One stamp, two coloursPosted: July 21, 2015 Filed under: Bister, Queen Anne's Lace, Watercolour | Tags: Bister, Penny Black stamps, Ranger Distress stains 16 Comments
Continuing my experiments with bistre paint powders, I pulled out one of my favourite stamps and limited myself to a blue and green colour scheme. Below are all the results of my fiddling around with colours, water, repetitive stamping and order of operations. All the panels were splattered with masking fluid which really added interest on the most watery panels. Where the stains pooled and bled into each other the little masked dots break up the solid colour. Each was taped to a board with painter’s tape which created a masked border that I retained on all but one card.
On the panel below I sprinkled both blue and green bister on dry watercolour paper then spritzed lightly, tilted it this way and that, then walked away. This is becoming my new watercolour mantra, ” Walk away, just walk away!” As I have said before it helps to have chips on hand to distract yourself from wanting to fiddle more with the painting that needs to dry. In this case I did not have chips but I did have four different panels to work on so as each one was set aside to dry I started the next. Once dry I stamped the Queen Anne’s Lace in a dark green and a mix of two blues to co-ordinate with the bister patterns. I stamped twice without re-inking in between so the lower images are a bit paler. I like the lacy airiness of the flowers on this one but it’s not my favourite.
There was more water involved in the panel below and some painting and sponging too in order to frame the scene. I began by stamping in pale green on a slightly damp panel. You can see those first pale images in the background. I then switched to darker colours and dropped some bister into the stamping. To fill the white background I used a paintbrush to pull both stain and bister into the spaces. I tried to be careful not to lose the definition of the flowers. When it was totally dry (walk away, just walk away) I sponged a bit more colour in the corners. I like the shadowy images behind the stronger ones on this panel but it is not my favourite.
To be honest with you, below is the one that almost got tossed. I didn’t walk away and you can see all the murky green that resulted. I didn’.t want to give up however so I pulled out some scraps of dry wall tape I had used on another project and sprinkled bister powder over the tape, spritized water over the powders, let it dry a bit then sponged for more coverage. Not only does the grid add some interest, it leads the eye away from the murk. The other thing that saved this one is the mass of masking fluid flecks right in the centre adding light to the murk. You have probably guessed, not my favourite.
Which leaves us with this one. It has lots of blue, some nice bister bursts, both watery and defined stamping, some white flecks in appropriate places and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s my favourite. Which one do you prefer?
Do you ever fiddle around with the same stamp and colours for several projects? It’s not quite making multiples but it is time efficient to use the supplies while they are all on the table.
Stamps: Queen Anne’s Lace, Happy Notes, Heartfelt, A Sweet Day (PB)
Inks: Bundled Sage, Forest Moss, Pine Needles, Crushed Olive, Chipped Sapphire, Evergreen Bough, Salty Ocean Distress Stains & Chipped Sapphire distress ink (Ranger) Spanish Moss, Majestic Blue & Olympia Green Versafine inks (Tsukineko)
Paint Powder: Blue and Green Bister
Cardstock: Canson cold pressed 100%cotton watercolour paper,
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid
I like the first card and the last card…guess it is the white space! All are very interesting!!!
Very inspiring. I love working with bister.
Haven’t done it for a long time. You inspired me.
Your cards look gorgeous. Thanks for showing Anneke
Could you share with us what brand bister powders you use? I really like the colors.
There is no branding on my little jars but I believe it is from the Netherlands and available from ‘ I brake for Stamps’
Thanks, Heather, I’ve ordered the set although there are probably a couple I won’t use. I appreciate the answer.
The last one is definitively my favorite. But the others ones are very nice too.
I really like the second and the last cards! Thanks for sharing your process. I should experiment more with my Brushos…..maybe tonight….
They are all beautiful Heather and I don’t think I could pick a favourite. What is so pleasing is that the bister gives a different result every time and you have used such lovely sentiments which finish them all so prettily. x
Love your cards! Which tape do you use around the edges? I find the green and the blue painter’s tape sometime pulls off some of the paper. How do you disperse the bister powder? I just got some but haven’t figured what works best.
I like using frog tape for delicate surfaces (the yellow one). When I did these I was very low on tape and was using and reusing the same few strips of yellow, blue and green tape! I use a small paintbrush to pick up and then drop the bister powder onto the paper.
They may not all be at the top of your favourites list, but they are all quite dramatic and artistic! I think I’m with you that the last is my favourite as well. And I completely agree that it’s good to walk away sometimes (watercolour or not) and then look again with fresh eyes.
Probably “Birthday Wishes” is my favorite! then “beautiful” and then “happier”. Actually, they all give me the “itch” to pull out my powders and play! So…thank you Heather!
Traumhaft schöne Bilder. Ich hoffe, dass ich nach den tollen Anleitungen auch etwas gestalten kann. Vielen Dank!
Your favorite is truly beautiful, but my favorite is actually the first one! Love the color & white balance.
They’re all beautiful. I’ve never heard of Bister before. I’ll have to look it up. Keep them coming, love seeing them.
This is new to me but very interesting! I like the first one best.