Why is the coffee (ink) gone?

Well, I’m still working in visual effects.

That’s getting harder for a lot of people to say in California. I feel strangely lucky this year in that I have actually turned down more work than I took.

But I needed time, I needed some space and really wanted to make some things happen. Planting seeds right?

And, yeah. Dinovember.

jungle raptor

So about the piece above – same Pentel brushpen inks first then a pass with the coffee pigment I made. Nothing fancy, just mix a few tablespoons of instant coffee into a few tablespoons of coffee water and keep adding coffee until the pigment is really thick. Not too thick to paint with, though.

The mixture is less important than knowing how to apply washes in passes – basically building up to the darker tones, not trying to use the coffee like ink.

To get the coffee pigment as dark as possible in one pass takes loading up the brush with as much pigment as it can hold – forming almost a droplet at the brush tip. Learning to use that brush fully loaded takes practice if you want to achieve thin lines as you are basically applying the brush against the drawing surface at the tip of the droplet and not the brush.

Applying ink like this requires breaking the surface tension of that droplet very quickly and gently, then as the “ink” is absorbed, applying more pressure to get the brush to take over. Depends on how thick you made your mixture. Dare you to go overboard. Just use your own coffee. 🙂

I guess I’m used to it now, and it isn’t always so precise but the coffee ink can become uneven during longer sessions. Gotta keep mixing during the process.

I did eventually get a batch that managed to grow some mold. Sounds like I did it on purpose. It took a few days of neglect but I was trying to finish a different project, and to be honest I think it had something to do with the light that shines warmly on my desk during the warmer days of our lingering summer.

Next on the food-as-pigments, parpica. Or some other foodie/art DIY madness.

Until then …


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