Why teacups are special: A nicely tricky form with lots of variation

May 5, 2023 | 6 Comments

It’s now time to get on to some reasons why teacups make such a great subject to sketch.

In essence, they are nicely tricky and come in many shapes and patterns so I never tire of them or feel as if I have truly mastered them! They are always a fun challenge and there is always room for new interpretations.

Let’s face it, ellipses are not easy to draw and concentric ellipses such as we have with a teacup and saucer are ‘extra fun’.

I’m often more concerned with the pattern than with how good my ellipse shapes are (this is what I was referring to when I first used my famous phrase “Embrace the wonkiness”)  but I’ve recently done a deep dive into understanding ellipses and have some new tricks to share inside my Teacups course.

I love the variation in shapes and sizes – variation in the cup, handle and saucer shapes. Putting this course together has definitely made me keen to explore the differences even more!

And then there are the patterns… Such variation in designs and colours!

I love the challenge of interpreting and simplifying a complex pattern and I love the fact that I get to use every colour in my palette. In fact, I often choose a particular teacup because I feel that my sketchbook pages need a certain hue.

I know that when I go into full teacup mode (which I certainly am at the moment!) I do tend to sketch a lot of pink floral cups but my collection contains lots of fun modern geometric patterns and also a few designs with peacocks! So in this article, I’m showing you some of my non-floral ones.

The Teacups Course is now open for enrollment – and available as a self-paced course!

Find out more and enroll here!



  • Jane Varley says:

    Hi Liz, so much looking forward to hearing more about your new course. I’ve signed up to be on the waiting list, however, I didn’t receive an email and, therefore, not sure whether my request went through correctly. Please could you let me know if I’m on the list. Thank you very much in anticipation. Jane

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Jane. Can you email us using the contact form at SketchingNow.com so Chantal can look into it.

  • Lois Courtright says:

    By design, we are drawn to beauty.

    Joy flows from beauty.

    Colors and shapes and textures and craftsmanship and design—to be able to see and enjoy and share these—is a gift.

    Sipping from a beautiful teacup, sketching a beautiful teacup, sharing a beautiful sketch, these are, by design, a source of joy.

    Thank you LORD!
    and thank you Liz!

  • Jamie C says:

    I’m drooling over these sketches. And over the upcoming lessons in how to master ellipses!!

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