This section contains general thoughts and commentary about drawing cars in general. Here I’ll give tips and ideas for sketching and rendering cars, along with some of my own thoughts about automotive art and design.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you are a talented automotive artist or designer who wants some easy extra cash every month, do yourself a favor and sell some of your work as royalty free stock. All of the major online stock photo agencies are busting at the seams with pictures of nature, babies, and food and it’s really hard to break any ground in those areas. But I personally see a pretty big hole when it comes to quality car drawings and sketches available for sale on these sites, and I’m willing to bet that the first few automotive artists who take full advantage of this are going to strike it big.
I’ve had a look at some of the largest stock photo agencies to see what their car drawing and automotive design section looks like, and I’m amazed at how poor the quality is. See for yourself (then create an account and start selling your renderings and sketches)!
Their automotive art and design gallery is severely lacking. I counted just a handful of mediocre quality car drawings and sketches, and all of them had a decent number of sales. This site is a gold mine waiting to be tapped.
Their automotive selection is a little better than dreamstime, but it consists mostly of 3d models and poorly drawn vector illustrations. Shutterstock is a huge (huge) player in the stock photo world, and quality automotive design and art will be bought very quickly.
Stockfresh isn’t as large of an agency as dreamstime and shutterstock, but they are a new site on the rise who offers a very generous commission payouts. Since their entire library is smaller than the others, quality car sketches and drawings should stand out very well here.
If I were a younger man with a lot of time to devote to drawing cars for the primary purpose of selling them as royalty-free stock, I’d jump all over this. But I’ve got too many other projects (along with a great wife) that I’d rather spend my time with, so I feel good by offering up this information here to help others.
Go earn some money with your car drawing talent!
I started drawing cars when I was 10 years old, and I remember how frustrating it was to not be able to draw cars exactly like I saw in the magazines. Being so young and having dreams crushed so easily doesn’t do much for building confidence and self esteem, but it did teach me a thing or two about hard work and determination.
All I knew is that I wanted to learn how to draw cars. Period. I was completely obsessed with it, thanks in large part to the automotive artwork of Duane Kuchar that I saw each month in the pages of Motor Trend magazine. He was a god to me – I greatly admired his artistic style and technique, which was very precise and clean while still being loose enough to be classified as art.
This was a time that was way before the internet (mid 1980’s), so his artwork was pretty much my sole influence. Even though my car drawing skills were laughable, I started trying to copy his style as best I could. I spent countless hours pouring over his automotive illustrations, learning about reflections and light, perspective, and trying to replicate those elements into my own drawings.
Without realizing it, I was learning like a sponge and developing my artistic skills. I still remember the realization I had two years later when I suddenly realized how much better I was at drawing – not just cars but all things in general. It was an exciting realization, and it gave me even more energy than I had before to keep going and pushing me towards life as a car designer.
The point of all this is that I succeeded by focusing on drawing cars – and not trying to focus on success itself. It’s a philosophy I still follow to this day and it may be perhaps the best piece of advice I can give to anyone who wants to learn how to draw cars. Don’t worry – just draw, and the results will naturally follow.