How to Draw Bottles & Glasses
Shape & translucency help depict realistic glass bottles! The Etherington Brothers explain light reflection & refraction on empty & filled bottles & glasses.
Learn how you can draw… or learn how to think when you draw with the Etherington Brothers!
Drawing bottles is an exercise in balancing form lines and reflection detail within the surfaces, as well as hinting at translucency.
First, let’s look at a basic chunky bottle in perspective.
- Four equally spaced lines + a circle.
- Centerline/broadening hoops.
- Outline profile.
- Start to map details to guidelines.
For other angles, you’re simply stacking shapes – in this case, hoops.
- Establish perspective.
- Stack hoops.
- Draw in form.
For bottles with shape transitions, try imagining a midpoint cross-section.
Empty bottles of light glass will have a lower reflectiveness, so concentrate on translucency. Only show simplified versions of objects behind those in the foreground to keep forms uneven and staggered.
When drawing bottles filled with darker liquids, think about reflections from the liquid.
An empty bottle made of darker glass will show heavy shadows within reflections.
For glasses filled with clear liquids, the shadow from the base is refracted up into the surface, when viewed from an angle.
This effect is consistent in most glass types.
Reflections pinch at the sides and expand across surfaces.
A few more thoughts…