Teapot – Watercolor Still Life Step by Step for Beginners

Teapot - Watercolor still life step by step with light background
Teapot with light background.

Beginners will be amazed at their watercolor still life when they paint this teapot step by step. Shading is the key and concentrating on it first makes realism easy. When you add the wash of color to your teapot, it will come to life.

NOTE – cold pressed paper is best for layering watercolor. Hot pressed paper may not work as well.

Downloads for Teapot – Watercolor Still Life

Recommended Colors for Step by Step Watercolor Still Life

  • Blue – Ultramarine Blue
  • Brown – Burnt Sienna (or Transparent Orange)
  • Black – any tube or mixed black
  • Pink – Quinacridone Red, Rose Red, etc.
  • Opaque White – Pro White by Daler Rowney or Bleed Proof White by Dr. Martin
  • Green (leaf) – blue + yellow or tube green
  • Gold – (flower center) yellow + brown or tube gold

Step by Step Painting Instructions for Watercolor Still Life

Step 1 – Draw or trace your outline onto your watercolor paper with graphite paper.

Step 2 – Paint the shadow value on your teapot and cup with gray.

Step 2 Shading for Watercolor Teapot Still Life Painting tutorial
sphere shading example for watercolor tutorial teapot still life

Mix a puddle of a neutral gray color using Ultramarine Blue + Burnt Sienna (or Transparent Orange), or use a tube gray.

Wet and paint each area separately as shown – the body of the teapot, the lid, the spout and handle, the outside of the cup and the inside of the cup.

Your gray color should be darkest on the left side, going to almost white on the right. The round body of the pot is shaded like the sphere in the photo.

Inside of the cup – paint the inside darkest at the bottom, going to lightest at the top. Try to leave a line of unpainted paper around the top of the rim, or paint a white line along the top of the cup rim when finished.

Step 3 – Add a touch of pink, wet on wet to the teapot and cup.

Mix a watery puddle of pink.

Wet the teapot and cup. Touch in pink in a few random spots to add a hint of the color. Dry.

The pink shouldn’t be very visible in the finished painting but will help add interest to the blue color.

Shaded teapot with pink added step by in watercolor tutorial step by step

Step 4 – Paint the handle and add a darker gray to the side of the base.

Handle – Paint the handle dark gray on the left as shown in the photo. Dry well.

ase – Wet the bottom of the base that the pot is sitting on with clean water. Paint a dark gray line along the top of the side.

Step 5 – Evaluate the darkness and lightness and correct as needed.

Too light? Rewet the area and add more paint.

Too dark? Rewet the area and lift off some of the paint by dabbing it with a paper towel or wiping gently with Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser.

Step 6 – Paint the pot, lid and cup with a blue wash, going over the shading.

Watercolor teapot step by step tutorial for beginners - adding the blue

Mix a big puddle of blue paint.

Body of Pot – Wet the right side of the teapot with clean water and paint on the blue – darker on the left and much lighter on the right.

Lid, spout, handle and cup – paint the lid blue, the spout blue on the bottom, the handle with gold or brown, and the cup with blue – painting around the flowers.

Outline the flowers with blue and put a dot in the middle of a few of the flowers.

Adding black

  • Paint the round finial on top with blue/black mix.
  • Paint the rim of the spout black.
  • Paint a black line under the pot and cup.
  • Add the shadow under the pot on the left.

Step 7 – How to Paint Wood with Watercolor for Teapot Still Life

Mix a big puddle of brown.

Paint the wood. You want the right top very light and the left side and bottom darker brown.

Add wood grain? While the side brown wash is still wet, use a small brush with clean water to draw squiggle lines in the wash to suggest wood grain.

Dry well.

Teapot - Watercolor still life step by step with light background
Teapot with light background.

Step 8 – How to add a background to a watercolor still life for beginners.

Color? Your background can be any color you like. I used leftover brown and added a little yellow or gold.

Wet on wet? You can paint wet on wet or wet on dry – your choice. Painting wet on wet can be easier to get a smooth background.

Start at one side and work your way across the still life. Use a big brush for the main area and a small brush so you can fill in close to the objects

Darker background – add more paint – mix brown + blue or black to darken. When you have color where you want it, you can smooth it out with a damp watercolor fan brush.

Finished watercolor teapot with dark background - still life tutorial
Finished Teapot with Dark Background

Step 9 – Finishing detail and flower blossom and your still life is finished!

Leaf – Paint the leaf with some green (blue + yellow or tube green)

Flower – paint the flower petals with some pink. Paint the center with gold. Paint a dark shadow on the left side of the petal.

Teapot – add a white highlight to the right side of the teapot body and lid. Add a white line along the top of the lid, and the top and bottom of the body.

Summary for Teapot Watercolor Still Life Step by Step for Beginners

You can create a three dimensional look to your flat still life paintings by adding shading and shadows. Consider where your light source is coming from and paint the shading with gray until your objects look three dimensional. Add a wash of color and some finishing details and you have a great step by step still life.

Great things are done by a series of small steps done together - Vincent Van Gogh