New Coffee Painting Plans

coffee-424763_640

Apparently, I forgot my blog post yesterday.  Oops.  Anyway, I’m here to tell you about my new coffee painting plans since what I’m currently doing isn’t working out so well.  I do spray my paintings with a UV archival spray varnish by Golden, which does help, but they still fade.  The coffee lasts longer than the tea.  It’s because the acid in the coffee and tea reacts with the paper.  So I changed my current paintings in my store to $2 and $5.  That way you’re just paying for some of the supplies and shipping.

My next experiment will be using an acrylic binder and acrylic mediums on canvas and see what that does for the fading.  I’ll still continue with the inktense, but I also miss the texture from oil painting.  So maybe I can get it this way.  I probably won’t sell any until I know how the fading issue turns out, but I’ll share the finished photos with you.

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

Excuses

Adult Coloring Books

Donating Art to Charity

How to Get You Drawing on Your Paper

Inktense Review and Tutorial

Mixed vs Layered Paint

Right Side vs Wrong Side of the Paper

Excuses

Excuses

Sometimes people let excuses get in the way of them starting out in the art career they want.  The biggest one is no start up money.  I had no start up money, and I do still have dreams of making things better.  All I had were some basic watercolor supplies.  I set up my website for free with wordpress.com, and I use my camera phone to take pictures of my paintings.  It doesn’t take good enough photos for prints, but it works for a website and social media.  I also use the camera on my laptop to record video of my paintings.

Yes, it would be better if I had better equipment, but at least I started, and I have a small amount of money to save up for better stuff later.  In the beginning, you’ll have a small number of followers, which is helpful since you can have lower quality equipment, and make a few mistakes along the way.

Maybe you think you don’t have training/classes.  Get some.  You can find local classes that are cheaper than college, and there are tons of free stuff online.

If you keep letting excuses stop you from even starting, you’ll never start. You can come up with really good ones all day long, but what it really comes down to is that you’re afraid to start for whatever reason.  Usually that you’ll fail, but maybe that just means you need a different approach.  If you really want it, don’t let excuses get in the way.

So what are the excuses that keeping you from doing what you want?

Other Topics That Might Interest You:

Donating Art to Charity

Looked at Your Analytics?

Watermarking Your Work

Things You Need to Think About Before Taking Commissions

1 Simple Thing to Boost the Views on Your Website

Sometimes Life Just Happens

The Blue Scarf Lady (c)

I’m writing this more for myself than for you, but maybe you find something useful from it.  As you can see from last week, my blog didn’t happen and I was upset about it, because I know there are certain people who wait for it to come out on that day, but I just couldn’t get to it.

Not much happened in the way my art that week.  I wasn’t feeling well.  Baby was teething.  Dinner needed to be made every night.  Oh and there’s always cleaning to be done.  I also need to do a painting, and do a blog, and run my social media sites.  All that just wasn’t going to happen that week, so I felt I needed to make myself feel bad about it.

Then I looked over at my 5 month old son who smiled at me.  We then played peek-a-boo over the crib and laughed.  I then thought, “I may not have accomplished everything I wanted, but my son is happy and I made him laugh.”  I’ll try again next week and whatever gets done, gets done.  Sometimes life happens and that’s ok.

Piano Rose

This paper was much easier to work on.  I was able to get much more layers with this paper.  I think I need to get a board that I can tape my work down to though.  I actually found that I liked using the blocks right on the paper more that I did on my other pieces.  I think having the stiffer brushes helped.  I was able to get rid of the grit normally left over.  They are a soft synthetic, but they’re still stiffer than my natural hair watercolor brushes.

Since I play the piano I enjoyed painting this piece.  I actually love the black keys in this painting, which is funny since they’re not really perfect, but for some reason, they’re my favorite part of this painting.

This piece is now available here and the full slowed down version of the video is available here.

Piano Rose (c)
9×12 inktense on Fabriano Artistico soft press 300lbs watercolor paper.

 

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Snowy Squirrel

Sleepy Kitty

Pansies

Mother’s Day Cards

Handful of Tea

How To Get Your Drawing On Your Paper

Piano Rose 1
This is the initial outline for my next painting, which will be done in inktense.

Need to sketch out a drawing and then only get a light outline onto your paper?  I know I’m really messy with my first sketch, and I don’t want all those lines on my paper.  To avoid that, sketch it out on tracing paper first and then use transfer paper to get your drawing onto your paper.  If you’re putting your drawing onto a canvas, you can get it in both black and white so that you can put the drawing over dark backgrounds.  Make sure to save the initial drawing on your tracing paper so you can bring back certain guide lines if you need to.

The transfer paper I use is pretty inexpensive.  It’s the package of four sheets of 9 by 13 from Loew Cornell.  You can reuse these sheets so they last a long time too.  They are a must have item for me.  What’s your must have item?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

Other Art Tips:

Inktense Tutorial and Review

Mixed vs Layered

Right Side vs Wrong Side of the Paper

5 Beginning Watercolor Mistakes

Is Realistic Watercolor Possible?

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

Snowy Squirrel

8x10 coffee painting on 300lbs Fabriano Artistico soft press watercolor paper.
8×10 coffee painting on 300lbs Fabriano Artistico soft press watercolor paper.

So I was excited to try out my new paper and decided to go with something simple.  I was also excited to finally had a real camera instead of just using my camera phone and my laptop to record video and take photos.  However, the quality was just awful.  Believe it or not, my built-in camera on my laptop takes better video than my the digital camera I have that I finally found, and my my phone also takes better photos.  *sigh*

Anyway, that was my frustration of the morning.  Hopefully I’ll have video of my next painting for you.  I love this guy’s little fluffy tail!  This paper is very nice for getting wet into wet techniques. I’ll have to play around with that in my next painting.

This painting’s now available here.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Sleepy Kitty

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Sip of Coffee

Coffee Dessert

Fun With Coffee on GooglePlus

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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!

Testing Soft Press Paper

Test Rose

I’m trying to find my way back into a routine, and I decided to attempt that by testing out this 2 x 3 Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300lbs soft press watercolor paper.  Must the name be that long?  Anyway, I hadn’t quite figured it out on the rose, but the leaves got much better.  Fabriano is the only brand that has a soft press and it’s supposed to be an in-between paper for cold and hot press.  Once you get used to it, it’s very lovely to work with.  I like that you can easily get a loose look and a tight detail all on one paper.  You just have to control the amount of water on your brush and pay attention to the drying time.  I’m glad that it comes in a 300lbs since I work in so many layers.  I was noticing with the 140lbs paper I was working on, it just stopped taking layers at a certain point.

I found this paper amongst all the sample papers that Blick sent me.  I originally just asked for their hot press papers in certain brands, but I guess they just all come together, and I got the rough, cold, and hot of all of them.  I’m not complaining because that’s how I found this wonderful paper.

For those of you who want this piece, watch my Pinterest page this Sunday.  I will be hiding it somewhere on one of my boards and the first person to comment on it will get it.

Sleepy Kitty

I finished up this one this morning.  I may be a little slow on things for a while right now because of all the Jewish holidays, but I’ll get out what I can.  I wanted to do another mixed coffee and tea painting.  I think I need a heavier weight paper.  Hopefully once I figure out which paper I like from the samples Blick sent me, I can get some 300 lbs paper.  Maybe that will work better for my initial washes.  The 140 seems to work fine for watercolor, but not so much for doing washes in coffee and tea.

This one is now available here, and the full length video is available on my Patreon page.

8x10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.
8×10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Clock and Daisies

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee

Rosh Hashana

Well, I’m still figuring out the inktense.  I’m not sure I like my current paper for the inktense.  Luckily I have some papers to test out from Blick.  I thew in some gold and silver leafing just for fun.  I’ll be busy with Rosh Hashana for a while.  Those of you celebrating Rosh Hashana, Chag Sameach!  This painting is now available here.

8x10 inktense on 140lbs watercolor paper with gold and silver leafing.
8×10 inktense on 140lbs watercolor paper with gold and silver leafing.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Clock and Daisies

Row of Tea and Cappuccino Star

Sip of Coffee

The Tree Nymph