Coffee Cup in Illustrator


Lets look into the world of vector art using Adobe Illustrator. The most obvious advantage in using Illustrator is the ability to create a re-sizable , vector objects. This tutorial is the result of some of my experimentation in the Illustrator realm.  In this case, a tutorial to draw a coffee cup from scratch.

Lets get started.

Step 1

– Once you’ve opened a new page on your illustrator, use the pen tool from the tool bar to make a curve  [Fig 1],

– Then go to the edit menu and click on copy and then paste in place [Fig.1.1].

– Right click and select reflect object, once the object is reflected,  join both the corners of the curve using pen tool so that it give you a bowl [Fig 1.2]


Fig [1]


Fig [1.1]


Fig [1.2]

Step 2

– From the Tool bar select the Eclipse tool to draw the mouth of the cup [ Fig 2]

– Then select the eclipse and delete the top part of it.

– Now you can now join the ends of eclipse with the bowl.

– Then draw and place another eclipse to form the mouth of the cup. [Fig 2.1]


Fig [2]

Fig [2.1]

Step 3

– Now to draw the handle of the cup, select the eclipse tool from the tool bar and draw a circle on the right side of the cup.

– Then using the scissors tool from the tool bar cut at the point where the circle is connecting the cup. [Fig 3].

– Select the handle, copy it and paste in place [edit menu- copy- paste in place].

– Using transform controls make the handle copy smaller and bring it closer to the cup and join the ends using the pen tool [Fig 3.1]


 Fig [3]


Fig [3.1]


Step 4

– Now that we have finished the structure on the cup, we need to color it, add refection to make it look realistic, to add the coffee, draw another eclipse in the middle of the mouth till the end of the mouth and color it dark brown.[ Fig 4]

– Then select the mouth and add a grey shade to it to show some depth. 

– Now for the rim, select the stroke and add a rounded brush filter, so it looks smooth [Fig 4.1]

– Select expand from the object menu and expand, now use a light grey color to fill. Then add color to the cup and handle [Fig 4.2]


Fig [4]

Fig [4.1]

Fig [4.2]

Step 5

– Now to add refection and shadows, for reflections draw curves using your pen tool, then fill with the color white.

– Select transparency from the windows menu and reduce opacity to 13

– Draw another  with a higher opacity and overlap it over the cup. Repeat on the right side and on the handle [Fig 5]

Fig [5]


Step 6

– Then for the shadow, group your entire cup and make a copy of it.

– Then fill the copy with light grey.  

– Reverse it 180 degrees, right click reflect- vertical.

– Select the scale tool from the tool bar to scale the copy.

– From the effects menu- Select blur- Gaussian blur to blur the shadow a bit, after that, go to Transparency from the windows menu and select multiply and there you have your  


– Now make your shadow- send to back [object menu- arrange- send to back] and make it bit bigger so that you have a little in front and a lot more behind.


Step 7

– Place a background behind the cup so that your cup stands out. – Now to create smoke coming from the coffee, use your pen tool to draw an abstract, once done make several copies and blur using Gaussian blur [Fig 7]

– Then place your smoke within your cup. [Fig 7.1]

Fig [7]Fig [7.1]

Step 8

-Place a background behind  the cup and lock it.

-Draw a saucer by selecting the eclipse tool from the tool bar draw an eclispe at the bottom. Color it a radial gradient of white and grey. [Fig 8]

– Then draw a smaller circle in the center and color it light grey. [Fig 8.1]

– Draw another circle slightly bigger than the other at the bottom n color it the same color as the cup. Adjust the points  by using the pen tool to make it look like a saucer. Apply

   shadow [Fig 8.1]

Fig [8]
 Fig [8.1]


Step 9

– Now that your finished, say you wish to send this via by email to a friend or post on your Facebook wall, for that you need to convert your page to a jpg format.

– To do so, go to File menu- save for web and devices. On your right had side you will see several options- select from there jpeg. [Fig 9]

– Now if you want to change the size of the image go to image size and change your size, then save on your desktop. [Fig 9.1]

– So now you have your ‘vectorcup.jpg’ which you can post on f.b or send an email. [Fig.9.2]


Fig [9]


Fig [9.1]

 Fig [9.2] 


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Posted: December 10, 2013


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