Tutorial: Drawing a Teacup

Drawing a TeacupIn this week’s class we will be drawing a teacup. The idea is to become more comfortable with how to draw circles. Circles are a simple shape but the humble circle can be quite challenging to draw. Luckily, I have a way to help tame it’s persnickety behavior.

Before We Begin: It may be helpful to read over this tutorial from beginning to end to familiarize yourself with the steps involved. If you are not comfortable drawing a teacup from imagination refer to a teacup from your cupboard or find a reference photo. Please note I have darkened my sketches in order for them to be easier to see. You’ll want to keep your pencil lines light as you draw.

Materials List: You’ll need a soft pencil (HB, B or 2B), a kneaded eraser and some paper. If you want to color your drawing in pencil use drawing paper that is at least 80lb. If you want to use watercolor washes draw your initial sketch on watercolor paper.

It Starts with a Rectangle

Drawing a Teacup - Start with a RectangleI would like my drawing to show the inside of the cup with the teabag brewing in it. This means I won’t be drawing a perfect circle but one that is slightly squashed, in other words, an oval or ellipse. Begin by drawing a rectangle that represents the height and width of the circle. Lightly mark the center on each side.

Draw an Arc

Drawing a Teacup - Draw an ArcNext, draw an arc that curves from the the top center mark to one of the side marks. Keep your wrist loose as you draw and turn your paper if needed to make a smooth curve. Add another arc to complete the first half of the circle. Repeat these steps to form the entire circle.

The First Circle

Drawing a Teacup - Draw an ArcWhen you have finished drawing the four arcs you should have a circle. Take a minute to look at the narrow ends of the circle. You want them to be rounded not pointed like a football.

If you have any spots that need attention redraw any lines to make a smooth shape. It is better to draw the new line before erasing the old one. It keeps you from repeating the same mistake.

More Circles Become a Teacup

Drawing a TeacupKeep drawing rectangles and arcs until you have a teacup. As you can see from my drawing on the right I had to draw many circles. Don’t rush this process, take your time as you draw.

Once you have a shape you like erase any guidelines. At this stage I would turn my drawing upside down to look at it from a different perspective. You’ll be able to see if your drawing is tilted or skewed to one side or another. Circles should look similar on both sides. You want to strive for as much evenness as you can but, keep in mind some wonkiness is acceptable and lends character to your artwork.

The Finished Teacup

Drawing a TeacupOnce my pencil drawing was complete I added color with Prismacolor Premiere colored pencils. You could also add color in marker, light watercolor washes, or just leave it as is. Don’t forget to sign your piece.

If you have any questions about this tutorial or if there are particular subjects you would like me to demonstrate please leave a comment below or send me a message.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!

Kelli