To create a some dramatic lighting, I set the cup up with a white light shining straight down on it and two blue lights on both sides.
I find there’s a strange balance, when painting from life or from photos, of how realistic or stylized to make the painting. On this painting, I spent the first day trying to paint exactly what I was seeing (the real cup is very symmetrical in shape). I got frustrated because it wasn’t coming out just right, so I gave up, wiped it away and put it aside. The next day I went at it again knowing there was a painting there and just drew it out focusing more on the composition than trying to get every detail just right. This little cup has a lot to offer so I’ll probably paint it again and again.