Drawing cars #2

January 30, 2014

I consulted various urban sketching textbooks on the matter of cars. Matt Brehm highlights many things, including the fact they are largely subsidiary to the ‘main event’ because they, like people, have the ability to draw attention to themselves, at the expense of other things like buildings. I’ve learned from experience to leave cars “unfinished” in streetscapes for this reason. James Richards gets more technical in describing the three ‘thirds’ required to draw a complete vehicle.

I extracted some photos from a newspaper – the smallest photos I could find – and drew these as quickly as possible. I ended up following the advice of Bert Dodson in this instance: halving the distance and establishing the mid-point of the image, then building up the sketch around that. I’ve discovered recently that drawing people becomes easier if I practise drawing extremely small, then slowly enlarging. So I’ll have a go at drawing a pose 1cm high then increasing it in centimeter intervals to 25cms. By working small with cars, I’m not as likely to be seduced by small detail as I otherwise might. The night before I’d been reading the chapter in Richard E Scott’s book concerning lost and found lines, that is, hard and soft edges; that advice crept in as well.

I’m still attracted by the reflections; for example, the range of browns in the car upper right. This puts me at odd with traditional car sketchers of the type you see, for example,  in the tutorials at http://www.carbodydesign.com. They concentrate on the vignette, the car as Object Drawing; their interest seems to be mainly in (aerodynamic) contour, or the ‘lines’ of a car. I will however keep studying the work there, if only because they cover various paper and media types.


drawing cars


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