In this tutorial we’ll draw a very realistic cup of coffee. Underneath the cup we’ll add some stain using custom brush. This tutorial may look advance but the techniques are simple.

Preview of Final Results

Coffee Cup

Step 1 – Drawing Coffee

Start by creating circle shape using ellipse tool. Set foreground color to #F2F2F2. Make sure you have selected shape icon from the option bar, then shift+drag to create a circle. From the Layers panel, double click circle shape layer and add layer style Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Bevel and Emboss.

Step 2

Create smaller circle inside the previous circle. Double click its thumbnail layer and in Layer Style dialog box make sure you activate Layer Mask Effects. Also, add layer style Inner Shadow and Outer Glow to the circle.

Step 3

In Layers panel, click Add Layer Mask icon, black square with circle inside it. Paint left bottom of the circle to hide some of the shadow.

Step 4

Our previous steps has add shadow to the cup but still not enough. So, we’ll need to create darker shadow. (a) Start by creating a circle selection covering our previous circle and fill it with black. (b) While marquee tool still selected, hit left arrow three times and down arrow three times to nudge the selection 3 pixels down and 3 pixels left. (c) Hit Delete and remove selection (ctrl+D). (d) Click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur to soften the shadow (e). (f) Bring down the opacity to 5%.

Step 5

We’re done with the shadow and now move on to the highlight. Highlight should be in opposite side of the highlight. Repeat same techniques in previous step, but this time fill with white and use up and right arrow key.

Step 6

We’re done with the cup. Create a circle shape with color #1F120D. Add layer style Outer Glow with gradient white suddenly stop to black.

Step 7

Again, create smaller circle with same color. Double click layer and activate Layer Mask Hides Effects then add Gradient Overlay with black to white gradient at 52 degree. Paint bottom left of the circle to create highlight on the water.

Step 8

We’ll also need to create some bubble floating above the water. To do this, select the coffee and subtract it using lasso tool. See image below for reference.

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7 responses to “How to Draw a Photorealistic Coffee Cup”

  1. Nox Avatar

    Tutorial still valid! Tried my hand at this some time in 2011. Still using it as a great example to teach people basic photoshop. Greetings from 2021. GJ OP!

  2. jay Avatar


  3. deana Avatar

    love it, thank you!

  4. Iva Avatar

    I had hard time following tutorial.. although am still beginner..I think steps in making this aren’t detailed enough..but will try again and see x_x

    1. Master Yoda Avatar
      Master Yoda

      Don’t try. Only do.

  5. wojciech Avatar

    thank you for it! greetings from Poland! =)

  6. mineli Avatar


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