The most important skill for drawing cars

More than anything else (IMHO), drawing cars requires a huge amount of skill and loads of artistic talent. Not only do you need to have an aesthetic understanding of shape and form, you also need technical understanding of perspective and how light reflects off organic surfaces. Cars are complex objects, and it’s plainly obvious if they aren’t drawn correctly.

For anyone who is just learning how to draw cars, I have one piece of advice: learn to draw freehand circles and ovals! I can’t count the number of times that I’ve cringed with disappointment when looking at an otherwise really great car sketch that is ruined by lopsided wheels that don’t match the perspective of the car. I’ve done that plenty of times when I was just staring to learn how to draw cars, and it may be one of the most difficult skills to master.

In order to be proficient at this, you should be drawing ovals and circles whenever possible. No excuses – you can find a lot of time to do this if you try, especially with all of the quality drawing and sketching apps that are available for mobile phones and tablets these days. Do it in a meeting, while in class, or on the train – it’s a quiet and simple task that you can literally do anywhere.

You should also vary it a bit. It’s ok to practice drawing little circles on your phone, but make sure you also spend an equal amount of time doing large versions on huge pieces of paper with a thick marker. If it’s too difficult to do at first, start out by tracing the wheels (freehand of course) from pictures of cars you find in magazines. If you do this enough, you will get sick and tired of it. But I guarantee that it’s a skill you’ll use and benefit from every time you draw a car for the rest of your life.

The wheels are the foundation of any good automotive sketch. They set the stance of the car and provide the basis for the mood of the drawing. And besides – you’ll gain a lot more respect for your work for higher accuracy and realism.

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