22 pm

Lovely blog and I love your artwork and style x

    Kore · 18th September 2018 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for coming by Jinny!

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