Paint With Coffee and Learn about Value in Art

In this art project for kids, we'll paint with coffee and teach kids about value, one of the fundamental elements of art. This coffee art painting can be made from both instant coffee or regular coffee and the fun painting approach will help kids understand value in art in a hands-on way. Grab the printable and get started with your coffee painting! 

Paint with coffee

Related: Nature Paint 

Before we start having fun painting with coffee, let's first look into what value in art is.

What's value in art?

There are 7 elements of art (click here to get our special elements of art pack); one of the elements of art is value. Value can seem complicated, but there's a very simple way to visualise it. 

It's all about the lightness or darkness of any colour. The bigger difference between values, the more contrast there is. 

Value is incredibly important to know about because it's responsible for creating the illusion of depth in paintings. 

Paint with coffee

Although most exercises about value use a greyscale, we decided to make it a bit more interesting for our little ones and use coffee painting. 

Yep, you heard that right! By painting with coffee, we'll be able to show our kids light and dark shades in a simple and fun way. 

This coffee art painting will allow them to focus on the differences between the lightness and darkness of the same colour... while having fun making their own painting!

They can begin with a high coffee:water ratio to create a richer, darker value and then by simply adding more water, they will be able to discover how they can make lighter values, in much the same way you would with watercolours. 

How to Teach Kids about the Elements of art Value - Coffee Art Painting

Elements of art value

Paint with Coffee - Supplies:

  • Value printable (available below)
  • Coffee (instant coffee or regular coffee)
  • Water
  • Paintbrush

STEP 1: Grab our value in art template!

To begin this art lesson, you need to download our free printable value template below. Once you have it, print it out and prepare your workspace.

coffee art painting

STEP 2: Make your first shade of coffee paint.

Grab your coffee (we used instant coffee) and mix 1 tablespoon of coffee with 1 teaspoon of water. Stir until everything is blended. 

You now have now made your first shade, this is the darkest colour of your coffee paint.

coffee paint

Go ahead and invite the kids to take part in the making process as well as painting with the coffee. With this value, start painting the trees in the template. (as seen below)

painting with coffee

paint with coffee

STEP 3: Add more water to coffee paint.

Now, grab the coffee paint and mix in an additional 1 teaspoon of water. This will create a lighter value. Mix and then paint the front mountain with this lighter colour.

homemade paint from coffee

value in art

paint with coffee to learn value in art

STEP 4: Create contrast.

To create dimension and some contrast we are going to make a third value. Add more water to your coffee paint to create your lightest shade. Use your coffee paint to paint your template's last mountain.

contrast with coffee painting

painting with coffee

Now you know how to make coffee paint and you have used it to learn a little about value in art you can start working on your own creative art projects. 


To download the paint with coffee printable template for free click on the link below and use the discount code:value. For personal or classroom use only. Not for redistribution. All images are copyrighted. Thank you.

value in art printable

We hope you enjoy learning to paint with coffee and about value in art. Coffee art painting can be used in so many fun ways. Have fun experimenting!

Paint with coffee. Elements of art. Value in art. Coffee art painting.

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube or Subscribe for free email updates!

No comments

Back to Top