Coffee and Tea Painting

 

Part of the Remote Teaching challenge for art teachers is to develop engaging lessons that require the most simple of materials. Not every student has access to traditional art supplies at home, so now is the time to be… untraditional!

Italian Artist Giulia Bernadelli, (Follow her on Instagram @bernulia), is an incredible artist who paints with many surprising materials, including coffee! Her whimsical illustrations are full of ingenuity and detail, and her work was the inspiration for this lesson.

Two examples of Giulia Bernadelli’s Coffee Painting:

GB EiffelGB flora and fauna

The first time I attempted this lesson in the spring of 2020, I provided students with “recipes” for mixing paint using black tea, ground coffee or instant coffee and also illustrated some basic steps in the video tutorial below.

To be honest, the results were a mixed bag and my 7th graders expressed a lot of frustration with the process! If students only had copy paper as a drawing surface, the coffee-paint absorbed too quickly and made a wet spot rather than allowing for detailed drawing. Lack of paintbrushes limited some students’ success. Variables in coffee/tea strength resulted in too-light tones…

I tried this lesson again in the fall of 2020 when we started the year remotely. This time, I was able to prepare supply kits for every student, including watercolor paper AND a small baggie of instant coffee which makes the best rich, dark brown hue. The results were better, overall, and I learned some strategies that will make the next attempt even MORE successful!

HERE IS THE VIDEO TUTORIAL FOR THIS LESSON: How to Paint with Coffee or Tea

HERE IS THE INSTRUCTION PACKET FOR THIS LESSON.

Feel Free to edit the packet to suit your remote learning needs, but if you adapt my materials, please credit me, (Ursina Amsler,) and http://www.amslerartroom.wordpress.com when sharing pictures of the results.

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