Saturday, March 13, 2010

Coffee, anyone?

Columns in Time
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

Usually when someone offers coffee, it is to drink - but, not in this case! The painting above, Columns in Time, is painted with coffee. Have you ever painted with coffee? Believe it or not, it’s a wonderful medium for monochromatic artwork, with a wide range of rich brown hues.

I had a great time painting this one and enjoyed the aroma of the coffee too. I used instant coffee for my painting, but brewed coffee can be used as well. I find that it is easier to adjust the intensity of the shade when using instant. Not dark enough? Just add another teaspoon of coffee. In addition to the coffee, I only added a few touches of watercolor paint: Sepia, Paynes gray, and Hookers Green. These colors were only used in a few places - the majority of my painting was done with coffee.

• Change the coffee/water ratio to achieve a lighter or richer color. Darker hues will require less water than the lighter shades.
• Use 140 lb. watercolor paper, paper towels for blotting up excess coffee, and several small plastic cups to hold your "paint."
• Coffee lightens when it dries; so no matter how dark your thickest mixture is, you will probably want it to appear even darker on the paper. You will need to go over your paper quite a bit until you reach the desired appearance.
• Wait until the previous layer is completely dry before adding the next. You can use a hair dryer to dry each layer and speed the process; it works beautifully.

Give it a anyone?

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