Cars are one of the first things most people learn how to draw. Build on these basic skills to create a realistic car that’s as detailed and customized as you like. You can work from a reference photo, find inspiration from a car you see on the street, or imagine one you’d like to draw! To take a break from realism, play around by drawing a cartoon car. Exaggerate the features and keep the shapes simple for a fun car that you can draw in no time.
Drawing a Realistic Car
1Sketch a thin rectangle as long as you want the car to be. Take a sharp pencil and lightly draw a long, narrow rectangle on your paper. You don’t need to make the rectangle 3-dimensional unless you’d like to draw the car in 2 point perspective.
- The width of the rectangle will depend on how big you want to make your car drawing.
- Don’t press too hard while you make the main shapes for the car since you’ll need to go back and erase some of these lines.
Tip: If you’d like to draw the car in 2 point perspective, turn the rectangle at an angle so there are 2 vanishing points. For a simpler drawing, make the car in 1 point perspective as though you’re looking at it from the side.
2Draw another rectangle on top of the long rectangle. Since this will be the cab of the car, you can make it any size you like. You can also decide if you’d like it to be centered, as if you’re drawing a standard sedan, or positioned near the rear of the car. The top rectangle should be touching the bottom rectangle.
- Pay attention to the overall shape of the car. Some mini or compact cars appear boxier, so make their top rectangles large. Most sports cars look aerodynamic, so draw a narrower rectangle that doesn’t stick out as much.
- Smaller cars or hatchbacks often have the cabs placed closer to the rear.
3Draw the outline of the body over the rectangles. To prevent your car from looking too boxy, lightly draw the outline of the car over the rectangles you made so they look like the outline of the car.
- Try to make the frame of the car appear smooth from the rear bumper to the top of the cab and down the hood to the front bumper. Keep in mind that some SUVs, trucks, or sports cars might have sharper angles.
4Remove the sharp edges to create a curved body for your car. Erase the sharp edges so you just see your outline. Your car should now have a basic outline that matches its style.
- For example, a hatchback will have a noticeable curve jutting from the back while a sports car will look sleek and low to the ground.
5Draw 2 curved rectangles in the cab to create windows. Most cars have 2 windows, so you’ll need to draw the outline of both the windows inside the cab. Then, draw a vertical line in the middle to separate the 2 windows.
- If you’re drawing a sports car, it may only have 1 slim window so avoid drawing the vertical line in the middle of it.
6Add details to the windows and frame of the cab. Draw 2 thin vertical lines next to the line you made for the windows to make them look more realistic. You could also curve the back of the window where it meets the rear frame. Some cars have a smaller, triangular window in this spot.
- If you’d like some of the windshield to be visible, sketch a narrow line between the front of the frame and the front outline of the cab. This sliver will look like the windshield.
7Draw 2 circles along the bottom of the large rectangle. The bottom line of the rectangle should run directly through each circle, about halfway between the center and bottom of the circle, so the wheels appear as though they’re attached to the frame. Leave some space between each wheel and the front or rear of the car. Then, you can go back and draw spokes or a hubcap in the center of each wheel.
- Imagine about half of a wheel’s diameter and leave that much space for the bumpers.
8Add headlights and tail lights at the front and rear of the car’s body. Make a curved oval or circle at the front of the car’s frame to make the headlights. Then, decide if you want the back tail lights to be round as well or if you’d like to make them rectangular. You can make the lights any size you like since they vary greatly depending on the type of car you’re drawing. Position the tail lights so each light is at the front and rear edge of the car toward the upper corner.
- Some tail lights have several smaller rectangles inside a larger one. You can make yours as complex as you like.
9Fill in details that are unique to the car. Decide if you’d like your car to have bumpers near each of the wheels. You can also draw distinctive side-view mirrors. These usually look like ovals where the corner of the window meets the front of the frame. If you’d like your car to have stripes or decals, sketch them along the side of the car’s body.
- Make your drawing more realistic by drawing a vertical line that shows where the doors are. You should also draw a handle on each door.
- For example, make your car appear sportier by drawing a sharp zigzag decal across the doors.
10Erase excess lines and color in your drawing if you like. Go back over your car and erase lines that you drew over or smoothed out. This will make your car look more professional. Then, use colored pencils or markers to fill in the car if you want it to be colorful.