Create Your Own Car Drawing

Car drawing cartoon image

Creating your own car drawing, similar to the one you see to the right is actually a pretty straight-forward task.

If drawing cars is something you love to do — something you’d love to master?… then it’s important to ensure that your drawing is as perfect as you can make it. Of course, this is a cartoon car and is not meant to be ultra-realistic by any means. But cartoon or not, it’s still very important that you keep a tight grip on proportion.

Now, before you begin – be sure to have a ruler on hand. Creating cars like this one requires that you do a bit of measuring here and there.

Alright, time to put the pedal to the metal!…

First Step – A 3D Framework for Creating a Car Drawing

Did you take a look at the cartoon house lesson? It uses a three-dimensional cube framework, similar to the one you’re drawing here. Unlike the house lesson however, the car is being viewed at such an angle that the closer it is to the eye – the bigger it appears, and the farther away from eye – the smaller it appears.

To start, draw a nice big square (or rectangle) on a large piece of paper. Ensure that your cube drawing remains on the left side of the paper as you’ll need the space on the right side for something else.

With the first square/rectangle drawn, go ahead and draw another one that overlaps it at the top right – just like in the example below…

Two boxes for drawing a car in perspective Connecting lines to create a car in perspective

Note: For the second square/rectangle that you draw – it’s important that you constrain its dimensions at a ratio equal to the first square/rectangle. Your ruler will come in handy here.

When you’re done, connect the corners with straight lines to form a nice-looking 3D cube – one that appears smaller to the eye, as it recedes back and away from the observer.

Now to make use of the right side of the page. Below is a final, color-coded image of the framework for creating your car drawing. Notice that the lines that compose the front of the cube are all perpendicular – straight up and down.

Also, notice the the lines – both visible and invisible on either side of the cube, all follow a path that leads to one simple point – one that to the observer looks to be far off in the distance. This point is called a vanishing point — the point after which the image you’re drawing is no longer visible.

Drawing lines to a vanishing point in a simple perspective drawing

Using your ruler, and keeping your lines nice and light… recreate the image that you see above. Then, once you you have a nice looking car drawing framework to work from, continue on to the next phase…

Second Step – Position the Features of Your Car

With your three-dimensional cube in place, the next step is to go ahead and map out the position of the key features that you wish to include in your work. To do this, I used different colors. Everything in orange is visible, while everything in grey is – at this point – not.

Similar to how I’ve done below, sketch in key focus points…

Marking off points within the cube - from which to draw the car

In my case, I’ve used only simple dots and lines to position such things as the wheels, the center of the front of the car, the height above the ground, and the position of the top of the car. It’s a good idea to keep yours as close to mine as possible. Later, you can branch off and experiment with different looks.

Now, let’s take things a step further. Go ahead and define a new framework for your car drawing – one that takes shape by creating ‘a box within a box’. Using the vanishing point and original cube as your guideline, further define the shape of your car as I’ve done in the example below…

Drawing shapes for the car framework

As your new framework takes shape, keep in mind that all horizontal and vertical lines – no matter where they appear, are drawn in relation to the horizontal and vertical lines that compose your original cube framework. Also, all lines that recede back and away from the observer (tops and bottoms of the wheels for example) are drawn in relation to the vanishing point, and can be checked with a ruler as you make headway.

So, how’s it going up to this point? Framework looking OK? Remember to take your time. As I mentioned at the beginning of the lesson, perfection is something to strive for when creating a car drawing. Sure, you can get away with more when it comes to cartoons, but in creating this cube framework, you can better appreciate the complexity involved in drawing any car – realistic or not.

Well, the time has finally come — let’s create our car drawing!…

Final Step – Creating Simplified a Cartoon Car

Here’s where the fun begins! I specifically stated ‘Simplified’ in the heading because really – that’s what I’m going to show you… a simplified method for creating a car drawing. I recommend that you use a similar (if not the same) sequence from which to create a car drawing of your own.

Ok, first up – draw in some of the most obvious features seen on any car – the bumper, headlights… a mirror perhaps? Don’t go overboard here. These simple details are a nice start.

Drawing the outermost details of the car

Next up, draw in the windows. Note how similar to other lessons, we’re starting with the inner lines, and then working our way out from there? It’s a good way to go about it. Remember too… this is a cartoon! Get your lines looking ‘about right’. Perfection is great if you’re determined enough. But in creating a car drawing – ones that ‘look the way their supposed to’… like a cars that is – it’s OK to stray from perfection here and there.

Drawing the windows of the car

You can now go ahead and sketch in the outer perimeter of your car. I recommend starting just above the left side of the front bumper. Go all the way around (clockwise), finishing at the right of the same bumper. Works out quite well actually!

Drawing the main frame area of the car

The purple rectangles (in your case penciled), are helpful for sketching in the wheels of your car. Go ahead and do just that in this step…

Drawing the wheels of the car

And finally… draw in the details — anything and everything that you feel makes for a great drawing of a car. And that’s it!

Finishing the details of the car

Well, there it is – you can now come up with your very own cars, based on a simple three-dimensional cube framework.

And yes, there are many ways of which you could change the style, look, shape, size, etc. of your car – just by altering the framework from which you base your car drawing on, and altering the actual lines that you draw to bring your car into view!

From bigger wheels to a ‘whale tail’ to a Mustang grill, there are tons of different ways that you can modify a drawing of a car.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Have fun creating all sorts of neat-looking car drawings! 🙂