How to draw a teacup download

August 19, 2014 | 18 Comments


As promised… here is a giveaway for everyone!

How to Draw a Teacup  is an instruction sheet I have put together containing the things I think about when I sketch a teacup. And “embrace the wonkiness” is one of them. No perfect ellipses in this sheet!
Please feel free to share and if you want to print out you can download a pdf.
Download PDF File: LizSteel-How-to-draw-a-teacup

This page shows how my architectural brain wants to understand the form of the teacup and saucer in a VISUAL way. I am not drawing technically using perspective setups but I have studied the geometries of the shapes in front of me. In particular  – notice the setout of the saucer. It is normally higher than the foot of the cup – once I had this ah ha moment I found it easier to work out what was going wrong at times.

I know some of you will have your own way of drawing ellipses… I would be delighted if you added these to this post…. this page summarises my personal way that I have developed for the unique application of tea and saucer. I suppose one could say I have had a bit of practice at this subject matter!

I know many people say ‘just draw what you see’ and while I totally agree with that… if you have a little visual understanding it helps you see better.  I am not thinking ‘cup’ and ‘saucer’  – which is normally called ‘drawing what you THINK you see’ – I am looking at the geometries of the shapes I SEE.

This is the basis of the way I approach sketching – why I am able to sketch quickly… and it is the way I teach sketching.

I like to teach as visually as possible often using diagrams and notated sketches. And this is the basis for my  Sketching Now courses.

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  • What a great little tutorial on ellipses! I will road test it with some new drawing students tonight, I'm sure they'll love it.

  • Congratulations to Teresa! I love your grandma's cup and saucer you drew two previous posts. Really beautiful and such a unique shape! I love anything unique. Like your description of your work days too. Here's to hoping the Sketchbook Skool goes on for awhile. Or that the next one doesn't start too soon because we're still worrying the financials. One of these days though!!!

  • Karen says:

    Thank you so much. I'm still working on my teacup for Sketchbook Skool. Have done three, but still working on it, so this motivates me to make another go at it!

  • Your warm style is quite appealing to me. Thanks very much for your shares Liz.

  • Marsha says:

    Thanks for the opportunity and congratulations to Teresa. Also, would like to thank you for the extra special gift to the remainder of us. I appreciate your kind generosity.

  • Margarita says:

    Liz, thank you very much for this gift in the form of tutorial that you do to us. Is you very, very generous and this unexpected gift does that also I feel very lucky. And, of course, my congratulations to Teresa!

    Kind regards

  • Tony Latham says:

    Thanks for the mini tutorial on tea cups and saucers! You ROCK! Seriously! You have so inspired me I can' t even begin to tell you how! Loved your memories your grandma, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to see you next semester of Sketchbook Skool. Have FUN in Brazil 😀

  • Wow! What a generous gift, Liz… Thank you!

    I must say that I very much resonate with this way of learning to sketch, not being strictly the traditional "right-brained" person. It's one of the things I really appreciated from your SBS klass!

    Have fun in Brazil 🙂

  • Stacey Vadaj says:

    Thank you for this wonderful gift. I very much enjoyed your part at Sketchbook Skool. best class so far.

  • Kay says:

    Have a wonderful sketching trip to Brazil. Thank you so much for both of the posters you so generously gifted us. Love the architecture one and this teacup instruction sheet. Can't wait to take your online sketching class – sounds like you will probably have a big group of people wanting to sign up for it.

  • Jane LaFazio says:

    Thanks Liz!! I love this!

  • Jo Reimer says:

    Thanks Liz. This will be very helpful. Have a great time in Brazil.

  • Yiwei Peng says:

    Liz Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Linda says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! I love the way you diagrammed it out — it really helps my left brain dominated learning! I am anxious for your online classes and looking forward to your lesson in Sketchbook Skool in October! I hope you are enjoying Brazil. Cheers!

  • Rebecca says:

    Just saw your teacup tutorial redrawn and taught by another teacher on Instagram, heather_winslow_lefebreve (spelling may be off on that last name). It’s with her Emma lesson from her “literature and larder” class. Assuming you have it copyrighted.

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks for letting me know. It has copyright on it, but there is not much I can do if people chose to re-draw it.


    Awesome! thanks so much for sharing your gifts. You are a fabulous artist 🙂

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