Fun and Easy Watercolors: Draw a Beautiful Coffee Illustration | Mariya Popandopulo | Skillshare

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Fun and Easy Watercolors: Draw a Beautiful Coffee Illustration

teacher avatar Mariya Popandopulo, Photographer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Things to consider


    • 4.

      Drawing circles


    • 5.

      Watercolor techniques


    • 6.

      Mixing watercolors


    • 7.

      Secret ingredient


    • 8.

      Example 1


    • 9.

      Example 2


    • 10.

      Example 3


    • 11.

      Example 4


    • 12.

      Example 5


    • 13.

      Bonus section - editing on the phone


    • 14.

      Conclusion and project


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About This Class

Do you like watercolors?  Do you like coffee? Wanna do something fun? =)

Lets make some watercolor postcards! 

In this class I will show you a step by step process how to make beautiful watercolor illustrations of coffee. 

This class will consist of two parts. 

In the first part of the class I will discuss all the tools of trade, supples and things to consider before and while drawing.

In the second part we will start with some easy practice and then I will take your through my drawing process with 5 examples, explaining my actions along the way. 

As a bonus, I will also share how I edit the pictures of my watercolors on the phone so that they are bright and pretty and ready to be posted to IG. No photoshop required =)

Here are awesome watercolor classes which talk about paper selection in more detail:

  1. Whimsical Animals with Watercolors: Explore the Ways of Traditional Illustration II by Sova Huova
  2. Draw Your World: Sketch with Pen and Brush Expressively by Jen Dixon
  3. Sketch Your Life: Create Expressive Sketches in Pen and Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang
  4. Anyone Can Watercolor: The Basics for Creating Magical Pieces by Yasmina Creates

If you'd rather take pictures of coffee, than draw it, check out these two classes on still life photography =)

  1. Still Life Photography: Make a Perfect Breakfast Picture
  2. 12 Still Life Photography Mistakes (and what you can learn from them)

Here is a link to download the Bonus Video section as a PDF

Aaaaan finally, as per usual =)

For those of you who are not on premium membership, here is a link for a free enrollment in this class =) There are 20 free places currently.

And for those who want to upgrade to premium membership, get 3 months of Skillshare Premium for only $0.99!!!  Here is my link to use that offer =)

Have a great day! =)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mariya Popandopulo

Photographer & Illustrator


Hi! My name is Mariya and I am photographer and illustrator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

I never could quite decide what do I love more - photography or illustrations, so Im doing both =D

I have illustrations portfolio on Behance

My preferred social media currently is Instagram (no surprise here =D)

I also post comics and doodles under Pinks&Roses name

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Do you like watercolors? Do you like coffee? Want to do something fun? Let's make some water color postcards. Hi, my name is Mariya and I'm a photographer and illustrator from Almaty, Kazakhstan. In this class, I will show you a step-by-step process how to make beautiful watercolor illustrations of coffee from the most simple one like this one, to more complex like this. This class will consist of two parts. In the first part of the class, I will discuss all the tools of trade, supplies, and things to consider before and while drawing. In the second part, we will start with some easy practice and then I will take you through my drawing process with five examples, explaining my actions along the way. As a bonus, I will also share how I edit the pictures of my watercolors on the phone so that they are bright and pretty and ready to be posted on Instagram, no Photoshop required. So press "Enroll" button, and let's start drawing. 2. Materials: Materials, watercolors. I use a mix of Winsor and Newton and Saint Petersburg Watercolors for this project. You can use any you have at hand. For this particular project, we will be using all sorts of browns. So before studying a project, if you have a few of those, get to know your browns like this. Make a little table with names to use as a quick reference while drawing so that you known what color they are. Obviously, you may not have as many shades of brown as I do. So if I was to choose just three, I would pick burnt umber, red ocher. You can also substitute red ocher with burnt sienna and finally and raw sienna for lighter parts, which can be substituted with yellow ocher. As addition, it is handy to have some warm golden yellow. For example, on this picture you can seen that the foam on the espresso is essentially yellow. I may use golden deep color for that. If you are planning to make coffee cup colorful, you will need that color as well, like red here. Finally, you will need sum gray to add shading to a drawing. I get my gray color by mixing cadmium orange and ultramarine. They're on the opposite sides of the color wheel and when you mix them, they give nice rich gray color, which you can make a little cooler by adding more blue, or warmer, by adding more orange. Brushes. I don't use anything really fancy to be honest. I use squirrel round brush for washes, simple sable round brushes for coloring of size four and six, mostly for, and a synthetic brush for masking fluid. Don't use your good brushes for masking fluid as it can get them ruined. Paper. Paper is very, very important in watercolor. Unfortunately, you only learn to appreciate it with time when you tried a few different ones and feel the difference for yourself. In the beginning, you either take advice from more experienced artists, or just go and buy whatever you want, most likely regretting it afterwards. I won't go through watercolor brands paper selection in this class, but I do highly encourage you to check one or two of these classes that discuss paper selection in more detail. I will leave links to those classes in the About section. What I will focus on is the quality of the texture of the paper. I will be using cold pressed watercolor paper, meaning this paper has typical watercolor texture. However, due to variety of brands and quite a wide selection of watercolor papers, the intensity of the texture can vary, and this in turn, will affect the quality of the line art and the final drawing. Here is an example. This is my mug in watercolors sketchbook in the middle. It has much smoother texture, so line art also looks smoother and lines appear to be thicker as compared to drawings on both sides. On the right and on the left, both papers have more prominent texture and the line art lines appear to be thinner and more sketchy, especially if you don't press the liner too hard. I prefer smoother and thicker lines so I typically choose paper with smoother texture, but it is still called press paper. Another note on paper, if you want to make postcards out of your drawings, like I did here, choose to work on thicker papers like 300 GSM. You can either cut both postcards yourself, or buy something like this that was made specifically for postcard. Fine liner pen. There are a lot of different liners out there. I use the ones I can buy locally. The only important thing you need to make sure before drawing is that you liner is waterproof, meaning it won't dissolve when watercolor is applied. The thickness of your liner depends purely on your preferences and I will talk more about it in the next section. Other materials. For this project, you will also need a pencil, eraser, water container, paper towels, mixing palette. You may also need masking fluid if you decide to make latte art, like this. That's pretty much it. Let's move to the next section. 3. Things to consider: Things to consider. Here is a selection of various little things you may discover while drawing and may want to consider before the drawing process. Thin versus thick lines. As I said before, this is a personal preference. I tried the very thin line drawings and thicker ones and I like thicker ones more. Thinner lines give the drawing more airy light feeling, especially if you also lift the pen from time to time, like I did on this drawing. Just compare these two illustrations. One is light, and other is more illustrative [inaudible] with visible distinctive lines, but also don't forget that the quality of the watercolor pre-paint texture will also affect the lines. Black versus sepia liner pen. Most of the times when using liner, only black liner is considered, while you can use any other color you like. For coffee drawings, sepia is especially good. Sepia is dark enough, yet it is still less pronounced than black and makes drawing overall a little bit softer and more organic. Again, totally personal choice. I will be using both black and sepia in the drawing part of the class. Here is a little side-by-side comparison. Sketchy versus clean step. Liner can be as precise to the reference object or as free and expressive as you want. I tend to draw simple clean lines for my line art. If you feel like you can't make clean lines, maybe you will be great at sketchy style. Try both to discover what works best for you. I usually do rough sketches to try colors, like here on the left; and then draw my final piece with clean lines, like here on the right. If you feel like it, you can add some hatching to your line art. It adds dimension to the picture. I just add some lines where the shade is, like here on the left; and sometimes I forget or just skip this step. It also works. Draw from pictures or real life objects, not someone else's illustrations. All right, it doesn't mean that I don't look at others' works at all. I do a lot. I get ideas of what to try, but it is easier. Yes, I do mean it, to draw from the reference photograph or real objects because you don't have to compare yourself to someone else. It's hard to copy someone else's drawing and what's the point of that anyway? If you want to create your own little piece. So get inspired by others, but don't draw from others' illustrations. Finally, improvise, exaggerate, and have fun. That's the beauty of drawings. You don't have to create the exact same thing you see. There is plenty of room for imagination and creativity so don't be afraid to use those. Now, let's get drawing. 4. Drawing circles: Let's start with some practice, drawing circles. Unless you have a natural ability to draw beautiful perfect circles, I don't, you may struggle right at the first step of the drawing. But fear not, there is some tricks you can use. Don't rush trying to make a quick line. Slow down, especially when you are trying to connect the lines. It will give you more precision. In other way, use a little cup or any other circular shape to mark a few points of the circle like this. I mark the points, remove the cup and connect them. I do not just go all the way around the cup because it will make the circle too perfect, and I want it to have illustrative style. If you don't feel confident enough to use a liner straightaway, start with pencil, and then just go over the pencil with a fineliner. 5. Watercolor techniques: Mixing watercolors. I will be using a mix of wet and wet, dry and wet, and glazing techniques. A quick refresher. Wet and wet and dry and wet, technique is when you apply watercolor to already wet paper so that the watercolor will flow within the shape that was previously made wet, like here. Wet on dry, when you apply watercolor to a dry paper. Finally, glazing is when you apply your color over already dried layer of watercolor. I use this to intensify the colors if needed or add shadows. 6. Mixing watercolors: My logic behind using wet on wet or drying wet techniques is that watercolor is a liquid, and so the wet on wet or drying wet techniques give the drawing necessary flow and liquid feel like. I apply clean water on the first circle, and if you're not very experienced in watercolors, what you may want to do is to cover the whole area nicely, and evenly with one color. It's like an instinct you get the paint use it, no piece of white paper should be left behind. In watercolor, however, uncolored white paper plays important role and the beauty of watercolors shine the most when paint is distributed unevenly. Here you can see the coffee, especially coffee with some cream can have multiple colors from white to brown. So this is what we will try to replicate a flow of colors in a cup. Once again, I cover the inside of the circle with clear water and then get some color. I start with a lighter color, rosin in this case, as you can see, I don't just try to paint the whole area with one color, leaving some parts slighter and adding darker color as I go. I add burnt sienna and then some burnt umber because the paper is already wet it will delete the color, so if you need your drawing to be more colorful, gather more color with your brush. This one I will make with just one color, burnt umber. When using just one color, your second one will be white. See how the results is different from the first one. To add a bit more contrast, you can also leave some areas completely white for this, at this stage of covering paper with just water you have to leave some parts untouched. I'm going to do two more. With elliptic technique can be the most frustrating for a beginner. The colors behave unpredictably, you have very little control, and you may not feel the amount of paint versus water you need to achieve the needed effect, but it will result in a more beautiful piece. You just have to practice. Now, if you feel that there is too much water applied in the beginning, you can just dry your brush and lift some of the water with it. On the opposite side if you feel like the colors don't flow enough, add a bit more water. Here are the results. Now, if you find that the initial wash is too pale, you can make second glaze on the top of first one, following the same procedure we did the first time. If you want to leave some parts untouched for them to be light, you can also soften the edge with some water, this way the whole drawing will retain its liquid feel. Also, if you feel like you applied too much color, you can lift some of it with paper towel. Here, let's consider shady. As you can see on this picture, there is a strong source of light coming from the left. One part of the drawing will be better lit than the other. They can be very noticeable shade like here. You can address it by either adding more dark color on the part where shade should be while doing your first wash of color or you can use a glazing technique to make shadow more definitive. You can also use both of those together. 7. Secret ingredient: Now the secret ingredient, a little foam bubbles that bring the coffee drawing to life. I draw them with the same liner I used for line art. The secret here is to make them scattered randomly and draw different sizes. As you can see, I also make some bigger ones not fully filled with liner. This gives an impression of catch lights. I usually add bubbles closer to the edge of the cup. However, putting a few in the middle makes drawing even more interesting. Now, here's how not to draw foam bubbles. Don't put bubbles in order, or make just simple circles, or just dotting with your liner randomly anywhere you like. Also, as mentioned before, leave some circles half empty so that they will look like catch lights. Here how it looks. Now, let's make our first very simple coffee cup. 8. Example 1: Coffee cup from above. I start by drawing a circle with a pencil. I'm going to be using a fine-liner in size S and trace the pencil. Now, I draw two more, want to give more volume the coffee cup, and another to draw where the coffee will be. See how I don't just draw in continuous line? I find it easier to draw in sections when I need more precision. Let's add a handle. From here, I repeat the steps I did in the practice section. I paint with clear water first, then add a few colors and mix them to have some flow and color variety. When I feel like the colors become too dry like here, and don't flow well, I add more water. I color the mug while waiting for coffee part to dry. Always remember where you light source will be, so that you're drawing will remain consistent. I simply draw an arrow of the light direction in the corner of the picture, and refer to it when adding shadows, all considering where lighter parts should be left. Here, I assume light is coming from the top left corner. The left part will have a shadow because the left side of the mug will block incoming light. Finally, let's add some bubbles and finishing touches. I will add a shade from the mug here. Remember, our light source comes from the top left corner. I make great color by mixing cadmium, orange, and ultramarine. There, our first coffee cup done. Here's how I used the same technique for different postcards. Basically, it's the same mug but with different props around it. 9. Example 2: Example 2, latte art, how you can make this more interesting. Make some latte art on the foam, like on this picture here. For this, we will need masking fluid, I draw lightly the shapes of the art and then cover it with a masking fluid. Notice that I also tried to include the pencil lines inside the masking fluid so that I will be able to erase it later. If it was left outside the watercolor will go all with the pencil and it wouldn't be possible to erase those. Once the masking fluid is dry, I paint over it with watercolor,same process as before. This time, I add more yellow into the mix. Once it's dry, I will add a shadow. I'll use same light direction as before. I also add a little rhyme of dark color around just to add some contrast. Adding shadow for the mug and bubbles of course. Finally, to make it a little bit more fun, I add some watercolor splashes and here is the result. 10. Example 3: Example 3, drawing a mug and a cappuccino foam. Let's make our drawing a little bit more difficult by drawing not only the coffee, but also a mug from the side. This time I am going to draw cappuccino foam, which may seem to be tricky because it's usually almost all white, but we're going to make it interesting by adding colors and using our imagination. Here are a few reference images. I will draw my mug from the left picture here, but I will refer to all foam, shapes, and colors. I especially love colors from the left picture here. A mug from the side may seem to be more complicated, so let's break it into simple forms. You of course can go as complex as you like, but I tend to draw simple shapes and make the drawing interesting with colors. Essentially, a mug consists of two ovals; one on the top and one at the bottom, and two lines connecting them to give them. Obviously, this part of the oval won't be visible. Also, if we draw a foam like this, this part of the oval won't be visible as well, but it's easier to start with simple shapes and then erase anything that is not needed. Now, the handle looks very much like a half of the heart shape. See, not so hard. This is a very exaggerated basic sketch of a mug. Now, let me show you how I draw it on the paper. I start with the top oval. I don't draw the bottom one, only half of it, but it might be easier to draw it fully and then erase the part that should not be visible. Then I draw the body of the mug and it's handle. I draw uneven line at the top for the foam. Now, I will use the fineliner and sepia to trace my sketch. Erase the pencil and just for some interests, I will add an illy logo in front. Here, instead of drawing the second oval showing the rim of the mug, I draw some outlines. You can go a few different ways about it. For example, here the rim of the mug is very pronounced and it looks almost sharp. On the opposite side, this mug looks much softer due to thin lines and the fact that they break from time to time, so it looks more like the rim of the mug has a round shape. We have our line art, let's watercolor it. Same as before, I start with painting over the paper with wet brush with no color, and then start to add watercolor. This time, however, I leave the top untouched and apply watercolor at the bottom of the foam. Because I covered the whole foam area with clear water, the color from below will flow upwards, making it look like foam was colored from the coffee beneath it like on this picture on the right here. I gradually applied more color making it more visible. I also add some drops on top, but decide against it and just dissolve it with some water, making it look like some shade on the foam adding a bit more burned amber at the bottom. I covered my illy logo with masking fluid before so now I just paint over it. Adding shadows. I am very conservative with my light direction. As you can see, once again, the light comes from the top left corner. As a final thought, I will add some chocolate on top, same as with foam bubbles to look more realistic. You have to make them look random, more in the center, less on the sides of different imperfect shapes. I remove the masking fluid and we are done, easy. Just a quick example how cappuccino foam can be drawn from above. Apply water over the whole area, add color close to the rim of the mug, and watch how colors beautifully flow into the middle. I add more color to the outer edges of the foam, which is logical because it will be lower, hence, more coffee will color the foam. Now, I can add some chocolate on top again, and we're done. 11. Example 4: This time we're going to draw an enamel mug. I love those. Here's a mug I have at home. I will use this as a reference image. Once again, let's break it down into simple shapes. First of all, you can seen that the rim of the mug is wider than the mug's body. We have to make sure to address that so that the rim will look nice and round but the process is still the same. We have an oval at the top and an oval at the bottom and two lines connecting them.We also have a half heart shaped handle. Now, let's make a pencil sketch. I start with an oval and draw the body of the mug to make the top rim of the mug look round. I will make the body of the mug slightly narrower as we saw in the picture.I draw the inner circle and then the coffee outline and then sketch a handle. Don't over-complicate your sketch. Make it simple and easy. Finally, add the graphics from the actual mug simplifying it a bit as well. Using [inaudible] fine liner to trace the pencils sketch.This is a faster version.Normally my drawing speed goes like this. So don't feel pressured and draw fast.. Practices and draw at your own pace. Back to faster version. I continue tracing the sketch. Now here, the little ship has to be wide so it would be easier to just paint the bottle with the brown color and then just draw the ship with a white gel pen. But mine unfortunately is not in its best shapes so I will use the masking fluid to leave the ship white. I erase the pencil sketch being carefully not to erase the masking fluid yet. I decided to add some scratch marks on the handle and on the rim of the mug but unlike the reference picture, I decided to make them smaller. Of course, I start with drawing coffee. Nothing changed. The technique is still the same. Paint with clear water first then add color. Don't forget about shadows, same light direction as before. Yeah, I am indeed very conservative with that. I add a bit of shade under the rim of the mug on the right side and on the handle and add shape from the mug at the bottom. Now the coffee is dry but I think the colors are a bit too pale so I add a second glazing on top. Once the second coffee layer is dry, I also add a shade from the mug. I already added some bubbles but by now we all known how to do it.The final fact here would be to add a shade of the inner left side of the mug, to make the drawing more consistent. Just make sure not to blend it into the coffee colors. Also, to avoid a distinctive shadow edge like here, get some water on your brush and simply pull some of the color to make transitions softer and we're done.Off to the final example. 12. Example 5: Example 5. For at the final drawing, we'll be doing something a bit more complex. We'll draw coffee with whipped cream on top, like this one. It looks complex, but it's not really. I'm starting with an oval again, and then draw mug's body and its handle. I mark the top of the cream and start to draw the whipped cream from the top. It's easier this way because there are less lines there. I draw the outer shapes of the cream first and then add more inside. Starting with few lines, you can then make whipped cream more complex by adding more lines at the bottom. Don't try to replicate every curve and detail, simplify. Now I'm tracing the sketch starting with more simple lines of the mug and the handle. I start tracing the whipped cream from the top as well and make the lines uneven, to replicate the effect of the real whipped cream. You can see that the edges of it on the picture are not smooth. I continue tracing and then add more lines to make the cream more complex. I also going to be using some hedging on some sides of the cream to add more volume to it. The logic behind it is that if the light is coming from the top left corner, then some parts of the cream would be much less lit than the others. That's why I drew the sheets on the right and bottom parts of the cream. It may look a bit weird right now, but it will do better with color, I promise. This time I don't apply clear water to the whole whipped cream, just the bottom part, the one that is closer to the coffee, and will most likely be colored by. I add quite a lot of color and then add some water and put some of the color upwards, so the transition will be gradual. I dilute the coffee color with lots of water and add some barely visible coffee color around the whipped cream to make it look more interesting, not just white. Let's make it even more delicious. I'll add some caramel on top. I will use a red ocher color for that, and mostly follow the same lines when I did the shading. Notice that for this to work, the color has got to be very intense. Don't dilute the caramel watercolor in too much water. Adding shadows, and I'm adding some chocolate on top as well, why not? [inaudible] , one more coffee cup. 13. Bonus section - editing on the phone: I love editing. Most of the times, I post my watercolor drawings on Instagram and them way too lazy to edit my pictures of watercolors on the computer. So I edit them on the phone. I used to program for editing watercolors, Snapseed or Instagram editing, both agreed for fine tune editing, meaning you can control the level of adjustments with a lot of precision. So I will quickly take you through both programs editing. But before that, you need to make sure that you take a proper picture first. Ideally, you want your picture to be evenly lead. I think my pictures on the window sill and delete light more even, I use a simple white paper as a reflector here to get more light at the part of the drawing that is further from the window. Now let's edit it starting with Snapseed. I pressed at the run button at the right bottom corner and choose tune image. Here, you have to scroll up or down on the screen to get to the menu. Since my picture is already quite bright, I go to contrast and bump contrast a bit. My goal in editing is to make whites whiter because right now they look more green and white. I also increase saturation, ambiance is an interesting thing, is very similar to contrast but has a slightly softer effect I think. Basically, moving it to the left will make feature have more contrast at the expense of situation as it seems, moving it to the right, will make more even picture and also add some saturation. However, for this particular editing, I need more contrast, so I will bring ambiance down. Now, highlights is the mane thing I need from editing program here. As I said, I need to make whites whiter, so I increase highlights and you can seen that white indeed is getting whiter. I bring the shadow slightly down to make even more contrast and play with saturation more. Here is a before and after. Now, I go to detail section and sharpen the image here. One more thing, I want to make the corners of the picture lighter, for this I can use vignette section. Snapseed allows not only darker in the corners, but lighten them as well. I go two outer brightness, if you slightly to the right, they will get brighter. You can also choose the center point, which is very useful. Here is a before and after. Here is the initial image, and the final result. Now, you just have to save it. It may seem that there are no drastic changes, but the picture looks much cleaner and better presented. If you don't want to bother with Snapseed, you can also use Instagram editing, which provides almost as many functions as Snapseed, I will edit this image. First of all, I need to rotate it. I go to adjust and use the Rotate tool here at the top right corner. Now, this image is quite dark, so I will start with increasing brightness. Because of that, I lost a lot of contrast, so I will compensate it with the contrast editing here. I want to make a picture just a little bit cooler because I think it has a slightly yellow tint right now. Now, I will increase the duration because I'll have colors, and highlights of course. But don't go too far, as you may start to lose details of the drawing. I will bring the shadows down to make coffee and for more visible, and finally will sharpen the image. Here is a before and after. One quick note, don't use filters unless they're part of the editing style and you want everything on your Instagram feed to look consistent. Filters alter the colors and contrast way too much, and I don't think it's good for drawings. That's it for our editing section. 14. Conclusion and project: Congratulations on completing this class. Now, it's your turn to draw. For your class project, you will be making a coffee postcard. Get inspired by pictures of coffee which can be found on the web or on Instagram. Choose the level of difficulty. The first example is the easiest one. So if you need a place two start, that would be a good one. Get your watercolors and start painting. Please don't forget to share your project in the project gallery. I really hope you enjoyed this class. If you did, please leave a thumbs up. Thank you for watching this class and I will see you in the next one.