How Not to Draw this Symbol of a Car

There’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand well, and when I draw one of those many things, I try to look at lines, shapes and relative angles as carefully as I can and not draw a symbol from my head. That applies to drawing cars and the symbol that’s stuck in my head since I was a little kid looks kinda like this.

Car as I remember drawing it since I was little: steering wheel,person and all!

Among the things I look at in particular to avoid the car above are:
– The shape of wheels (rarely circles) and where the four wheels are positioned relative to each other from my viewpoint. (I look for overlap, shape of the ellipse, and relative vertical alignment)
– The shape of the body, the hood, and the position and shape of the details like the lights. (and other stuff that I don’t know the names to)
– The proportions of a particular car that give it it’s characteristic look

The view from where I’m parked in Santa Cruz, CA.

I often look at the front and rear “face” of the car and think of it as a personality. Some cars look happy, some mean; some angry, others confused. The overall expression and personality of the car is important for me to capture more than all its exact details.

And then there’s one more bit: the shadow under a car. Capture that and suddenly that floating vehicle sits on the ground.

Everyone in Berkeley, CA seems to be moving today. Mattresses and furniture all over the streets, enough for a new student to furnish their apartment with.

Those are my car-drawing tips. If you have any of your own, comment and share them, I’d love to hear your tips.

I’m not an expert at drawing cars. Or trees. Or people. Or buildings. Or just about anything else. But I like to be able to draw anything without fearing it. It’s really about drawing stories that interest me, and I’d never want to avoid drawing something that piqued my interest just because it involves something I “don’t draw”.

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Like the idea of sketching anything and everything? Of capturing the world around you in urban sketches without fear? I’m excited to be announcing my very first post-covid, in-person, on-location workshop very soon. If you’d like to get on my mailing list to hear about workshops first, just email me at suhita@gmail.com and ask me to put you on my mailing list.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Close to home, Everyday Sketches, How to and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How Not to Draw this Symbol of a Car

  1. Darrelle Cavan says:

    On Wed, Jun 23, 2021 at 6:32 AM Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook wrote:

    > Suhita Shirodkar posted: ” There’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand well, > and when I draw one of those many things, I try to look at lines, shapes > and relative angles as carefully as I can and not draw a symbol from my > head. That applies to drawing cars and the symbol that’s stuc” >

    Like

  2. Diane Winters says:

    Suhita wrote: “I’d never want to avoid drawing something that piqued my interest just because it involves something I “don’t draw”.” Good advice bu made me laugh and think immediately of the horses I used to draw as a little girl. I DID draw from my head, as I didn’t happen to have any handy in person, and I was never as courageous as you in drawing, so ALL my horses stood behind fences to avoid having to deal with their legs and feet.
    Diane

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina Koyama says:

    I find that if I’m unsure about the perspective (the foreshortened 3/4 view is the hardest for me), I draw the dark semi-circles of the wheel wells. Then I draw the wheels to fit. Then the rest of the car seems easier to fit into the wheels! And you’re right about the dark shadow under the car… that and the wheel wells are the darkest parts of any car, and they kind of help to get the proportions right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. zuzala says:

    Dare I ask: Is it a “female” thing maybe? Cars are fine for me except for those angles on the sides that lead from the top of the roof down the windshield across the hood to the lights. (ok that is 1/3 the car lol.) I usually have no problem with angles on chairs, buildings or in landscapes etc, but somehow on a car the metal seems to be almost molten, changing every time I look at it.

    Like

    • If you’re asking about me: no, not a female thing for me. I draw many things I don’t understand the workings of like cars, and have no issue with drawing them. The post was in response to a lot of participants in my workshops saying they “can’t” draw cars….I think you can draw anything if you will look at it with fresh eyes.

      Like

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