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How To Draw A Car
In Four Easy Steps

Learning how to draw a car can be confusing for the newcomer.

Actually it's not difficult to achieve if you're shown what to do.

For example, if you click on the link to 'How to Draw' at the bottom of this article you'll find a tutorial on the Aston Martin DB5, James Bond's famous sports car that first appeared in 'Goldfinger' back in 1964.

However, if you want to learn to draw a car which is a much older 'classic', you'll notice they're constructed like a series of boxes. In fact if you click on the link on the next line, you can get to the Section on using just five basic shapes to draw anything you want - including cars, of course!

How to Draw a Car Tutorial

This makes it much easier to start to get a good likeness early on - always a great confidence booster, even for the experienced artist!

Look at the photo here of the classic Ford Model T which is going to be the subject of this 'how to draw a car' tutorial.

This is arguably the most famous of the old-time cars. It was certainly the first mass-produced car, with over 15 million models being built world-wide between 1908 and 1927. Even today, over 100,000 models still exist around the world.

Apparently, during the planning stages of his original masterpiece, Henry Ford saw the wreck of a French car after a race in Florida and noticed it was built from a much lighter and more durable alloy - vanadium steel - than he proposed using.

He quickly incorporated this into his designs and stole a march on his major rivals.

For several years, the only vehicles using this high-quality alloy were luxury French cars and the Ford Model T...

Henry Ford's oft-quoted comment "You can have any color as long as it's black" related to the Model T, although only in later years.

Right, enough of the history lesson. Let's look at how to draw a car!


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How to Draw A Car - Stage 1

Look at Stage 1 of 'How to Draw a Car'. See how the simple box shape forms the basis of the whole vehicle. I've done this in black pen so you can see the lines easier. 

How to Draw a Car Stage 1

I suggest you use an HB pencil which is dark enough to see but will erase easily.

Use this and other blocks as 'scaffolding' to develop your drawing. Get this box shape in roughly the correct proportions and you can be confident your finished version is going to be pretty well spot on.

If you want to print this image to use it to trace the outline, feel free. I suggest you enlarge it slightly on your printer if possible, then scribble pencil on the reverse (a bit like carbon paper) and lightly trace it onto your drawing paper.

Remember, your going to erase many of these construction lines as you progress.

By the way, if you're a beginner, tracing an image isn't 'cheating' as some might say. If it helps you at first to understand that much quicker and more thoroughly how to draw a car - or anything else for that matter - then go for it!


How to Draw A Car - Stage 2

Now I've started to put in some detail. As you can see, it's still only blocks - even the wheels are still square! However, it's starting to look like an old car already.

Incidentally, notice how far forwards the nearside front 'wheel' is (actually the oblong furthest to the right in the sketch!). 

This will make this three-quarter view 'look right' when we come to add all the details.


How to Draw A Car - Stage 3

This is where you start to see how a Ford Model T is emerging.  Start rounding off the relevant parts such as the wheels and headlamps. Notice that the angle you are working at means the wheels aren't round, but oval.

Keep within the oblongs you've drawn and observe carefully the shape of the wheels I've drawn. 

How to Draw a Car Stage 3

A series of quick light lines will look better and actually give some 'movement' to the wheels. If you do get it wrong, rub out and go over that section again.

As you become more confident you'll notice that your drawing speeds up and the lines you produce will look more professional.


How to Draw A Car - Stage 4

Having got the outline to your satisfaction, now you can add the lights, darks and all the details that really make it look like a Ford Model T.

A good way to bring out highlights in this drawing is to lightly shade all the bodywork with your pencil.

Now take your rubber - a putty rubber which you can mould to a point is ideal - and lift out highlights from the grey bodywork.

How to Draw a Car Stage 4

Notice how the hatching (shading) on the bonnet, seats and roof help to illustrate the shape and angle of the panels.

Decide which side your sunlight is coming from and maintain that consistency when you emphasise the highlights.

Now add your darkest darks in the wheel arches, under the car and the interior, etc. Add some shadow where the wheels touch the ground as well. This always helps and object to 'sit down' on the ground.

And with a bit of luck, a little practice and perseverance, there you have it! A 1926 Ford Model T, straight out of Detroit!

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