Seattle Coffee [Coffee Painting]

Seattle Coffee (c)
5×7 coffee painting of Ampersand Gessoboard.

This was my first experiment using coffee and acrylic mediums.  I think it came out decently enough for the first try.  I didn’t like the gloss medium as much as I thought I would.  I may try mixing both the gel and the gloss next time to see if I get more of what I was looking for.  I’m also not sure if I like the gessoboard or not.  It’s a very smooth surface with was nice for the first layer, but I found it difficult to work with for the top layers.  I’ll have to try it again and see.  I may need a canvas with more texture.

Anyway,  I wanted this to be a little bit more of a looser painting and have something to do with Seattle.  So, I thought of a cup spilling out into a cityscape of Seattle.  My first wash wash really watery, and when the drips happened I kind of went with it.  Seems to have added a nice little touch to it.  Some of them went a little longer than I wanted, but oh well.  It was a fun little practice piece, and I have some ideas for next time!

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Piano Rose [Inktense]

Snowy Squirrel [Coffee]

Frozen Lady [Coffee, Tea, & Wine]

Pansies [Tea]

Clock and Daisies [Coffee]

Sip of Coffee [Coffee]

Fun With Coffee on GooglePlus


I made a community on GooglePlus.  If you aren’t there, you’re missing out.  It’s just for coffee, tea, and wine painting.  I decided to do something fun and it was supposed to be for October, but this month didn’t quite work out for me.  So, we’re going to do it for November.  November will be coffee painting month, and at the end of the month, I will take everyone’s art pieces and put them together on a slideshow for you guys to enjoy.  During the month, you post in progress photos and ask for advice if you want.  Now this is only for my GooglePlus Community.  If you want in on the fun, you gotta go there.

Now here’s some tips on how to get started if you’ve never done it:

WATERCOLOR STYLE:  All you need is some strongly brewed coffee, the darkest roast you can find, and you can get different tones by adding more water.  The more water, the lighter the tone.  If you don’t want to use your precious coffee grounds, then use instant.  Again, the more water you have to your instant coffee grounds the lighter the tone will be.

ACRYLIC STYLE:  This one may require some experimentation.  You will need a very strongly brewed cup of coffee.  Boiling out some of the water may help as well.  Bring it to a simmer and then stir in small amounts of cold coffee and flour mixtures until you get it to the thickness you want.  Adding the flour will lighten the color some, which is why you need a very dark coffee to start with.  You’ll want different tones.  So different roasts and different strengths may give you the variety you want.  Such as using an espresso, a French, and an Italian at different strengths.

VARNISHING:  Whether you’re doing watercolor or acrylic, you’ll need to varnish it.  Even if you’re using acid free or archival paper or canvas, there is acid in the coffee and contact with air is what’s going to cause it to fade, not just contact to light.  For acrylic, you can use whatever matte spray you want to seal it and then use an archival liquid varnish over it.  For watercolor.  I recommend using the archival matte spray by Golden.  It’s the one I use on all my watercolors.  It’s archival and offers UV protection.  It will still need to be framed behind glass to protect it from water damage.

BONUS TIPS:  If you’re not going to finish within a day or two, put your coffee in little jars or containers and put them in the refrigerator to prevent mold.  Also, coffee dries slower than regular water based paint, so allow for that.  If you’re doing watercolor, lifting techniques don’t work as well since coffee is staining.

So head over there to get in on all the fun!  I look forward to seeing all your paintings!