When you think of a painting, what springs to mind? Acrylics? Oil? Gouache, even? Chances are, you don’t consider coffee.
There are a growing number of artists across the globe using coffee to create works of art so impressive they bely the humble nature of the medium.
We’ve gathered a gorgeous gallery of very different, but very talented coffee artists producing stunning caffeine-infused paintings.
Street artist, sculptor, and in recent years, coffee artist, Michael Aaron Williams creates unique works of art using coffee and ink on antique Appalachian ledger paper.
Williams’ aim is “to create ethereal portraits that reveal the ephemeral nature of people and society.”
The finished works range from small studies to nine feet in height. His work has appeared in galleries across the U.S. and Europe.
Husband-and-wife creative team Angel Sarkela-Saur and Andrew Saur make up the Coffee Artists. They have been creating fine art with 100 percent pure coffee for over a decade.
The couple see their medium of choice as a “universal beverage” and suggest the very broad reach of their art means it can work around the globe, “transcend[ing] languages, continents, and cultures.”
As well as portraits, landscapes, and lots of coffee-themed images, the Coffee Artists have created some adorable paintings of their dog, Gidget.
Commercial artist, illustrator, and cake designer Maria A. Aristidou uses coffee, and sometimes watercolors to create engaging images.
Aristidou created her first coffee-themed work of art by accident, but she says that coffee painting has really grown on her. She takes inspiration from her favorite pop-culture characters.
Meanwhile, her animal portraits created with coffee have proven to be quite popular on Instagram.
Coffee-lover and designer Stefan Kuhnigk spilled some coffee on a piece of paper in the winter of 2011 and, as he puts it, “found something.” It was a “Coffeemonster.”
Kuhnigk recently celebrated hitting the 500 monsters mark.
Kuhnigk’s creations are sometimes cute, sometimes sweet, sometimes a little darker, but each one is as completely unique as a splash of coffee hitting paper.
Indonesia-based artist Ghidaq al-Nizar creates whimsical works of art using leftover coffee.
Al-Nizar’s #zerowastecoffee mantra sees him using not just the coffee liquid, but sometimes the grounds too.
The scale of some of his creations is really quite astonishing. This tiny work of art, entitled “I Want a Late Night Adventure,” was created within a coffee stain fingerprint.
Photo via Ghidaq al-Nizar