Well hello there! This is Tamil and today I wanted to go over vehicle drawings. It is a very complicated topic, so I will try to condense it as much as possible, but there will still be a lot to learn in the future. Let's get started!
I just wanted to let you know beforehand: drawing vehicles is VERY hard. I am telling you this because the drawings will look ugly, but that is okay. Keep pushing. Keep learning perspective and learning more. The results will be there if you keep practicing! Here is my progression in the art to give you some encouragement. This is around 6 months of heavy heavy practice in perspective. This might take longer for you, but it is still achievable with practice!
Why is it hard to draw vehicles? Well, there are a few reasons:
- It requires a lot of perspective knowledge. Our brains are trained to see perspective every day. Any car or laptop or table is always in perfect perspective. Even slight mistakes will cause a disturbance. Perspective is less subjective than color or other art fundamentals, so keep that in mind.
- Perspective is technical. It is hard to "feel" it ( not like color or light for example ). Learn the rules of 1-3 point perspectives in order to move forward. I made a tutorial on that as well! Just go read or watch the video to get a grasp of it. Do more research if it still does not click with you. I did not get it for a long time as well.
Suggestions to get started
First, do not do scratchy lines. Drawing any vehicle requires a lot of lines, so if they will look messy, the entire drawing will get destroyed.
Even drawing a simple cube with many lines will look bad. Now image you need to measure 20 cubes to make the vehicle? The more shapes there are, the harder it becomes to make sense of it.
Secondly, you need to learn how to draw boxes and cylinders from any perspective. It is a deep topic, so please read the article I wrote before and let's get to the basics.
This is a basic cube. You need to create a Y shape ( red ). This will be the front of your cube. Then create lines that are almost parallel to the red, but they will converge in the vanishing point ( orange ). Try to alter Y shape and see what results will you get. Get any cube-looking object in the house and try to draw it from life. This will help you to play with complicated perspective. Go ahead and watch my video for more real-time demonstration if you need more info.
After you learn how to make a cube, you can start creating cylinders. The main idea is to create an X on the box. This will help you find the middle and see where the circle should touch ( red ). It should be curved near corners and touch the sides of the cube.
Make the same thing on the back of the cube. The middle points should align in a pretty good angle of 90 degrees like this.
In the video, I also use the perspective tools in Clip Studio Paint. This is why it looks so perfect, I still struggle to create normal circles with the tablet or freehanding it.
The further the circle, the bigger angle it should get. The closer the circle, the narrower it should be.
This is a freehand cylinder that I made. The left is close to the audience, so it looks narrower. The degree is different. I will link some resources at the end of the article to study more of this.
Yes, we will need references, but not some of the ones that you might find. You will most likely find the new car that came out in 2010's, but that will be a damaging experience for young artists to draw. The problem is that modern cars are very slick and have no distinct angles in most cases. That is why highly recommend looking into older car pictures. They are boxier and it is easier to deconstruct them.
What tools to use?
- Use pen and paper when you are starting out. This will ensure you will prepare your lines before you draw them. You will make fewer scratchy lines and see more clear mistakes.
- Do not use tablets that do not have a screen. I use one myself daily. I prefer normal tablets over screen ones, but it is made for practice. It is more for painting. Even if you have a screen tablet, I suggest starting with paper and then slowly transitioning with screen tablet.
- Clip Studio Paint Rulers. Go watch the video or read the article that I wrote on perspective. Using rulers is good to mix into learning. To see mistakes and check yourself. Do not rely on it to completely avoid learning perspective. You will need to know perspective in order to use it to full capacity.
Check your proportions
Creating a 2D plane image to check proportions helps me a lot. Use wheels to measure your car. The side view shows that the car is 3 wheels long. When you made your box, just divide it by three and create wheels using the cylinder method. This will be very hard and long, but that is how you would study the proper drawing of cars. I neglected it when I was starting out and I still need to relearn.
There are many exercises for this type of drawing, but these are just a few.
- Create a plane in any perspective, then follow the cylinder method. Try to draw the circle into the plane and make sure it is touching the sides and not the corners.
- Creating a rectangle and trying to touch the corners while making good free-hand circles.
- Plotting 2 dots and trying to make a straight line to the other end. Make sure to prepare and not draw it right away. Make multiple lines to see if you can repeat it many times.
Please watch the video and read the perspective article. It took me 6 months to learn how to draw vehicles better, so it is hard to condense the info into one article without writing a 6-page essay. Resources to check out for more in-depth information and more research:
- Buy the book of How to Draw: Drawing and Sketching Objects and Environments from Your Imagination. It is a killer book on how to draw and learn perspective! I learned so much. If you are on a low budget, then:
- DrawaBox. It is a FREE drawing course that goes into how to construct and how to create proper forms. I spent 3 months working on it and I am still not done. It is very intense and I would say better than 90% of college courses I took in any school. If you are still confused, this will answer all of your questions!
Embrace the grind and do not forget to make art for yourself as well. Please leave any questions or suggestions on the youtube video.
I also made some car drawings for this. You can watch the timelapse at the very end and see my process!