For the love of coffee

Does coffee figure into your morning ritual? It sure does in mine. A friend of mine, Joan, even has a cappuccino machine so she can make her own lattes in the morning.

Joan also loves printmaking art, and has long asked me to create a print that combines these two favorites.

I have been gathering inspiring coffee art images for a while (a great excuse to buy lattes, which are rather a treat for me!). These three beauties came from Communitea Cafe, our local tea/coffe house. I think they have the best latte in town, and their baristas are talented, too!

LINDA COTE-Latte art all 3This is the “Latte Love” print I created for Joan, and for other coffee lovers out there!

LINDA COTE-carving coffee block

It all starts with a sketch. I use my drawing as reference for when I am carving the block. In this linocut print, I will carve the brown of the coffee first, print all the brown prints, then go back into the same block and carve out the design in black. This is called a ‘reduction’ print because the block is reduced with each color.

LINDA COTE-Brown layer2

Pulling the brown print off the block. I’m using my trusty handmade jig to make sure the two layers line up.

LINDA COTE-Brown prints

Here are the brown prints drying. For each latte, I used a Q-Tip to pull the ink off the block on the inside of the cup to give the feel of foam in the coffee. For this reason, each print’s liquid coffee is slightly different.

LINDA COTE-Black layer lines

For the next layer (black) I wanted to add a bit of design interest. I decided on graduated lines in the background, which meant I needed to measure and use a ruler to cut the straight lines. I usually work more ‘free-form’ than this, but I like the effect!

LINDA COTE-Black layer

Here is the black block, sitting in the jig, waiting for the paper.


The brown paper gets over-laid with black, creating the form of the cup and textured background.

LINDA COTE-Latte Love prints

This shows layer one (brown), the black only pull, plus the two merged together on the final print.

LINDA COTE-Final prints

Black and brown prints, part way through hand-printing the final artwork.

LINDA COTE-Latte Love Progression

It’s interesting to see all four steps in one place!

LINDA COTE-Latte Love print

LATTE LOVE, 2-Color Handmade Linocut Reduction Print 4.75″ x 4.75″ © Linda Cote

And, what does the artist do once the prints are finished and drying on the line? Relax and have a coffee of course!

LINDA COTE-doneTo watch a video on how I made this multi-layered reduction print, visit my YouTube Channel:

8 responses to “For the love of coffee

  1. What a neat creative process! Coffee images were one of our biggest sellers when I worked at Baldwin Art. We sold about 500 images a week all over the United States of America. Golf prints sold really well too.

    Beautiful images! I love coffee myself. 🙂

    Have a great creative week,


  2. Hey! Love your prints! They’ve really inspired my own, although I’ve finished my university project for the semester! Just wondering what type of limo block you use, it’s different to one I use which is an easy cut blue rectangle usually! And do you have any advice about the blades you can get for the tool, I’ve only got the standard one that came with the tool! 😂

    Have a good evening!

    • Thanks so much, Charlie! I use both traditional linoleum and the “soft” linoleum (like in this blog) and it varies, but I have used the blue Speedball one at times. The one in this blog was the beige Speedball product, but I find this one a bit crumbly and it dries out over time, so I prefer one called “linosoft” that I get in Toronto, Ontario. I do have a few go-to lino block materials, as I outline on my YouTube channel playlist all about my materials here – NOTE: be sure to click “MORE” under the video to get the notes with links to those materials online:

      I also cover the carving tools in this playlist, but I use a wide range of carving tools/blades, depending on the line I am going for (also mentioned in the video). My favorites are a 2V, 1V (for super-fine detail) and a 5U gouge. Best to get yourself some different blades and experiment, as you will find your own favorites, too!

      Happy printmaking! – Linda

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