7 Cars a Week

Hi all,

I am just finishing up highschool and have recently decided to start intensively practicing my industrial design skills. I have spent the last few years working on my basics as well as learning some more advanced tools such as Photoshop and Blender (which I have actually been learning for the last five years). While I have always pursued a range of interests and tried to not fall into one particular area of design, my appreciation for cars has recently skyrocketed and with this crazy new passion in my mind I am beginning this thread.

~Nathan Metzler

Here are the first 7. These were all done within 10 or so minutes. Nothing too serious, just exploring ideas. My biggest problem at the moment is actually sitting down and doing something so these short sketching sessions are a decent way for me to actually draw and not just screw around for a half hour and then delete whatever I was working on.


P.S. Anyone know of a good service that I can upload images to and then insert them relatively easy? I’ve tired Flickr in the past but it’s never worked to well for me.

One of the go to’s for budding car designers has always been Car Styling for reference. http://carstylingmag.com/ They’re going out of print June 1st but if you can get a few back issues, study the renderings. There’s no magic to it, just lots and lots of practice.

Take a close look at the images on this site. http://www.carstyling.ru/en/ Most are studio-look data captures which is the best place to start (you’ll get to reflections later). Note the highlights, the shadows, the way the author shows the form. Try to concentrate on developing and communicating form only in small sections, like focusing in on a quarter panel and the rest is left roughed, it’ll help you think through what you really think the form should be - and how to make it exciting.

In particular, here’s a good page showing you where the designer started, how he/she worked out forms with highlights, lights/darks and then modeled the vehicle (which I think is stunning and one of my favorites). http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/2012_touring_disco_volante_2012/images/24342/

Sketch, sketch, sketch. Then sketch some more!

You can upload your images to imgur.com

I’d be curious to see some pen/pencil sketches, that’s what most people advise starting with. It’s all personal preference, but if you fall in to the habit of relying on Ctrl + Z you’re not learning the fundamentals of sketching.

If you can’t come up with things to draw, check out http://www.netcarshow.com/ and just draw cars from images (Drawing them in person is always better). Learn the proportions of cars and be able to accurately draw them in perspective.

Are you planning on going to a school for transportation when you graduate?

Thanks for the input Generatewhatsnext and Apowers. Those first links of nice studio car photos is an exclent reference and I plan to be studying some of those photos further. Also Apowers I did do some pencil sketches that I will upload this week also. I have actually been taking private art lessons (which in Thailand where i’m living are pretty cheep) so I have at the least a solid understanding of the fundamentals.

To start this week off here are three cars that I did in photoshop the last few days. These were more of experiments than actual studies, pretty much just me playing around with the lasso and airbrush tools some. Although looking back at them now I probably should have paid more attention to lighting and reflections they were incredibly fun to draw.

I think that for the rest of this week I am going to try and work more on getting accurate reflections/materials and not just splattering light all over the place. The other day I came across this video Rendering Reflective Surfaces: Schoolism online course - YouTube from Scott Robertson on rendering reflective surfaces so I am going to try and apply those techniques to my work and make it look more visually believable.

Again, thank you for the input and critique and I hope to have more work to show soon.

I’d recommend stepping back to pencil and paper - concentrating on your perspective and proportions, identifying lights and darks in no more detail than those Disco Volante sketches.

In that last comp you posted, the front end is going to dive downward and curve backward away from the viewer (only the closest half of the far headlight is going to be visible) while the rear end is going to float back downward as well (the rear cowl and spoiler perspective should indicate that) - at least that’s what the wheel position foretell.

Pencil and paper, sketching with vanishing point guidelines, tilting the view, etc…all much more basic and critical than the lights, darks and reflections.

Here are some great resources I used to study transportation sketching and rendering. Happy sketching!



That simkom site is great. I haven’t looked at it in awhile. For a bit he was doing a great print version, only sold in Europe I believe, as well. Not sure if he is still doing it thought.

Thank you, yes, I see what you mean about the car front end. Unless its a brick I need to curve that edge around a lot more. Also yeah, this week I will stick to traditional mediums and also start drawing more 3/4ths views considering that side views are very revealing in terms of perspective.

Also thanks for that link to simkom’s work Onehansel.

Here are 4 sketches to finish up last week/start this one. I can see some errors already but more critique is always welcome. This next week I am going to work on less extreme perspective especially when drawing from a 3/4ths view.

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