Monday, January 7, 2013

My cup of joe
Cheapo instant coffee wash on typing paper, I think, or was it the back of my excise tax. 

The Old Mill in Winter
Folgers not in my cup wash
8x10" on an archival piece of high grade drawing paper, 
or was it used copy paper, .. whatever. 
The Snowman
Pen, ink, plus coffee washes
8x10" on plain old crummy paper
Coffee. Its not just for drinking anymore. This blog is directed to all those inquisitive minds who need to know the behind the art curtain secrets of how to make a coffee based painting.
  First and foremost, ... make a pot of coffee. Drink some.
Now your ready to go to work as a coffee artist. But, just for your information, the kind you drink, is probably not the kind your going to use to paint with. I came upon the coffee art medium when I was at college. We'd sit it the student union of campus and doodle on napkins while having our java. Mind you we were art students. Not your ordinary variety of chemistry majors. or nuclear physicists. Bona fide living on the edge, bohemian art students, playing with our napkins and food at the campus center while other people tried to look serious with their books ajar. (yeah, sure)
  Well anyway, we'd pencil or pen in an image, and then using our fingers, take some coffee from our cups and wash the tone in. Just like Neanderthals having an artfest in a cave. I must admit, we did some pretty cool work on these napkins. Talouse Lautrec would have been proud.
  Napkins took the wash pretty good, and what helped was the lousy thicker than mud coffee we were drinking.
 But that was then, and this is now. I've evolved a few notches up from the primitive coffee methods we were using and have refined it somewhat. I have found that you don't have to boil a pot of mud coffee, in order to get a good wash. The secret?? (drum roll... ta ta ta ta da dum de dum rat tat tat! )
.. The cheapest crummy instant coffee you can find.  Drop 3 or 4 teaspoons into a quarter cup of hot water and you've got a good sienna wash. If you want a more umber type of color, use Columbian or burn it a bit like the campus center coffee I was telling you about.
 This is not something new by the way. Early man was using this same kind of dye 10, 000 yrs ago in the form of plants, bark,  nut shells and berries. Its no different. Its coffee dye.
 Its a win win. You can have your cup of Joe, and paint with it too.
Just make sure you drink what you want before you go and start dipping your brush into it.
Got Joe?? Get some. Make art.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Russ! Very fun and informative. I painted one of my little trees awhile back using a coffee wash after being inspired by another online art friend. Most of my paintings end up with some errant coffee in them anyway. Why not make it intentional? BRILLIANT!