A Burst of Bister

Bister Poppy Heather Telford

This is my first creation using bister. A friend shared her set of powders with me a week ago and I made several panels exploding with colour and have turned only one into a card. When I was experimenting with the pigment powders I stamped the large ‘Poppy Time’ stamp on a couple of pieces of cold pressed watercolour paper and left two more pieces blank. I then spritzed water on the panels and started dropping bister into the water using a very very small paintbrush. Because I had poppies already stamped on two panels I tried to drop bister colours in appropriate areas. On the blank panels I was more random with the powders and I ended up liking those panels better. I have my own set of powders now and I am looking forward to trying some more techniques.

I did learn that it is best to walk away and let the pigments powders do their magic. It helps to have a packet of Honey & Dijon mustard chips on hand to distract you at that point. To turn the panel above into a card I used a couple of my zig clean colour real brush markers to add extra colour to the stamped images. I trimmed the panel and attached it to a card base with two strips of co-ordinating card stock.


Stamps: Poppy Time (Penny Black)
Inks:  Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko), Bister pigment powders 
Cardstock: Canson cold pressed watercolour paper
Also: Zig clean color real brush markers

12 Comments on “A Burst of Bister”

  1. Jan Castle says:

    Thanks Heather for the challenge to get out my Bister!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  2. khasheck says:

    I have been a subscriber and fan of your cards and your blog for a long time. I love my Bister powders, which led me to Brushos and then to Color Burst powders. All are fun and addictive and an easy way to make beautiful artistic cards. We have a Facebook group and many members all over the world posting projects using Bisters, Brushos and/or Color Burst. Here is a link to check it out – we would love to have you as a member. https://www.facebook.com/groups/bisterbrushocolorburstenthusiasts/

  3. canadiancaroline says:

    What is BIster? and more importantly, where can one get Honey and Dijon chips? I love this organic-looking panel. It reminds me a bit of working with alcohol inks, in the way the blending occurs.

    • Heather says:

      First the chips because I appreciate that you have your priorities straight! Kettle chips now have a Honey and Dijon mustard flavour option and I am pretty sure I just got them at the supermarket. Now Bister is a pigment powder which reacts with water. There are quite a few different pigment powders available at the moment but the difference with Bister is that the powders are made from wood soot so the colours are muted rather than bright. A little goes a very long way and the patterns it makes when it comes in contact with water are amazing.

  4. Liz in NH says:

    So excited to see what you do with Bister. I’ve been having a ball with Brusho, and you’re my Guru water colorist, so you go, Lady!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Heather.

  5. Beverly Railey Robinson says:

    It’s fun to see! Try doing butterflies. It’s perfect for them.

    Happy summer.

  6. Bonnie says:

    I’m learning that there are so many techniques using these powders! This is lovely! Thanks for sharing another technique. I don’t have Bisters but the Brushos which are very similar. I love hos this technique works with a large open flower!

  7. Micheline Jourdain says:

    You make me smile with your help… honey and dyjon mustard chips… hahaha… so true for me too but… just just chips with salt… hahaha… and the bistre is a very nice medium technique… I am looking for since a few but here (Québec) I can not find that… 😦 Beautiful done!

  8. Pat says:

    I love the colours of Bister you have used Heather and they certainly pack a punch! The poppy is the perfect accompaniment and the colours in the flower are nice and strong too so they don’t get lost. A pretty creation. x

  9. Lindsey says:

    Ah, food as a distraction… one of my favourites, to my sometimes chagrin. 😀 I’ve been seeing Bisters all over the place lately and am so very curious! You just give me yet another reason to want to try them. Such a fun and eye-catching card!

  10. Lesley S. says:

    Hi Heather,
    You state that your Bister pigments are from Tsukineko. I can’t see them on the Tsukineko website. Where did you get yours from? I have some that I purchased from “I Brake for Stamps” in the USA, who imports them directly from Holland. They come in 8 colours. Is this the same product you’ve used? I know there are other similar products: Brusho which comes in many colours, and “Color Burst” by Ken Oliver, currently available in 6 colours only.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lesley,
      The Tsukineko label was a mistake; it only refers to the versafine ink. I am not sure where my Bister powders came from as a friend purchased them on my behalf. I can find out the manufacturer but it may well be the same as yours. I did get eight colours.

Leave a Reply to Lesley S. Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s