Paint Using REAL Coffee

painting Dec 12, 2019
How to paint with real coffee


Step 1

For this project we only need a little bit of coffee, about 3 or 4 tablespoons. You can use either instant coffee, filtered, brewed - it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s strong. Different types of coffee will yield different shades of colors. If you don’t have coffee you can also use black tea (the outcome will be more red though).

For the coffee mug, take a pencil and draw a circle with the help of a compass or a bowl. Draw 2 more circles within this one. Add the handle of the cup and a few scattered coffee beans.


Step 2

Trace your pencil outline with a waterproof fineliner. Please make sure it’s waterproof, otherwise the coffee will dissolve the outlines! If you don’t have a waterproof fineliner, skip to step 4 and add the outlines after the coffee has dried.

Tip: Drawing circles is a lot easier when you don’t try to finish the circle in one continuous line. Try drawing the circle with a few breaks in the line and don’t hesitate to move the paper so you don’t have to bend your hand awkwardly.

Step 3

Coffee time! Load your brush with coffee and paint the mug (wet on dry technique). Leave a spot on the handle white where the light hits.


Add a few quick dabs on the coffee beans. If you want the coffee mug to look darker, you can add a second and even a third layer of coffee paint.

Step 4

For the coffee mug stains, pour the coffee into a shallow dish, dip the bottom of a mug in the coffee and place it on the paper. Add another one. 


You can add some coffee splatters as well.

Step 5

For the coffee part inside the mug, start with putting down some water in the inner circle, then add coffee. 

While the coffee is still wet, dab a few spots lightly with a paper towel so the white of the paper shines through and gives it the look of milkfoam.


If you like you can add a shadow. Place it opposite of the highlight.

Step 6

Let everything dry thoroughly. Once dry, add a few tiny little dots and circles with the black fineliner and the white gel pen.

Tadaaa! Done!

Do you feel like drinking a cup of coffee now? :-)

P.S. Please note that coffee is not lightfast. If you’d like to preserve your painting, you can use a UV-resistant clear spray (Krylon, Hahnemühle, Lascaux).


Watch the process here: 


I’d love to see what you create! Tag me on Instagram @thealohastudios so I can marvel at your cup of coffee :-)

For more aloha tutorials visit my Youtube channel.

Keiko is a watercolor artist and paint maker. She lives with her family on a tiny coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. When she’s not dabbling in things art-related, you can find her in the coffee field picking or making breakfast for the Airbnb guests.