Hello, you creative minds! I hope you’re doing great. This year hasn’t been all that kind but it did make us stronger, fighting together. We all played our part, even if that was just being locked inside the walls of your own house and feeling everything has come to a standstill.
With the bad the good knocks on the door too, as everything under a lockdown and all our social life at halt it did seem as a great opportunity as any to jump back into old habits and hobbies that adulthood had left far behind.
From a kid who doodled on the pages of a notebook to an adult who had completely forgotten how to handle a paint brush, I finally started working on art again. It felt surreal and like a breath of fresh air, a much needed break from all the Zoom meetings I would attend.
I think it’s worth mentioning that the idea of painting a coffee mug came to me from one of my colleagues while he would sip down cups of coffee sitting in the meeting.
Most of us have consumed countless mugs of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Today I will show you how to paint one. This is a beginner level tutorial, so don’t worry at all if you are new to watercolors. We will keep it easy and fun :)
First things first, here is what you need to follow along.
Materials required -
- Watercolors. I’ll be using the Viviva colorsheets because they are insanely easy and vibrant but you can use any watercolors you want
- Pencil for sketching
- Paint brush (any size works according to your preference)
- Watercolor paper (300GSM paper is ideal but 240GSM will work too)
- Waterproof fineliner
- White drawing ink (your painting will look good without this too, so don’t worry if you don’t have it)
You can always substitute the supplies with ones you already have at home.
Let’s begin now -
- Place the watercolor paper on a smooth surface and start by making rough shapes with a very light pencil to make sure all the items fit in one sheet and are positioned neatly.
- I have chosen the layout with three figures in the upper row and two in the bottom, feel free to change up the order as you see fit .
- Remember to sketch with making short lines rather than making one continuous line with the pencil.
How to Sketch a Coffee Mug
Start sketching on the rough marks, draw a rectangle vertically with an oval shape adjoining the the top of the rectangle.
Now draw an inverted shape C joining the cup and our coffee mug is ready.
Fill the mug with whipped cream, sketch waves one above the other to give it the effect of layering and for the last touch make a small stirrer (as in the picture below).
How to draw a Disposable cup
Start by making a horizontal baseline for the cup and stretch out the ends of the baseline upwards and angled outwards. Remember, the sides of the cup are not parallel to each other.
On top of the stretched lines make a rectangle like shape and on the top of it make another rectangle like shape smaller than the previous one.
For the final touch, make a small oval shape on the top of the cup making a sipper.
How to Draw an Espresso cup
This one’s my favorite and very easy to sketch. Draw a semi sphere and at the bottom and extend the ends upwards. Next, add two tiny lines at each end of the base and join these two lines horizontally. This will complete the base of your cup.
At the top, again, make an oval shape for the mouth of the cup and make a C shape for the handle, same as the one we made in the Coffee Mug
How to draw a Teacup
This one’s similar to the espresso cup, only a little shorter and without the base. Draw a semi sphere and make the oval shape at the top for the mouth of the cup.
Draw a C shape again for the handle and a free hand line from the mouth of the cup to outside, that’s our tea bag.
How to draw a Classic cup
Just like any other cup but it is simpler to draw. Sketch out a square shape with an oval shape on top and this time a D shape for the handle.
Here to add a little extra detail I have made the coaster under the cup.
After everything is sketched start outlining with a waterproof fineliner. In case you don’t have one, you can do the outlining after the painting is complete and dry.
Once the first outline is done you can rub out the pencil lines using an eraser and again outline the objects to bulk up the outer lines.
It's Color time now
I have completed the second outline and now I'm going to start with the background of the frame. It’s not mandatory to paint the background first but it’s generally ideal to paint the background first.
I’m using a mixture of colors green and yellow in a tiny quantity to be mixed with clear water. Stir the colors and the water well and start painting the background.
Viviva colorsheets are highly pigmented and vibrant so you need to be careful with the amount you use. Always start with a little dab of color and then add more according to your preferred shade.
Here, I layered the background with a tiny bit of color and water and while it was still wet I added more paint and spread that around.
After the background is dry let’s get started with the tea and coffee cups. The first layer of color will be a flat wash using a tiny drop of color mixed with water.
Color each blank space with a different color. Make sure to let your paint dry completely before coloring the space next to it. The color shouldn’t go out of the lines of the cup. You can play with colors and choose your desired colors. Any color would do as long as you do it right.
Now wait for the layer to dry completely and once it’s dry you can jump to the pattern step.
Pattern step is an alternative to shading, this is fun to work with when you have more plain objects.
I’m starting with making small dots into each cup, with varied colors and positions with each one of them.
If you are having trouble with deciding where to start the pattern from, simply follow the outline of the object adding dots or lines next to the main outline.
Following this pattern you can decide whether or not to add more lines or dots to the shape or a mixture of both lines and dots, vertically and horizontally, or one following the other. Anything that doesn’t make the object look messy.
Here, I’m adding splatters which is a completely optional step. If you have accidentally splattered paint over your frame or object, adding it to the rest of the shapes is a nice way to correct it.
Our final step is to add white outlines to the cup using white ink. If you don’t have a white ink you can always use acrylic paint or gouache.
This last step is important to help the objects pop out from the background to make it look more real.
In addition to the white outline I have also added soft highlights with the white ink and there it is.
Congratulations! You did it.
We have successfully made a simple but pretty painting of different coffee mugs. It’s important to break your routine and work on something you love and enjoy. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
I can not wait to see what magic you created with this tutorial. Put your coffee and tea cups on your Instagram and tag us and use #vivivacolors.
I’ll see you next time with more exciting and creative art work. Until then take care and stay safe.