Friday, January 29, 2016

MIx-Ability challenge: painting with coffee

It's my turn to host the Mix-Ability challenge this week, and I pulled out a technique I've been wanting to try for some time - painting with coffee!

You can work with regular or instant coffee - I chose instant coffee because it was easy to mix with a small amount of water, and easy to control the ratios for lighter and darker concentrations.

I filled a well of my palette about 1/2 full with the instant coffee powder, and then added water with a dropper until it was mixable. For a lighter color, I took some of the concentrated mixture and added more water in a second well.

Once the coffee is mixed, you can paint with it like you would a watercolor medium. Spritz with water to spread the color further or to create a wash for a background. Work from light to dark, and layer different shades of coffee paint to create depth. 

The painted coffee also lifts very willingly with water, so I had some fun with lifting here too - splattering in the background then rolling a paper towel roll across the piece, and lifting the steam area to lighten it up.

This was a lot of fun, and I hope you'll try it - I used the cheapest, smallest container of instant coffee I could find, and I'm happy with the results. I was working on matboard here, but watercolor paper worked well too.

Happy weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Love Love Love this, Being a coffee drinker it caught my eye. Would love one like this to frame for my Kitchen.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration and the details!
    Your painting is delicious X 3 🤗

  3. Such a clever idea. Never had thought of that. Love your finished picture and the colors turned out perfect. Will try it. One question? Does it smell like coffee? Edna Burgess

  4. Oh my gosh!!! are you kidding me?? this is amazing!!!!! I also never, ever thought about this, how very clever and inventive Dina, the results are just beautiful and I bet this card smells glorious too!!
    What a perfectly perfect way to make cards for my coffee lover friends.
    I must give this a try, I will go and get a little jar of instant coffee ASAP!!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Simply fabulous! It's a beautiful piece and an awesome technique!

  6. Wow...what a fabulous cup a coffee painting Dina. I am definitely going to be playing. TFS my friend.

  7. Wow, Dina, I don't drink coffee, but you made me want to try this! This is really a pretty painting! Brenda West

  8. Looks like this was a ton of FUN Dina....great project!
    Paper Hugs,

  9. Oh Dina!! luv this!!! your painting is Fabulous!!

  10. This looks awesome! Perfect subject too ;p

  11. Amazing technique. Who knew? Thanks for always giving us something new to try!

  12. What??? Paintng with with coffee? You are so talented and creative, Dina! This is just amazing technique to learn. Thank you so much for sharing it with us :)