Easy AND Realistic McLaren 720S Step-by-Step Tutorial

In this article, I'm going to show you how to draw a car, specifically how to draw a McLaren 720S.

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Art Supplies I Used for this Tutorial

I used the alcohol-based Winsor & Newton Promarkers and Graph'it Twin Tip Markers for this drawing. These are my favorite markers to draw with.

For the Promarkers I used IG1, IG2, IG4, IG5, XB, R346, R576, R666, R445, R424 and O248.

I used 4175 and 9909 (this is by far the darkest black alcohol marker I've used) of the Graph'it markers.

I also used Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils in Dove Grey, White, and Black.

And I used a white Posca PC-1MR marker to give the car its shiny look.

I made this drawing on Canson Illustration paper which is in my opinion by far the best paper for making alcohol marker drawings. It makes the ink look so solid and even and it makes blending so much easier than most other brands of paper.

The Reference Photo for this Car Drawing Tutorial

I found this really nice photo of a McLaren 720S on Pexels.com uploaded by Lazaro Rodriguez Jr. The car has some amazing reflections which I really like.

How Do You Draw a McLaren 720S?

Step 1: Sketching the Outlines of the McLaren 720S

To make the sketch of the car I used the grid method. This is a relatively simple technique to make it easier to get the proportions of the car correct. But feel free to use any other sketching technique.

I started by making a grid on the photo in Photoshop and then drew that grid with the same amount of squares on my A4-sized paper.

After that, I started sketching. I started by sketching the back, then moving to the doors and the roof, and then the front, leaving the most difficult parts (the wheels) to sketch for last as usual... And in this case, the wheels seemed even more detailed and complex than usual. 

But just be patient and don't rush it.

The wheels are the most important when drawing cars. They make or break the drawing.

Step 2: Coloring All Black Parts of the McLaren 720s

To make the drawing a lot more clear and less intimidating I start by coloring all black parts with the black (9909) Graph'it marker.

Step 3: Coloring the Wheels of the McLaren 720S

Next up are the wheels. Now that all the black parts of the wheels are already colored they look a lot less complex.

I first colored the rear wheel. I started by mostly erasing the sketch, making it just about visible. 

Then I colored everything except the bottom left of the wheel with Ice Grey 5. 

I then colored the bottom left part with Ice Grey 2. 

Finally, I colored the tire with the black Promarker, which is more of a very dark grey compared to the black Graph'it marker.

Then I did the exact same for the front wheel. 

I colored most of the wheel with Ice Grey 5, but this time I left the brake caliper and a bit between the top spokes uncolored. 

Then I colored the brake caliper with Ice Grey 2 but decided that wasn't dark enough, so I colored it again with Ice Grey 4 and added some more black details. 

And lastly, I colored the tire black with the black Promarker.

And that's the wheels already done!

Step 4: Coloring the Shadow of the McLaren 720S

Most of the shadow is already colored as the majority is black, but I wanted to make the edges transition into light grey, so that's what we're going to do.

To do this I first outlined the black shadow with a thick border of Ice Grey 1. 

Then I colored the middle part with Ice Grey 4. You could go back in the Ice Grey 1 or 2 and blend the edge of the Ice Grey 4, but I kind of like it not blended.

Step 5: Coloring the Air Vent in Front of the Front Wheel

I colored this part fully with Ice Grey 5 and then I used the black (xb) Promarker to color the edge with the black and then I blended that with the Ice Grey 5 marker to make the transition a bit more seamless.

Then I forgot to color the reflector right above this part... 

I later colored it orange with the Promarker in the color O248 and then I layered Ice Grey 2 on top of it.

Step 6: Coloring the Headlight of the McLaren 720S

Now it's time to color the headlights.

I started by coloring some parts with Ice Grey 4 and then I colored most of the remaining parts with Ice Grey 5. I also used some black and later Ice Grey 5 again to blend some edges. 

Then I colored the last part with Ice Grey 2. 

And finally, I added some more black details. with the black Promarker.

Step 7: Coloring the Vents on the Hood and the Logo

Next up are some parts on the hood of the car: the logo and 2 air vents.

I colored all three of them with Ice Grey 5 and, eh, that's it.

Step 8: Coloring the Front Splitter of the McLaren 720S

This is again a very short step. 

I colored every part that hasn't been colored on the front splitter with Ice Grey 5. I did add some black details; a pentagon shape to the right of the splitter and on the left I blended the dark grey into the black.

Step 9: Coloring the Door Sills of the Mclaren 720S

The McLaren we're drawing has the doors up which looks really cool, but it also shows some parts of the door sills and the interior which we're going to draw next.

I started by coloring the door sills with Ice Grey 5. 

Then I added some black with the black Promarker. 

After that, I blended most of the edges of the black with Ice Grey 5 to soften them a bit. 

I then colored the interior black using the black Promarker. 

And lastly, I colored the door arms with Ice Grey 2, Ice Grey 5, and black.

Step 10: Coloring the Windshield of the McLaren 720S

To color the windshield I started by coloring some parts of the interior and the lower part of the windshield where the windshield wipers are with Ice Grey 5. 

Then I added some black on the steering wheel, on the air intake just toward the left of the steering wheel, and some parts around the rearview mirror and the seats. 

Then I added some Ice Grey 2 on the dashboard. 

After that, I colored the remainder of the interior with Ice Grey 5 and blended that into the black. 

And lastly, I colored the part where you can see straight through the window with Ice Grey 1.

Step 11: Coloring the Roof of the McLaren 720S

To draw the roof I first colored it fully with Ice Grey 2.

Then I added Ice Grey 4 on top of it, but leaving the top part and then I blended that edge with Ice Grey 2.

After that, I colored most of the roof with Ice Grey 5 but left the far left part and a small part toward the top left.

And finally, I colored the part around the door hinge black and blended that into the dark grey with Ice Grey 5.

Step 12: Coloring the Black Parts of the Left Door

I started by coloring the mirror first.

First I colored it with Ice Grey 2.

Then I added some Ice Grey 5, but leaving some areas light grey.

And lastly, I added some black around the arm and the bottom right part of the mirror.

After that, I colored the window sills Ice Grey 5 and then I added some black details and I colored the part where you can see through the window with Ice Grey 1.

Step 13: Coloring the Black Parts of the Right Door

Now it's time to do this again but for the other door.

I again started with the door mirror.

I started by coloring it fully Ice Grey 4.

Then I added Ice Grey 5 to most parts but the middle left.

And finally, I added some black toward the bottom and the arm.

Then I colored the remaining black parts of the door.

I started by coloring the window sill, the part to the roof that's attached to the door and the part towards the top with Ice Grey 4.

Then I colored more of the window sills with Ice Grey 5. I also colored some of the part on then top with Ice grey 5 and I added some Ice Grey 5 on the roof part and I blended that with Ice Grey 4.

And lastly, I added some black details to all of those parts.

Step 14: Coloring the Rear of the McLaren 720S

All black parts are now colored and all there's left is coloring the whole car red! However, it's not as simple as just coloring it plain red.

To color the part around the rear wheel I started by coloring some parts with R576.

Then I layered Ice Grey 2 on the top left, on the bottom left, and on the middle part.

After that, I layered Ice Grey 5 on the bottom right and blended that into the Ice Grey on the bottom left. I also added an Ice Grey 5 line on the top left and on the outside of the reflection in the middle.

Then I added some darker red (R666) on the bottom and the right part of the top and I darkened some of those parts with R424.

Lastly, I colored the remainder with R346 and colored Ice Grey 2 on top of it.

Step 15: Coloring the Left Door of the McLaren 720S

I started coloring the door by coloring most of it except the big fin part with R576. I also added some R424 on the bottom of the door.

Then I colored the big fin with the Graph'it marker in the color 4175. I also added this color on top the the red from the bottom right corner toward the middle of the door.

Finally, I added R424 in the crease toward the left of the door and I added some R445 from the top right toward the bottom right corner.

Step 16: Coloring the Right Door of the McLaren 720S

To color the right door I started with coloring it with R576, but leaving the bottom right part uncolored.

I then colored that part with Ice Grey 2. I also added some R424 toward the left of that grey part and on the left of the door. And I darkened the part on the left of the door with the black Promarker and blended it into the dark red with R424.

Lastly, I added R445 to most of what's above the mirror and I added 2 dark red (R424) lines above the mirror and a triangular shape below the mirror.

Step 17: Coloring the Front of the McLaren 720S

It's finally time to color the last part: the front.

I started by coloring the whole front with R576.

Then I added some dark red (R424) toward the bottom, but leaving a small part lighter as it reflects some light. I also colored some shadows/reflections of the doors and the edge around the front wheel.

After that, I added R666 to most of the front, but I left the part to the bottom right and the top left of the right air vent lighter red. I also left a part to the top left of the headlight lighter red and I left a part from the bottom right of the headlight toward the left edge of the windshield lighter.

Then I added some Ice Grey 2 over the dark red on the bottom right of the front and I added some Ice Grey 5 on the bottom left above the light reflection. I also refined the edge just above the top left of the front splitter with Ice Grey 5 and black.

The car is now fully colored! You might think it already looks good, but we're going to make it look even better!

Step 18: Adding Details with Colored Pencils

The first thing we're going to do is add details with colored pencils.

I started by refining the spokes of the wheels with the Dove Grey and white colored pencils. White for the highlights and Dove Grey for the rest. Then I lightly layered some black over some spokes to darker them a bit.

For the front wheel, I also added some white on the brake caliper and some black on the bottom right of the brake disc.

Next, I added some white highlights to the door sills and I darkened some parts with black.

I then colored the headlight with colored pencils. I added some details toward the light unit and on the horizontal light. I also added some white highlights around the edges.

After that, I added some highlights on the red part around the rear wheel and I layered some grey over the light grey-pink.

Finally, I added some White highlights on the front, the doors, the mirrors, and on the front (mainly around the air vents). I also darkened the top left and the bottom right of the left mirror and the top right of the right mirror with black. And I added a few highlights on the air vent in front of the front wheel.

Step 19: Adding Bright White Highlights

Now it's time to make the car come to life!

We're going to add loads of white highlights with the Posca pen. However, mine was almost empty, so I used acrylic paint. 

But that didn't go so well...

First of all, I didn't have any paintbrushes as tiny and precise as I wanted.

But more importantly, the acrylic paint started to mix with the red ink of the markers. So some reflections turned out more of a light pink... But it still turned out really well.

When adding all of these bright white highlights I constantly looked at the reference photo and just added the highlights wherever I saw them in the photo.

Your McLaren 720S Drawing is Done!

And that's it! 

Your McLaren 720S drawing is done!

If you followed along with me I would love to see how your drawing turned out, so if you decide to share it on Instagram make sure to tag me (@luukminkman) so I can see it!

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