How to Draw a McLaren - Easy Step-by-Step Artura Tutorial

In this week's tutorial, I'm going to show you how to draw a McLaren. A 2022 McLaren Artura in Papaya Spark to be more precise.

And as it is a McLaren, I had to draw it with the doors up.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a
small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

Let's get started!

Drawing Supplies I Used to Draw this McLaren

To draw this McLaren Artura, I used the following art supplies:

  • A graphite pencil, a ruler, a kneaded eraser, and a regular eraser;
  • Winsor & Newton Promarkers in the colors Ice Grey 1 (IG1), Ice Grey 2 (IG2), Ice Grey 4 (IG4), Ice Grey 7 (IG7), Blue Black (XBB), Black (XB), Warm Grey 3 (WG3), Warm Grey 5 (WG5), *Saffron (O739, not necessary), Amber (O567), Pumpkin (O467), and Bright Orange (O177);

Reference Photos I Used to Create this McLaren Drawing

To make this drawing of a McLaren Artura I used 3 reference photos: 1 for the proportions and the perspective, 1 for the reflections and the lighting, and 1 for the color.

I used the image below as a reference for the perspective and the proportions.

I used this image as a reference for the lighting and the reflections.

And I used this images as a color reference for Papaya Spark.

How Do You Draw a McLaren?

To draw a McLaren I first gather a few reference photos to base my drawing on. Then, I make the sketch and to make sketching the car more accurate I use the grid method. 

After that, it's time to start coloring the car. First the black and grey parts like the wheels and the windshield, then the main body of the car which is Papaya Spark in this case.

Lastly, I add some details with a black, grey, and white colored pencil and some white highlights with a Posca paint marker.

Step 1: Sketch the Outline of the McLaren

Sketching the car is the most important part of drawing a car realistically. You have to get the proportions as correct as possible otherwise your McLaren will look wonky. 

This can be a difficult task, but luckily there are a few sketching techniques you can use to make it easier.

I personally really like using the grid method, so that's what I'll be using in this tutorial.

I first overlay a grid of 15 by 10.5 squares over my reference photo that I resized to be A4 size (29.7 by 21 cm, the size of the paper I'm going to draw on).

After that, I sketched that same grid on my paper, but I only sketched the squares I actually needed to sketch the car. You can sketch the whole grid, but I find it easier to sketch the car when I only include the squares that I need.

Now, it's time to sketch the car.

I started by sketching the basic outline first and then added in all the details like the headlights, the front aero parts, the spokes of the wheels, the reflections, etc.

I spent 50% of the time sketching the McLaren. So take your time and make the sketch as good as you can.

Step 2: Color All Pure Black Parts

Now that the sketch is fully done, it's time to start coloring the Mclaren.

I always like to start by coloring all pure black parts first. This makes the drawing look a lot less overwhelming for me.

And for this, I used the Black Promarker.

Step 3: Color the Wheels of the McLaren

Next up are the wheels. 

But before you start coloring it's important to lighten your sketch so that it doesn't show through the ink of the Promarkers. I like to use a kneaded eraser for this, but you can also do this with a regular eraser.

After I had done that, I used Ice Grey 4 to color the brake discs, the rims, the darker parts of the spokes,  the top half of the tires, and the handbrake on the rear wheel.

After that, I used Ice Grey 7 to color the bottom half of the tires and darken the brake discs, the top half of both rims and some parts of the spokes.

I left the brake calipers uncolored for now as I didn't know yet which markers I would use for the body and I wanted the brake calipers to be the same color as the body.

Step 4: Color the Shadow underneath the McLaren

After that, I colored the shadow of the car.

I first colored the remainder of the shadow with Ice Grey 1.

Next, I used Ice Grey 4 to color between the edge of the black and the light grey.

Lastly, I used Ice Grey 7 to blend the Ice Grey 4 into the black, and Ice Grey 2 to blend the Ice Grey 1 into the Ice Grey 4.

Step 5: Color the Front Splitter and Canards of the McLaren

Next, I colored the front splitter and all the aero parts of the car.

I colored the middle and left part of the splitter with Warm Grey 3 and I used Warm Grey 5 to darker the splitter leaving a lighter edge on the front.

I colored the remainder with Ice Grey 4 except for the edge of the right canard.

After that, I colored the edge of the right canard with Ice Grey 1.

I also darkened the grey bits behind the front splitter with Ice Grey 7 and I blended the edge between the black and the Ice Grey 4 to the right of the right canard with IG7.

Step 6: Color the Headlight of the McLaren

Next up, I colored the headlight of the McLaren.

I first colored the headlight with Ice Grey 2.

Next, I added a dark reflection on the headlight with Ice Grey 7.

Step 7: Color the Door Panel and the Door Mirrors of the McLaren

As the doors of the McLaren we're drawing are up, you can actually see the inside panel of the door on the left. 

I colored the door panel and both mirror caps with Ice Grey 4.

Next, I darkened some parts of the door panel with Ice Grey 7. I created a gradient from Ice Grey 4 to Ice Grey 7 and black on the left part and I darkened the top half of the bottom/right part of the door panel.

I also darkened the center of the lighter part of both door mirrors with Ice Grey 7 and blended it with Ice Grey 4.

Step 8: Color the Windshield of the McLaren

Next, I colored the windshield of the McLaren Artura.

I first colored the interior behind the windshield with Ice Grey 4 as well as the A-style and the roof.

Next, I colored the left A-style and the part where you can see through to the side of the car with Ice Grey 2.

Then, I colored the part just to the right of the left A-style with Ice Grey 1 and I colored the dark edge of the windshield with Ice Grey 7.

I also colored the window triangle with black.

Step 9: Color the Interior of the McLaren

As the doors are up, you can see a bit of the interior on the right of the car.

I colored that bit of the interior with Ice Grey 7 and layered over some parts twice to darken them a bit more.

Next, I used some Blue Black to darken the top of the seat and the part behind the seat a bit more. I also darkened the bottom door sill with Blue Black.

I used Ice Grey 7 to soften the edge between the black and the grey.

Step 10: Color the Remaining Grey Parts around the McLaren

The bigger grey parts of the car are now colored, but there are some smaller parts left.

I colored the intake on the bottom of the side of the car with Ice Grey 7.

I colored the side intake above that with Ice Grey 4 and Blended the top part with Ice Grey 7.

I colored the front marker lamp with Ice Grey 4.

 I colored the vents above the front wheel with Ice Grey 7.

I colored the McLaren logo on the front with Ice Grey 4.

I colored the edge of the diffuser just behind the rear wheel with Ice Grey 7.

And lastly, I colored the edge or seal of the door with Ice Grey 7 and I colored the grey bits above that with Ice Grey 4.

I forgot to color the roof panel behind the right door and later I accidentally colored it orange... To prevent making the same mistake as me, color this part with Ice Grey 7 and blend Black in the middle.

Step 11: Color the Brake Calipers and the Interior Trim of the McLaren

Now it's time to color the parts that I left uncolored earlier.

I colored the brake calipers with Saffron first and darkened the edges with Amber and Pumpkin. To darken some parts even more I used Warm Grey 3.

Later on, I darkened the calipers more, so instead of starting with Saffron, you can color them with Amber.

Step 12: Color the Main Body of the McLaren

Next up is the main body.

I first colored the lighter parts with Saffron. However, I darkened the whole body later on, so you can use Amber instead.

Then, I colored the mid-tone parts of the body with Amber. I darkened this later to Pumpkin, so you can use that color instead.

Next, I used Pumpkin to color the rest of the body and I darkened some of those parts with Warm Grey 3.

At this point, I noticed I made a mistake by coloring the rear roof panel orange too. I fixed that by coloring that part with Ice Grey 7 and Black.

I also found that the whole body of the car looked too light, so I darkened all the Saffron parts to Amber, most of the Amber parts to Pumpkin, and the Pumpkin parts to Bright Orange.

Step 13: Add Details to the McLaren using Colored Pencils

Before adding the details, I first erased the grid lines.

Then I used the White Coloursoft pencil to add highlights all around the car. I added some highlights on the front of the McLaren, on the doors, on the mirrors, on the side, etc. 

I also refined the spokes with White and added the Rim edge.

After that, I used the Black Derwent Coloursof pencils to add some darker tones. I colored the windshield edge lines, the side window sill on the right door, and the door handle.

I also added a darker edge to the inside of both tires.

Step 14: Add Pure White Highlights with the Posca PC-3M Paint Marker

The car is now almost done. It's only missing 1 thing: white highlights.

I used the Posca PC-3M paint marker to add some highlights all over the McLaren.

Step 15: Add More White Color Nuances

The car is done at this point, but it didn't look right. It looks a little bland, so I decided to leave it for a day.

When I came back to it I decided to add a lot more white color nuances to the lighter parts of the main body using the White Derwent Coloursoft pencil.

I added a lot more white to the light reflection on the front of the car. I also added a lot more white between the dark and light reflections on other parts of the car.

This made the car fully come to life.

And That's How I Draw a McLaren

I hope you found this helpful. If so, I would appreciate it if you could share this tutorial with someone that might also like this. It would help me out a ton!

And if you followed along with me I would love to see how your drawing turned out. So please tag me (@luukminkman) if you decide to share it on Instagram.

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