How to Draw Carbon Fiber | 3 Ways to Draw It

Drawing carbon fiber might seem like a daunting task. 

So many lines you need to draw, parallel to each other, and following the curvature of the body of the car.

However, from drawing cars for over half a decade I learned that drawing carbon fiber isn't as difficult as it seems. I've discovered some techniques that make drawing carbon fiber significantly easier and less frustrating. 

In this article, I'll show you all the different ways you can draw carbon fiber and I'll explain how you can use them in your drawings.

If you want to learn how to draw a car, check out this article.

How to Draw Carbon Fiber

There are multiple ways to draw carbon fiber that are suited for different media. The first method works really well for marker drawings and watercolor paintings, the second method works well when you're using watercolors or markers and colored pencils, and the third method works best for colored pencil drawings.

Method 1: Using a Fineliner

The first way of drawing carbon fiber is by using a fineliner to add the carbon fiber lines to your drawing. This is in my opinion by far the easiest and works really well for marker drawings and watercolor paintings. I've used this method quite a few times when drawing carbon fiber and I've seen many other car artists use it too.

To draw carbon fiber using a fineliner you first color the whole carbon fiber part without the lines with alcohol markers or watercolor paint. This will often be a combination of multiple grey tones.

After you've done this, you add black lines with a fineliner to give it the carbon fiber look. Where the lines appear lighter you can also use a grey fineliner.

This is exactly what I did when drawing this Pagani Huayra BC Roadster. I first colored all visible carbon with several grey-toned markers and then I added the carbon fiber lines all over the car using a black fineliner for the dark lines and a grey fineliner for the lighter parts.

You can also use this method to draw toned carbon fiber like in the drawing I made below. The car in this drawing has toned purple carbon fiber. First I colored the whole car purple without any of the lines. Later on, I added those lines with 2 fineliner of different shades of purple.

Method 2: Using a Black Marker and Light Grey Colored Pencils

Another method for drawing carbon fiber is by using a combination of markers and colored pencils.

Colored pencils and alcohol markers are often used together to create drawings, but this combination is also really useful for drawing carbon fiber.

To use this method you first color the part you want to look like carbon fiber fully black. After that, you add the carbon fiber lines with grey-toned colored pencils. You can also use a black colored pencil or fineliner to darken the black stripes a bit.

SamieSocal explains this technique really well in the video below.

Alternatively, you can also start by coloring the carbon part with a mid-tone grey marker and then add light grey and black lines to make it look like carbon fiber.

Method 3: Using a White Colored Pencil

The previous two methods work well when you're using alcohol markers, but what if you're only using colored pencils?

That's where white colored pencils and white watercolor pencils come in handy. White pencils are very handy for drawing those lighter lines in carbon fiber parts.

However, not all white pencils are suited for this. The pencil you use needs to be able to color over other colored pencils, but many white pencils aren't able to do this. 

My favorites for using this technique are the white Caran d'Ache Luminance, the white Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer, and the white Caran d'Ache Supracolor pencils.

To use this technique you start by coloring the carbon fiber without any of the lighter lines. So if you're drawing black carbon fiber you'd start by coloring that part with black and dark greys. 

Once you've colored the whole part including all the color nuances and reflections you can add the lighter lines with a white colored pencil. To do this you need the point of your pencil to be very sharp. To add the lighter lines you first color them with light pressure and go over each line a few times. If you need the lines to be lighter you can slowly add more and more pressure, but be careful to not break the point of the pencil.

The Caran d'Ache Luminance is really useful for drawing these lighter lines without much pressure, but if you need to go lighter then the Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer and Caran d'Ache Supracolor work best. And for lines that are pure white, I use a white Posca PC-1MR paint pen.

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