Draw Your Coffee Mug

Having a lazy Sunday morning? Have some time to fill at work? Here’s a productive idea — draw your coffee mug! This step by step draw-along shows you how.

Draw Your Mug

  • Supplies
  • Pencil (HB or “writing” grade)
  • Paper
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Rectangular vinyl eraser
  • Coffee mug
Draw Your Mug - Shape


Step One
Draw The Mug’s Shape

  • Brace the drawing paper at an angle, or your drawing will be distorted.
  • With your pencil in overhand grip, use the side of the pencil to draw big loose lines in the general shape of the cup. These thick lines aren’t precise, so don’t try to be.
  • You can’t draw it right until you’ve drawn it wrong. So, make lots of wrong lines, compare them to reality, and then redraw them.
  • You don’t need to erase anything yet. Just let the lines build up over each other.
Draw Your Mug - Refine The Shape

Refine The Shape

Step Two
Refine the Shape

  • After you’ve made a lot of experimental lines, start to sharpen and define the lines  with the pencil held in a writing grip.
  • The top and bottom curves will be the same even if the top and bottom of the mug are different sizes.
  • The top opening will be an oval. The corners will be rounded instead of pointed unless your viewing angle is very low.
  • Add the handle after the sides are drawn.
  • Note how far from the edges it joins the cup.
  • Look for and draw any space between the inside of the handle and the mug’s edge.
Draw Your Mug Lighten The Line

Lighten The Line

Step Three
Lighten The Line

  • Use one corner of the vinyl eraser to erase the lines that don’t belong.
  • If the final lines are darker than the mug, form the eraser into a rounded shape and tap and roll it over lines until they lighten.
Draw Your Mug Fill With Smooth Hatching

Fill With Smooth Hatching

Step Four
Hatch The Mug

  • Fill the mug with light hatching.
  • Make the hatching look as smooth and even as you can.
Draw Your Mug Shadows And Highlights

Shadows And Highlights

Step Five
Shadows And Highlights

  • Now look for obvious shadows and hatch them until they darken. Again, you don’t have to be precise.
  • Shadows are relative to the lighter values around them, so you’ll need to consciously draw them with that in mind. It’s helpful to hold a piece of paper next to the shadow to see how much darker it is than white, then compare your shadow hatching to the white of your drawing paper. You can read about and download some helpful tools for drawing value here.
  • The shadow shapes are like a jigsaw puzzle with hard and soft edges, so draw them as you see them.
  • Hard shadow edges end abruptly.
  • Soft shadow edges end gradually and blend into the next area.
  • There will be a lot of reflections inside the lip. Shade “around” the most obvious ones.
Draw Your Mug More Shadows And Highlights

Even More Shadows And Highlights

Step Six
More Highlights & Shadows

  • Pinch the kneaded eraser into a wedge or point shape and drag it across the hatching to erase the highlights.
  • The highlights don’t have to be perfect, but it helps to create a realistic effect if you get them in the right places.
  • If you erase a highlight in the wrong spot, just fill it back in with the pencil.
  • Add the darkest details with the point of the pencil.
  • Look for the darkest shadows on the handle, the lip, and along the sides and bottom.
  • Add a cast shadow to make the mug look as if it’s sitting on something. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just in the same general shape and place as the real shadow.
Draw Your Mug Final Details

Final Details

Step Seven
Final Details

  • Add decorations now. Here are some things to look for:
  • Any horizontal stripes will curve up at both edges.
  • Designs will be distorted as they near the mug’s edges.
  • All designs will blend into the shading.
  • To help place designs in the right place, look at how close they are to the edges, top, and bottom of the mug.

Hope you had fun!