This comprehensive tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to draw and structure a cup, along with some basic shading tips. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or looking for a fun drawing exercise, this guide will help you master the art of sketching a cup.
If you’re planning to follow along using pencil and paper, remember to make light lines as there will be a fair amount of erasing involved in this tutorial.
Step 1 – Sketch the Basic Shape of the Cup
Begin by sketching the overall shape of the cup, without any curves, to establish its general form. Pay attention to the proportions between the height and width to ensure accuracy.
Step 2 – Draw the Base of the Cup
To accurately depict the base of the cup, draw an oval shape (a perspective circle) to create the illusion of transparency. Drawing the entire oval, instead of just half, will help ensure correctness. Remember to make the bottom part of the oval wider vertically than the top.
For a deeper understanding of perspective and drawing cylinders, refer to the following tutorials:
- Perspective Drawing Tutorial for Beginners
- How to Draw Cylinders in Perspective Tutorial
Step 3 – Draw the Top & Bottom Shapes of the Cup
Repeat the process from the previous step, with slight variations. It’s important to note that the ovals will become progressively narrower as they ascend. This narrowing effect occurs because, when the cup is lower in relation to your eyes, the oval resembles a circle. As you raise it to eye level, the oval appears flatter. Experiment with moving a cup in front of your eyes to observe this phenomenon. Additionally, the bottom of the cup, being lower, will appear rounder, unless it is flipped upside down.
Step 4 – Sketch the Proportions of the Handle
Sketch the handle, following the proportions established in the initial cup sketch.
Step 5 – Clean up the Line Drawing
Add the handle and other finer details of the cup, then clean up the drawing by erasing any guide lines.
Step 6 – Shade the Cup
Shading adds depth and realism to your cup drawing. To begin, determine the light source, which, in this case, comes from the back left side of the cup. As a result, the majority of the cup will be in shadow, with the highlighted areas appearing on the far left. You may also include a few small reflections. Given that a cup’s surface is generally smooth, you can choose to emphasize this in your drawing by blending the shading seamlessly or leaving barely visible strokes.
For additional guidance on shading techniques, refer to these helpful tutorials:
- Shading Techniques and Stroke Types Drawing Tutorial
- Egg Step by Step Basic Shading Tutorial
Drawing a cup is a great exercise for beginners and experienced artists alike. It’s a relatively simple object to sketch, yet offers ample opportunities to practice and refine your drawing skills. So grab your pencil and paper, and start honing your artistic abilities with this step-by-step cup drawing tutorial.