We will be using the following reference photograph and making close observations while we draw.
Let’s start marking the basic shapes that make up this image. Lightly sketch an oval in the top right quadrant area of your paper.
Continuing our outlining, we can put a loose arc under the oval where the chin would be. We want the middle of the arc to gently graze the chin. Draw vertical lines on either side to create a curved rectangular shape for the torso.
Add a line between the top arc and the oval on our right-hand side for the neck. Next you can loosely outline where you want the arms placed. In this case we are learning how to draw a lady holding a mug so we want bent arms. The top line of the mug should come across the arc of the shoulders and the bottom of the oval.
Now draw some guidelines for facial features. Add a curved vertical line down the middle of the oval. Mark curved horizontal lines across the oval. The middle-most horizontal line is where you’ll place guidelines for the eyes on either side of the vertical divider. Now let’s draw two vertical lines curving downward from the center of where each eye will be. This will help place the corners of the mouth.
Next we’ll focus on the eyes and eyebrows. Using the guidelines from Step 1 we want to make stretched “C” shapes between the markers we made on that center horizontal curve. These are the eyelids. At this time you can also throw in some estimation of where you want the eye wrinkles (Crow’s feet) and under-eye bags to go too. Then you can sketch an upside-down open “V” shape with the point of the “V” being where you would like the arch of the brow to go. The brows should start above the inner corners of the eyes and end a little way past the outside corners of the eyes – about where the eye wrinkles end.
Here we will use our guidelines on the oval to place the nose. Sketch in an estimation of the bridge of the nose, pulling the line from the right eye corner down towards where the base of the nose will be.
You can now draw the base of the nose. Begin with the wing on our left side and curve under toward the lower edge and back up for the wing on the other side.
For the top lip, draw a stretched, open “V” under the nose. The ends of the “V” should be under the arches of the eyebrows, aligned with the vertical guidelines from the center of the eyes. Draw another “V” shape over the other “V” for the top of the upper lip. Do two more stretched “V”s to create the mouth’s bottom lip. Add vertical lines for teeth. Now draw the smile lines curving around from the nose to the lips and down towards the chin.
Hair, Head, and Ear
Next we’re going to go over our original oval head outline to lock in the face shape we want. We’re also going to start the hairline. Find the point where the part should start. The hair lines should spiral out from this point and flow around the head and face.
Next add the ear. Consider the many folds of an ear while also remembering most things can be made with simple shapes. The ear is made of many “C” shapes. Make the jawline, keeping in mind that a scarf will be around the lady’s neck and partially covering her jawline.
We want to continue outlining the hair. To do this keep in mind the major sections of the hair and don’t get caught up in strands. You want to outline the general flow of the hair.
Now that we have our basic lines for the head and face, let’s go ahead and erase our guidelines from earlier. If you’re having trouble getting into the tight spaces to erase consider using a kneaded eraser instead of a plastic or classic rubber eraser.
Start drawing the hair strands in. Use more pressure at the part and ease the pressure as you arc away. Also add strand lines around the outer edge of the hair. Keep in mind the movement of each chunk of hair that we outlined before. You don’t need to draw every strand of hair. We simply want to give the viewer enough so that they can fill in the rest in their own mind.
Continuing the hair theme, let’s add eyelashes and eyebrows. We made an outline of where we want the brows to be. Using that as your guide, draw in each eyebrow hair. Similar to the scalp hair, use more pressure at the start of each line and ease up as you go. Use a similar approach to the eyelashes. Start them at the edge of the eyelid and pull down.
At this stage we are a little more than halfway finished with how to draw a lady drinking a hot beverage from a mug. We’re going to add in some of the accessories details like her earring and the outline of her scarf. The scarf has been doubled up and wrapped around the neck so there are some main sections we can outline like how we outlined the sections of the hair.
Let’s continue the outline of the scarf around the other side of the neck and down the chest. Because the hands are still only outlines themselves, it is okay if you need to draw through them to get the placement of the ends of the scarf right. You can always erase the lines later. Or, you can do what I did and approximate the placement behind the cup and hands without actually drawing what is hidden behind.
The scarf in our reference photo is a knitted one, which means lots of texture. Now is a good time to go in and indicate the texture of the scarf both above…
…and below the hands. You don’t need to show every line but enough to give the impression of a knitted scarf.
Hands and Mug
Next we can start on the hands. Let’s begin with the lady’s left hand, on our right. Outline the mug now. Then, outline the fingers and add the lines for the knuckles and the wrinkles. The first knuckles will lie along the guideline where the fingers and palm meet. Start outlining and defining the thumb as well.
Before we start on the other hand, we should mark out the handle of the mug. This will give us a natural guide for where to wrap the fingers of that hand. As such, keep these lines light so that you can erase the places where the fingers will overlap.
Once you have the mug handle drawn in, we can place the fingers more naturally. The first finger of the lady’s right hand will go in the crook of the mug handle. The second finger will lie along the bottom edge of the handle and the rest will curl towards the palm. You can use your own hands for reference. Again, the first knuckles will go along the guideline where the fingers and palm outlines overlapped originally.
For this particular how to draw a lady tutorial, our lady is cozied up and enjoying a warm drink. Besides the knitted scarf, she is also wearing a knitted sweater. This kind of clothing will take a little more detail, so we’ll start with the cuffs and the sleeves. Try to arc your lines for the cuffs a little bigger than your original guidelines to keep them loose around the wrists. You can follow the guidelines of the arms for the sleeves.
In places where the sweater would bunch more, we want to make extra lines to show this. Fabric tends to bunch in bodily creases like the armpits and elbows.
While there are a lot of lines from the knitting on the sweater, we don’t want to draw each one. Much like hair, we want to give the sense of the lines being there and let the viewer fill in the rest. To do this, we can add some vertical lines to the edges to indicate the lines of the sweater.
You can do a little more cleanup with your erasers or darkening of lines if you’d like, but you have just learned how to draw a lady with a hot drink!
Want to try this drawing again? Try drawing the woman with a different mug or different clothing. Can you make her a different age by omitting the wrinkles or adding more? Keep practicing and enjoying art!