Coloured Pencils: Blue Glass Bottle (demonstration)

It’s been a while since I did an art demonstration post, so I thought I should do one before I get too busy with uni again. Since I’ve been playing with coloured pencils a lot lately, I decided I’d try a demo of a coloured pencil realism drawing.

The photo used for this drawing was a picture uploaded to the WetCanvas Reference Image Library by mmdm. I used Derwent Coloursoft pencils for this project, but you can use the equivalent colour in your preferred brand (you’ll find it easier with a softer lead, though). I’d also recommend getting a sturdy, white drawing paper; Strathmore or Stonehenge are some favourites among coloured pencil artists. Also, keep in mind that if you press too hard with the pencil in the early stages, it will flatten the tooth of the paper, making it harder for it to take more layers of pencils. Use light to medium pressure throughout the drawing and only use a heavier pressure when you are doing the last layer or two.

Derwent Coloursoft pencils:
-C290 Ultramarine
-C300 Indigo
-C370 Pale Blue
-C590 Ochre
-C640 Brown Black
-C650 Black
-C670 Dove Grey
-C690 Steel Grey
-C710 White Grey
-C720 White

Optional: Derwent Blender or Burnisher pencil

Step 1
Draw the outline of the body of the bottle with the Indigo pencil, and the neck of the bottle with Pale Blue. Shade the whole bottle area very lightly with Pale Blue, leaving some round white highlights in a few places on the neck. Draw the cork with Ochre and lightly colour it in, then take Dove Grey and draw and colour the dark grey area that shows the gap between the cloth backdrop and the cloth the bottle is sitting on. Use a light to medium pressure for this. Using a lighter pressure, colour in the faint areas of shadow to show the folds of the two sections of cloth and the shadows from the bottle.


Step 2
With Dove Grey, add some pale grey areas to the lower sides of the bottle, then go over the folds on the cloth with another layer, darkening them in places. Use Pale Blue and Ultramarine to add in the reflected blues in the shadows on either side of the bottle, then go over these shadows again with Dove Grey, making sure not to cover up all the blue; the blue should remain vibrant where it is close to touching the bottle.

Using Steel Grey, darken the gap between the two sections of cloth. Then, using a light pressure, darken a the central areas of the folds in the backdrop. With Brown Black, add some shading to the cork on the left side.


Step 3
With White Grey and using small, circular strokes, go over the entire background to smooth out the grey pencil marks. In the middle sections of the bottle neck, colour with a pale layer of Indigo, before going over the whole neck with Ultramarine, also with soft strokes.

On the body of the bottle, colour the darkest areas with a pale layer of Indigo, before going over it with Ultramarine. Extend the Ultramarine out a little further into the centre of the bottle, following the contours of the glass with medium pressure. Then lightly go over the entire bottle body with a lighter layer of Ultramarine. Just under where the bottle neck meets the body, there should be a thin area that remains light.

Step 4
Lay in some Black with medium pressure in the dark areas where the cork shows through the glass and around the edges of the bottle body, then go over these sections with Indigo. Add another layer of Ultramarine to the outer edges of the bottle neck, and to the round area in the middle of the bottle body (see photo; there should be a small area between this round section and the darker bit at the edge that remains lighter). Below this round area, add another light layer of Dove Grey. Add a little more Ultramarine in the shadow on the cloth where it touches the bottle.

Step 5
Build up the dark areas with another layer of Black followed by Indigo. Then go over the whole bottle neck with Ultramarine, keeping it lighter at the outer edges to show the curves of the bottle. Darken some of the outer areas of the bottle body and the dark round area in the middle with a light layer of Indigo, then go over it all with Ultramarine. Colour over the light area where the neck meets the body with White, using a medium pressure.

Step 6
Build up the main body of the bottle with more Ultramarine, and then lightly colour over the grey area at the bottom of the bottle with white, blending this up towards the top of the bottle. Put another layer of Ultramarine over the whole bottle aside from the highlights.

At this stage I went over most of the body with the Derwent Burnisher pencil to smooth and blend everything a bit more, but if you don’t have one of these, you can just go over the area lightly with white and then add another layer of the main colour, which has a similar effect.

Step 7
Colour the dark areas of the bottle neck with a soft layer of White, and then lay down another layer of Black and Ultramarine. This will blend it and make it look more smooth. In the centre of the dark round area in the bottle’s body, add another light layer of Indigo, blending it outwards slightly, before going over it again with Ultramarine. Blend the Ultramarine lightly over the grey area at the bottom and then go over it with White and a light to medium pressure to smooth it out.

For the cork, use Brown Black and some circular scribbling motions to create texture. Add another gradated layer of Brown Black to the shaded area, and then go over the whole cork with Ochre again. You may need to add in a few more texture marks with Brown Black if they get covered up. Add a light layer of White on the right side of the cork to give it a bit more dimension, and then sign your name in the corner; the drawing is now finished.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my first coloured pencil realism demonstration. It was also my first real attempt at drawing glass objects, so I was somewhat surprised it came out as well as it did. If the thought of doing a many-layered coloured pencil realism drawing puts you off because of how long it will take, you can always make it a smaller piece; I drew this one on a Strathmore Bristol Vellum ATC, but most papers specifically made for drawing should be suitable.

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