Local Artist Lauren Manninen

Lauren is an artist who has worked with many students in the Cedar Rapids School District through the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy After School Enrichment Program and at the Music and Arts Studios. She received her bachelor’s degree in painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and studied abroad at the Osaka University of Art.

Coffee Moons

Playing with different mediums is one of Lauren's favorite things about making art! She had seen some artists using coffee in place of ink or watercolor and decided to give it a try. This is great if you don’t have any watercolors or ink around.

  • Coffee - The strength it’s brewed will determine its color
  • Instant Coffee Crystals - Optional, but creates a fun speckling effect
  • Paper - Printer paper works fine, but thicker paper will work even better
  • Brushes - Preferably softer watercolor ones
  • Masking tape - For taping your paper down
  • Hairdryer


  1. Tape your paper down to a hard surface on all sides.
  2. Trace a circle on your paper- this will be your moon.
  3. Lay a wash of coffee on the background, then blow dry.
  4. Lay another loose wash to the background and to the bottom right side of the moon. Blow dry.
  5. Continue layering, this time adding in some craters.
  6. Sprinkle some instant coffee on the wet parts and let it bloom. Blow dry again!
  7. Using brown colored pencils emphasize the craters and shadows in your moon and sky.
  8. Wait for it to dry completely and remove the masking tape.
  9. Share it with us!


Share your work and stay connected!

We are curious to see your project! Upload photos in the comment section below. If you have trouble, or want to share a short video, email us at info@eiaaprogram.org. Leave your school name in the comment box and we will share images with your school!

We want to stay connected to our creative students when we get back to the new normal. While you are here, learn more about the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. While we don't have much taking place in real space/time during the pandemic, we will get back to our regular live and in-person classes. When we do, we'd love to have you as a member!

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