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

coffee-206142_640

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!

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

Frozen Lady

This one was really frustrating for me.  The raspberry tea that always turned a nice shad of purple for me decided to just go darker and darker shades of blue.  Same paper.  Same brand of tea.  Same mixture, but blue instead of purple.  I grabbed some wine in hopes of saving it.  It turned out ok enough.  It wasn’t what I was going for, but we can just say that she’s frozen under ice and maybe that’ll work.  I’ll have to do a wine painting and see how that turns out.

This one is now available on my storenvy page.

9x12 coffee, tea, and wine painting on 140lbs watercolor paper.  This one was kind of an accidental experiment.  Gotta love those!
9×12 coffee, tea, and wine painting on 140lbs watercolor paper. This one was kind of an accidental experiment. Gotta love those!

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Pansies

Clock and Daisies

New Paintings

Mother’s Day Cards

Sip of Coffee

Coffee Dessert

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

While you can varnish watercolor paper, it is a little different than varnishing canvas.  It still needs to be framed behind glass to protect it from water and humidity, but a varnish can help prevent fading.  You want to get a matte spray varnish.  I use the matte spray varnish by Golden.  It’s archival and offers UV protection.  There’s not much of point in using a varnish that isn’t archival.

With coffee and tea, you want to varnish as soon as you can because it’s not just contact with light that causes it to fade, but also contact with oxygen.  It needs to be completely dry first, but after that, varnish it.  Watercolor can wait a bit if you keep it out of the light.  Even if you get acid-free paper, there’s still acid in the coffee and tea.

Hopefully that’s helpful.  If you try it out, let me know how it goes.  Also if you have any questions, leave those in the comments too!

Other Topics That Might Interest You:

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Are You Using the Right Watercolor Paper?

Clock and Daisies Finished!

Clock and Daisies (c)

Well, it’s finished.  I’m not sure I like how the baby powder works with the coffee.  I have an idea for something else, but that requires other supplies and I’m having a hard time finding them.  In the meantime, I think I’ll be experimenting with tea this week.  I don’t really have time to try them one at a time, so I think I’ll just mix up all of them and paint with them all at once and see what happens.  Should be interesting.  I’ll let you know how it goes next week.

This painting is now available on my my storenvy page.

Other Blogs That Might Interest You:

New Paintings

Mother’s Day Cards

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee

Coffee Dessert

Clock And Daisies

Clock and Daisies 3

Well, I haven’t finished it, but I’ve made decent progress.  Baby’s demand lots of attention, but we love them anyway!  So someone suggested adding baby powder to my coffee to help in layering.  I haven’t noticed much of a difference and I hate the smell.  I probable won’t do it again.

I need to get some more depth going, because right now it’s looking a little flat, and I also need to work on the flowers.  Then I’ll be fine tuning some of the details, and hopefully if all goes well, I’ll have it done by next week.

I also found a way to have prints made of a digital piece a made a few years ago.  Since people ask for it all the time, I thought I’d put it up here for you guys.  So you can go check that out on my storenvy page.  (shalevbasya.storenvy.com)

The Blue Scarf Lady (c)

Now I have a question for you!  What kind of things do you want me to paint?  You can look through my gallery to see what I’ve already done to get ideas and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

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The name pretty much tells you what these colors do.  A staining color will severely stain your paper so that it’s difficult to lift back to white, and if you try you will pretty much have a varying degree of the tint of color left behind on your paper.  This happens because they immediately absorb into the paper before the water starts evaporating.  Where as in the non-staining colors, the paint dries on the surface of the paper after the water evaporates.

Both have their usefulness and if you’re a beginner, you probably want to stay away from the staining colors for a while.  They make it harder to fix things, and they also tend to dominate other colors.  However, once you’re more comfortable, you should definitely give them a try.  They’re among my favorites to paint with because they’re so vibrant in color.

Coffee and tea are staining, but it depends on the strength of the brew as to how staining.  If I’m using one of my lighter color, I can lift to white, because there’s more water and less of the “paint.”  Coffee takes more effort.  However when I’m using my darker tones with the stronger brewed teas or coffee, lifting to white is not going to happen.

So, those of you who paint with watercolors, do you like painting with staining color?  Why or why not?  Tell me about it in the comments below.  Also if there are those of you who paint with coffee or tea, I’d love hearing about that too!

Iced Mocha Fusion

coffee-540653_1280

Sometimes on a hot day, hot coffee just doesn’t work.  That’s when you have to go to something like an iced mocha.  Chocolate, coffee, and ice make for nice combination.  This quick and easy recipe is one I have amongst all my drink and smoothie recipes.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

ICED MOCHA FUSION

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons mocha flavored instant coffee mix
1 cup crushed ice

DIRECTIONS

In a blender or food processor, combine milk, vanilla, sugar, coffee powder and crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Starting On A New Painting

Clock and Daisies 1

With the new baby, I haven’t had much time to paint, and the new brushes I bought ruined my last painting.  So, I’ll be going back to my old brushes.  This is just the light initial drawing.  I had to really hype up the contrast so that you could actually see it.  The drawing itself is barely noticeable.

I do a lot of cups in my paintings.  It kind of goes along with painting with coffee and tea, but I wanted to paint something with flowers.  This seemed appropriate and interesting.  I have my cups, and flowers, with the added bonus of an alarm clock.  Vote bellow if what me to paint this with coffee or with tea, and check back next week to see what progress I made!