Watercoloring With Coffee, Tea, Wine and KoolAid


Before you drink your favorite beverage, maybe you should try painting with it? You can create beautiful "watercolor" paintings with a lot of common drinks. 


To use coffee as paint, brew it quite strong. With Coffee, I found that I couldn't really build the color without most of the "pigment" going out towards the previous line. If you let the painting dry completely before adding more coffee, it will still roll outward, but might not get all the way to the previous edge. You can see that happening in the smaller flower.


Tea is simply lovely when painted. It builds much more beautifully than coffee, although you will still have a hard edge. My paintings are done with black tea. I brewed one tea bag in a shot glass of boiling water for about 10 minutes to make the tea as dark as I could.


I only tested purple Koolaid. This was also made extra strong by using the entire package in a shot glass of boiling water. Koolaid works a lot like coffee as far as the hard edges go, but does layer a little bit better. One thing I liked is that you could soften the edge quite a bit by going over it with water.


Interestingly enough, wine works a lot like tea. I really loved working with it too. This was a Cabernet, but I think any dark red wine would give you a good result. Use it straight out of the bottle.

With a little practice, I was able to create the above painting. The lettering was done in coffee. Tea is just too light to show up in a single pass. All the "yellow" in the flowers is tea. The "grey" purple color is wine and the more vibrant purple is Koolaid. 

I found that if you add tea to wet wine or Koolaid, it makes the purple roll out to the edges leaving a lighter area where the tea was. If you add wine or Koolaid on top of wet tea, it spreads out through the yellow.

I hope you give it a try!