Tea Pot Still Life Painting

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.5 instructor rating • 13 courses • 619,414 students

Lecture description

The best way to learn about light and color is to paint from life. In this lecture we will be painting a still life of a teapot. This painting will be simple enough for you to do but will still teach you a lot. 

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Digital Painting Course - Beginner to Advanced

Everything from drawing fundamentals to professional painting techniques

27:07:40 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020

  • Digital painting techniques
  • Drawing Fundamentals
  • How to create concept art
  • Color theory
  • Character design
  • Photo realistic painting
  • Perspective
English [Auto] In this lecture we're gonna be doing a light study. So what this means is just like doing a drawing study we're gonna do the same thing but only with light. So I've already drawn here this cup that you can see in this photograph and you can download this entire photoshop file from the resources of this lecture. So once you have that file downloaded go ahead and open it up in photoshop and you'll see what you have in it is you have the bottom layer the background layer which consists of the white area over here and the photograph and then on top of that you have this drawing layer transparent drawing layer with just the lines. So what we're gonna do is we're going to paint on top of this and we're going to study the light in this photograph and try to translate it into a painting over here on top of our drawing. So what we're looking for is we're trying to capture the same lighting so the same values the same reflections. Stuff like that. And we're also trying to capture some of the same color. So if we have a look at this photograph let's observe it a little bit. So some of the things that I'm noticing is first off we have kind of this bluish gray background. It's sitting on a bluish gray table and we also have sort of a slightly ever so slightly yellow sort of off white ivory color for the actual teapot itself. And then right here in the opening whole area it's a little bit warmer. It's kind of an orange ish red color but very saturated and not very dark. Now there's a few ways we can test this out so let's go ahead and use our Eyedropper Tool and let's select some of these colors. So if you select in here you can see that that color shows up over here and the hue is orange. If we select another area let's select a shadow area right here and you can see it's sort of orange ish yellow hue. Select this bright color here still in the orange ish area select this over here and you can see that we're basically staying in the orange area. Now come over here to the shadows you see it gets into the reds the yellows and in some areas even serve to get into more of the Greens. So we're getting a wide mix of colors in here so we're getting everything from orange to yellow to green. So those are the colors you basically want to stick around is orange yellow green. Now if you wanted to you can go ahead and exactly color pick the colors. So for example if we were going to paint this highlight right here you go ahead and color pick that color and then we could just go ahead and add a new layer and using a brush tool we could just go ahead and paint in the highlight right there where we see it but that's not exactly what we want to do here. If you have a hard time with this feel free to do that but we really want to try to guess and choose the colors ourselves and that's what a light study is all about. You will learn if you color pick it but you'll learn more if you try to choose it yourself and change along the way to make sure that it matches this photograph. So let's go ahead and get started. The first thing I want to do is I just want to take a few samples so I'm not going to actually use these color picked colors. I just kind of want to see where they land value wise over here. So for example I want to go ahead and select the lightest part so if I select that highlight area right there you can see that even though it looks white here it's just because it's surrounded by darker values. And if you look over here on our color picker tray it's actually not white. White is clear up there but it's actually clear down here. So we want to make sure that our brightest color if we're trying to match this is not complete white. And then if we go ahead and let's select the darkest color so let's select right here you can see it's almost all the way down towards black. Let's go ahead and select this shadow on the table as well. So almost all the way down towards black let's like this color right here. You can see that that is very dark as well. Let's see. We can go ahead and select this color right here. So that's almost a midtown Gray. That's a little bit past the Midtown Gray and that is about three quarters of the way down from white so this will just give us a good idea of how light or how dark to make certain areas we can go ahead and check this inside area right here. And that's about three quarters down from the White. All right. So let's go ahead and get started. The first thing I want to do is I just want to start blocking in colors. So on this new Larry created you want to make sure that you're painting on a different layer. We're gonna go ahead and start painting our teacup now. Actually I first want to do the background and I'm going to do the background on a separate layer and you'll see why later. So when to go ahead and add a layer underneath our drawing layers you can see that that's our drawing layer right there and underneath that I just added a new layer. And what I'm gonna do it is gonna start by painting in the blue background. So I'm just going to come over here to the blues and if we remember we color picked it and it was pretty dark somewhere down here and it's kind of bluish. So let's go ahead and let's start painting that in now. That's looking a little bit too saturated. And I also think it's looking a little bit too blue. The blue that we have over here is a little bit more green I think. So going to drag this down a little bit and I'm going to d saturated a little bit more about there should be good and maybe it could be a little tiny bit brighter that's actually too bright. So let's go ahead and drag it back down. There we go. That looks like it's managing much better it could possibly even be a little bit darker than that. And then I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to drag this down a little bit more towards the Greens because I color picked the shadow over here and it's actually a little green. So I'm gonna drag this more towards into the turquoise color and I'm gonna go ahead and bring that down a little bit and darkness and then I can go ahead and start painting in some of the shadow area. Now I'm not gonna get too detailed with this right now. We can come back and really detail it out when I add a little bit of darker area. All right. Perfect. So that's good for now. We'll come back and really blend this out. Make it look a lot better. We can go ahead and use every race story now and we can just kind of erase that because you don't want to over hanging over actual photograph. All right. So now let's come back to our other original layer where we're going to paint the actual teacup and let's go ahead and begin painting. So if you remember it was kind of a warm ish color. It's not very saturated it's way more over here towards the gray side. But we want kind of a bright color so not for white but it was about somewhere around there. So let's make that our brightest highlight right there and base everything else off of that. So let's go ahead and start painting that in now we want to make sure that we're using the right brush for this. So many come over here. I'm going to switch my brush to a hard round pressure opacity brush so that way when I push lighter it's transparent when I push harder it's darker. And now let's go ahead and let's start just filling in the general area of that bright highlight. So if we look at a photograph it just kind of a rectangular shape right there. It doesn't have to be perfect at this point we're just really blocking out those values right. Great. Now let's go ahead and look around see if there's any other areas that are that bright it kind of looks like we have a pretty bright area right up in here and right here on this ledge and it looks like we get a pretty bright area right here down along this edge of the handle. Other than that everything else looks a little bit darker. All right. So let's go ahead and move on to the next the latest thing so we'll drag this down a little bit in our color tree over here. We'll drag it down just a little bit. So it's a little bit darker. Let's go ahead and start shading in this top area right here. So you can see that there's kind of a value change right there in that area. So we want to capture that go ahead bring my brush size up just a little bit. And I think the value changes or even a little bit more than that. So let's go ahead and darken that even more I think that's good and we can probably actually darken that just a little bit more especially up here towards a topic it's pretty dark now we don't want to get crazy with the shading at this point or the value changes we just want to block and the basic values at this point something like that looks good. Let's go ahead and use the same value because if we look over here this value right there and that value right there. They look basically the same so we can go ahead and color this in the same color. For now at this point if you're not seeing perfectly within the lines that's OK this is just the block out phase and the block out phase never has to be perfect so don't get too crazy about making everything look perfect at this point we just want to capture the main values and the main colors at this point. And so we're just breaking things up into very rough shapes. So next let's go ahead move down here. This is about the same value this surface right here. So we'll go ahead and just draw that out and then colored in and even though we get some other values in here for now we're just gonna keep at the same value. All right great. Next. Let's go ahead and have a look around see if we see another place that has this value I would probably say that this ledge around the cup has this value. There's some areas where it gets a little bit brighter and a little bit darker but in general has a pretty light value going all the way around it. It's not the full brightness. So it's not like a reflection but it is pretty bright. So let's go ahead and just fill the entire ledge of the opening of this teapot with this value. Tell we get over here we can blended into this brighter value where we have a reflection going to bring across the top up here. Make sure that you're full painting with full capacity. So because we're using a pressure sensitive brush and if we don't push very hard it's transparent we want to make sure we go over a few times to really fill it in. All right great. Next I think we get some of this value just coming right down into this area. And it basically just fills this entire surface right here. So we can go ahead and just kind of fill that in. I want to bring my bra size up just to fill a little bit faster. Let's see next. Let's go ahead and let's fill this top surface right here on the handle and then the surface right here on the cup I think is a little bit darker. So let's leave that out. Stays pretty dark all the way down all right. And then we also get a little bit of highlight down here on the stand of the teapot. So something like that is pretty bright down there and I think we also get some detail right there. But we're going to wait till we add the darker value and then we can add that detail on top. We're trying to keep this nice and simple all right. I think we are ready to go ahead and create a darker value so go ahead and drag this down somewhere about there should be good. And let's start filling in the next dark area. So the next dark a series I believe will be inside the cup some to go ahead and just basically paint and this entire surface except for it gets a little bit darker down towards the bottom somewhere leave that part out. And I can darken it in on the next around. All right great. Let's see where is the next place we can fill in. I think next we can go ahead and fill in this top surface on this curved part of the handle right here. It's like that kind of get a lighter edge on that side. Same with right here and we can kind of go ahead and just fill in this edge right there I would say that's a good value for that area. You can fill that all the way over to here. All right let's see next. Let's go ahead and let's fill this area right here with the same value and you'll notice that because this cup is curving like this upwards and we have a light source coming from here and we have a light source coming from here the light source is hitting this surface right here. But this underside that curves upwards is getting hit by shadow. It's left in the shadow. And so that's why we get a shadow there and we get a light source or highlight right there. This is why it's so important to draw studies from real life and paint studies because it really helps you understand the real world you could talk theory all you want. And it's really good to understand theory. But if you don't actually draw and paint from life you don't really you don't really understand. It's kind of like riding a bike you you can talk about riding a bike you can learn about riding a bike until you actually get on a bike and try it. There's just things that you can't explain the way the pedals feel in your feet. Stuff like that. So you always want to make sure that that you're drawing painting still lifes and studying from our life. Right now I'm driving the color down a little bit. I think it used to be even darker than that. In fact I think that this part down here could be darker so I'm going to paint this back in a little bit darker like that and then I'll drag that down even darker to something like that. I'll fill in this top area and then I'll go and just kind of let these blend in to each other a little bit. I'm not going to work too much on the blending I'm just not pushing very hard with my brush and just kind of letting those two values blend in together. All right let's go ahead. Let's take the same value this dark value up here and let's go ahead and draw that down here perfect and then we can also start translating some of these values down here into this bottom part of the cup. So using my eyedropper I'll just go ahead and select this color right here. I'm going to paint that in as my next value down here and then I'll go ahead and use my eyedropper and then select one of these colors here in the middle because it'll be kind of a mix between these two colors new values and go and painted in as the next one. The reason why I drop all go ahead and paint this dark valley right here that is look at her photo I think we need to bring this dark value out even further think that all right great. Let's go ahead and move on to our next surface. So for next surface I'm going to go ahead and let's select what's it like this color in between these two they are blended together and I'm just gonna paint in this surface right here with that value and think that works pretty well great. Then I'm gonna go ahead and drag this color down a little bit further. Something like that maybe actually even further down if I remember it's almost a black. So drag it down to about there and that's going to be our next value now this might look a little bit too dark but I think it's just because some of the values around it are too light. So what we're gonna have to do is going to have to come back in here and darken some of these values some to go ahead and just lightly paint that down like this is transparently just to blend that into the value below all right. Then let's go ahead and paint the surface in we can go and paint in this bottom surface here on the stand and then what I'm going to do is I'm gonna go ahead and I'm just gonna lightly paint on top of this area right here. So it's kind of transparent because I want to get a darker version of that and now I'll go ahead and take my eyedropper and I'm going to select that and I can just paint with that but it'll be opaque I don't I can push as hard as I want and I still get that same value and I'll go ahead. I'm just gonna re paint this in because I want it to be darker do the same thing up here all right. Great. Next let's go ahead and paint in this area right there. So it looks like it's about as dark is this area right here. So what I'll do is I'll go ahead and I'm going to select that color and then I can go ahead and paint this whole site in then the surface blow it just looks a little bit darker perhaps a little bit darker so maybe right about there there's not a huge difference between those two values maybe a tiny bit darker all right there we go. I think that's dark enough let's go and paint that in there we can go ahead and paint this part and down here. Let's actually make that a little bit darker somewhat to select a color from like up here maybe even darker actually so select this color up here that gray and then I'll reflect this dirt color and just kind of blend that in a little bit all right. Something like that will work well. OK. Let's see. So we still need to fill in this area here needs a little bit of a darker value so we don't want it too much darker so maybe the color that we just put down on that side we can go ahead and use the seal that looks next to it. Even that might be a little bit too dark. So I want to go ahead and try selecting this value right there using that and I think that looks a lot better. Now another thing you can do is I want to go ahead drag this down more into my oranges. I'm going to drag it over a little bit more saturated because if we look here on our photograph that area is pretty it's a little orange and you can see that I just drew the circle with that color. And it actually matches pretty dang well. So we'll go ahead and use that as a base that's another thing you can do is test these colors out by drawing on top of your photo and see if you match the colors pretty well and if he didn't then go ahead and go back to your color tray and choose a different color. See if you can adjust the values or adjust the saturation or just even maybe the the hue we can go ahead and bring the size up and just slightly paint in like that to kind of help blended in doesn't have to look perfect at this point we're just trying to block in these values and colors I think this area right here is a little bit darker so I'll go ahead. Just lately kind of paint that in just like that and I'll go ahead and use my color picker in races like this color. So now I have that color selective so I can push as hard as I want and it repaint that opaque and I don't get that transparent paint look and just paint that part in. All right. Great. So next let's go ahead. We need to finish painting in the handle. So let's see the handle has this dark shadow right there. So I'm thinking that the color form right here should match it pretty well so let's go ahead and use our color picker and select this color bring down the brush size let's go ahead paint this area in I think that's actually looking a little bit too dark. So what we can do is let's go ahead and let's select this color where it mixes in between this light value this dark value. Let's repaint it with that. I think that value looks a lot better in this bottom shadow area. I know it gets a little bit lighter there but we're just trying to block it out nice and simple. We don't want to make it too complicated. Now we could probably even go ahead and let's select this dark shadow color down here and let's kind of blend these together we can brighten this area right here and let's just add kind of a stripe of that color next to the dark color just so it doesn't have such a hard edge kind of softens it up and makes it look like it's kind of blended in like that. All right. I think it could get a little bit darker so in a race like this dark gray up here there's a few areas in here that I think could be darker. Like right there just like that. All right let's go and zoom out here. This looks a good way to kind of gauge your values and the overall shape as a squint your eyes see how it looks. It all kind of simplify your image and make it easier for you to see the values which is really what we want to focus on right now because we're working on the lighting. Another thing is go ahead and zoom out really fast. You can see as a small image that you're not looking too close at at and looking at it it looks pretty good. I would say that there is one area that I want to work on. So if I zoom back in I'm thinking that this area right here needs to be a little bit lighter so I'm sure that I'm talking about this area right here needs to be lighter so to go ahead and color pick it and then I'll just drag that up a little bit. So it's a little bit lighter and then I'll just go ahead and repaint it in something like that maybe it will color pick this color bring that darkness back down into there a little bit more. All right. I think that looks pretty good. Let's go ahead and zoom out and check it again. I think another thing too is that I need a little bit more blue in my shadows and not only that but I think this right here is a little bit too dark. So what I'll do is I'll go ahead and select that color drag it up a little bit and then I'm gonna go ahead and repaint that. So it just lightens it up just ever so slightly. You can hardly tell the difference but it will make a difference do the same thing up here and this is just going to kind of soften it up a little bit more make it look not so harsh All right. Great. Zoom out see how that looks now. All right. I think it's matching pretty dang well. So next so we want to do is we want to go back in here and we really want to start detailing everything out. And we just want to work in small sections at a time. So let me show you what I mean. So the first thing we can do is we can go ahead and turn off our drawing layer so you can see that if I turn that off it changes slightly you can't see the outline anymore. And that's what we want. So let's go ahead and let's get in there and start painting. So we want to make sure that we don't zoom in too far because we still want to see our photograph as reference. But we can go ahead and start. Let's start on this reflection area right here. So first let's go ahead and let's just kind of paint in this detail we see here. So has kind of a design on its own just like this coloring here and then I can go ahead and kind of paint that in a little bit. So I'm just going to start by painting a line like that that I can just see two lines coming down and across like this something like that. Well then you'll see there's areas right here where the paint connects and you'll see that there's little holes in it like right there that I just filled in. And you can see the background through it. And we also want to blend these edges together. So what we want to start donors we want start fixing stuff like that. So gonna go ahead and select this color and then I'm just going to straighten this line out a little bit more and you might have to select the color on the other side to paint in the other side to really get that straight and get that that edge where you want it just like that. Now if we look at our photograph it's pretty soft right there. So we want to soften that up more and the way we can do that is let's go ahead and bring a bra size up the way we can do that is to take this darker color right here or the lighter color and basically paint right over that edge but don't push very hard. You want to have a transparent paint come out. So if we zoom in there now you can see there's a little darker or that little area where these two colors this lighter on in this dark one mixed together. This is blending. So now we can go ahead and take our Eyedropper Tool select that color and then go go back in there with our paint brush and just repaint that end and that just begins the blending process. We can do that again with the same color so I can kind of let it overhang into this brighter area and let it overhang into this darker area and then I can go ahead and color pick that color. And once again blend that in and do the same thing on the other side of color pick the color here and I'll blend that into the White. Just like that. So now if we zoom out you can see that we are starting to get a nice blend going back and we want to just basically continue to do this the whole way. So we're cleaning up edges like this. You'll have to bring your brush size down pretty small probably finish out that corner straighten out these lines and then the other thing we want to be doing is we want to be blending these edges. So if we see an edge so for example right here this white edge and this darker value down here that gets a little bit of a blend it's a little bit fuzzy and blurry. So we want to make sure that we create that now right. Here you can see we already have a little bit of color that's mixing between these two values so I'll go ahead and just select that. If you don't have that there you can just go ahead and paint a little bit on the way over the darker value and then color pick that transparent mix that. Go ahead. Just paint along that ledge and that mix of the two values just creates that nice soft edge. We also want to go ahead and let's just select this color here and really fill this corner out. Just like that we can also use this value and just kind of start adding more detail to this design here. So for example if I go ahead and I select this color right here it's really hard to tell but this is you can see that it goes from a darker value and it slowly gets a little bit brighter into this white area. So when I select this color right here it should be a little bit brighter than that detail right there. And I can go ahead and just start painting and a little bit more detail and just add a little bit more definition to this stuff and then if we want to clean this up we can go ahead and we select this light white color and we can just come back in here maybe send some of these shapes out maybe paint a little bit more of a reflection highlight back on top of this darker detail just to kind of bring it back. We can even take this lighter color and bring it across here. Let's look at our reference do we see it there. We actually don't see it very much there but I'm just going to take the creative liberty to add that in just because I think the detail kind of helps it pop a little bit more. All right. Perfect. So then we can go ahead and move up into this area right here where we need these colors to blend a little bit more. So what we'll do is I'll select this color right here. We're already kind of have a little bit of blending colors and I'll just paint moral Paisley with that just like that. Start cleaning up this edge right here and then I'll go ahead and just paint a little transparent on top of that lighter color and I'll select that. Now I can just paint with that optically and if we look at our reference we can see that that actually has a pretty hard edge right there. So I want to make sure that I kind of get that. So when a race like this lighter color and just kind of paint that back in there with a nice hard edge let's go ahead and continue blending this in by selecting the middle colors with our eyedropper and just painting transparently and then re selecting that color and then repainting all right. Great. So this is basically what I'm going to do for the rest of this painting. I'm just going to look at my reference and then try to copy it over here by either blending finishing up lines but I really want to pay attention to the values and the shapes of things and painted in exactly as I see it's kind of a hard thing to explain. You just have to go for it and it's a lot better to learn by watching somebody so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to speed up the rest of this painting because it's going to take a while and you can just watch what I do and study the colors the shapes the way I paint. And then I want you to go ahead and finish your painting all right so there we go. We just finished our painting so you should have picked up on a lot of the things I was doing I was basically using that same technique over and over again just softening the edges and also redefining some of these shapes and also filling in all the transparent areas. Now at this point if you wanted to you could just go ahead and crop this now. So this is the crop tool can drag it over like that secret crop out your actual painting like that. And that brings us to the end of this lecture. Thanks for watching and I'll see you guys in the next one.