It’s a real shame to throw coffee grounds away because you can reuse them in many ways, as we’ve already seen, for example, to make an anti-cellulite body scrub or to fertilise plants. In this article, we’ll find out how to paint with coffee grounds, another of the one thousand uses at your disposal for transforming coffee dregs into a cheap, useful resource that absolutely everyone can enjoy.
Coffee painting is the art of creating wonderful monochromatic paintings of any object conjured up by the imagination. It is amazing to see how works like these can be created using a single colour, and yet it is possible: let’s take a look at the method you need to follow to express your artistic verve.
Painting with coffee, step by step
Before the introduction of artificial colours, tea and coffee were among the most common substances used as natural dyes. There are two main coffee painting techniques: one involves using liquid coffee made with a moka pot as if it were a watercolour, and with the other one you can reuse coffee dregs. In this article, we’ll be teaching you about this second technique.
Prepare the materials you need to paint with coffee
- Watercolour paper.
- A flat paintbrush.
- A round-tipped paintbrush.
- A pencil.
- Coffee grounds: we recommend you mix them with instant coffee for a better result.
Prepare at least two different solutions
To create your masterpiece, you’ll definitely need some lighter colours and other, darker ones. We recommend you make at least two different solutions:
- One darker one, made of two parts coffee and one part water.
- One lighter one, composed of two parts water and one part coffee.
If you want to create other shades, simply add more water to make them lighter, or more coffee to make them darker.
Do a sketch, then get painting!
Before starting to paint with coffee, you should preferably do a sketch of the design that you intend to create. A portrait, a landscape, or perhaps something abstract: there are no limits to your creativity!
Having finished your sketch, you can begin painting with the lighter shade. Wait for it to dry, otherwise the colours will get mixed up and be difficult to control. When the lighter shades are dry, you can begin painting using the darker ones.
Leave your coffee-painted picture to dry
When you’ve finished painting with the darker shade, leave the painting to dry for at least 24 hours before framing it. To protect the painting and ensure it preserves well, apply a thin layer of varnish.
Coffee painting: the international artists
The art of coffee painting has spread all over the world. We have selected some of the most talented international artists who stand out in for their expertise in this unique artistic technique.
Maria A. Aristidou
British artist who paints famous people: actors, painters, videogame heroes, Walt Disney cartoon characters and many more. Maria A. Aristidou creates up to five different shades of coffee for her paintings.
Italian artist Giulia Berardinelli is another of the most original leading figures of this artistic current. Her works have starred singers such as Amy Winehouse and actresses like Marilyn Monroe.
American painter Karen Eland is famous for using coffee painting to create masterpieces of art history, such as Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.
Hong Yi, known as Red, is a young, talented Malaysian artist who paints using coffee and coffee cup stains to create texture. Her works have been published all over the world.
Have you enjoyed painting with coffee? Don’t pull up the reins on your creative spirit just yet! Let us show you another artistic technique: learn how to create and dye paper straws with coffee, a really enjoyable recycling activity for DIY buffs.