5 Reasons Why Drawing Cars Is Difficult

Drawing cars can definitely be considered hard. Cars are a difficult subject to draw due to their complex and intricate design, but also because they have less margin for error when drawing them than more organic things like trees. And if you're new to drawing, cars will be more challenging than other subjects.

If you'd like to know how to draw a car, make sure to check out this step-by-step tutorial I made.

But Why Are Cars Hard to Draw?

1. Cars Have Many Curves

Cars have many curves, making drawing them accurately in perspective very difficult. Some cars almost consist of only curves like the Porsche 911, and some cars mostly consist of straight lines and edges like the Dodge Challenger. In my experience, cars like the Dodge Challenger are way easier to draw because of this.

2. Precision is Key

Cars have many lines and details that need to be drawn in the correct place otherwise the car's proportions will look off and won't be as realistic.

Unlike landscapes and other organic subject matters, cars often have very unnatural and perfectly symmetric shapes leaving less margin for error. You can almost do whatever when drawing a tree and it still turns out good, but when drawing cars you can't. You need to stick as closely to the proportions and details of the car as possible for it to look realistic.

As said before, cars are symmetrical and the proportions matter a lot when drawing them. This leaves little margin for error when sketching them. And because you need to be so precise, it is hard to free-hand sketch them.

Because of this, you'll see many people using sketching techniques and tools to make it easier to sketch them. I personally really like the grid method.

3. Cars Have Lots of Reflections

Not only do cars have complex shapes, but they also often have tons of reflections in their paintwork. I love it when a car has tons of reflections. They add another factor of realism and I like the challenge of conveying them as well as possible.

Different cars reflect the surroundings in different ways. Cars with straight lines and edges are a lot more predictable when it comes to drawing reflections. With these types of cars, it is easier to see what points toward the sky and what points more toward the ground. This is again why I find Dodge Challengers easier to draw than Porsche 911s.

When drawing a Porsche 911 for example I find it very difficult to estimate how the body reflects the surroundings as it contains so many curved panels.

But to make drawing reflections a lot easier I always look for a reference photo of the car I'm drawing that has the lighting and reflections that I like and I use that to base the reflections in my drawing on.

4. Different Paint Types Reflect Differently

Another thing that might make drawing cars hard is that there are 3 different paint types (metallic paint, flat paint, and matte paint) and each of these paint types handles light and reflections differently.

Metallic Paint

Metallic paint is the most reflective of the 3 and has the most contrast, meaning it has very bright highlights and very deep dark tones. Cars with metallic paint often have very detailed and sharp reflections.

Flat Paint

Flat paint also reflects light, but not as much as metallic paint. Flat paint has less contrast, the highlights are not as light and the dark tones are not as dark. And with this paint type, the reflections are less detailed.

Matte Paint

And lastly, there is matte paint, my least favorite. Matte paint has very soft and blurry reflections, everything sort of blends together. Matte paint also doesn't really have bright highlights or deep dark tones, it's very much all mid-tone nuances.

5. The Wheels...

Another thing many artists and beginners find difficult is the wheels. Wheels are one of the key features of the car and therefore they can make or break your drawing. 

The wheels of cars are always perfectly oval, which itself is already a difficult shape to get right. To make drawing these ovals easier you can use oval stencil rulers, but sketching methods like the grid method also make it easier to sketch these shapes.

Another difficult part of drawing wheels is the spokes. Some wheels have very complex spokes that I stay far away from, but most wheels are quite doable. But the difficult thing with drawing spokes is spacing them evenly. Sometimes you need to sketch the spokes further away or closer together than feels right.

Drawing cars doesn't have to be hard. I have made a few step-by-step tutorials that you can easily follow along and create your own awesome car drawings. You can find them here.

More Articles You Might Like

How to Draw Reflections on Cars
How to Draw Carbon Fiber | 3 Ways to Draw It
How to Draw a McLaren 720S | Step-by-step Tutorial

Be the first to comment!

Adding comments is temporarily turned off...


There are no comments yet.