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How to Draw a Car in Top View Perspective

Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, he graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Top Perspective Sketch Tutorial

How Do We Start?

Hi friends,

today I'll try to explain very quickly how we can draw a car in tip-up perspective or top view perspective.

This time we will try to make it in 2 steps.

Step 1: as you ca see from my preliminary drawing I tried to sketch a basic shape in perspective (the car body) plus another one on top (the cockpit), I used as reference 1 point perspective vanishing point (indicated as 1 V.P.) the horizontal lines are going to infinite therefore they are parallel to each other (indicated with the laying down 8 symbols). The ellipses in this perspective are quite compressed and the minor axes are always going to the vanishing point ( indicated as 1 V.P. and look at arrowed lines). Before passing to step 2 let's not forget to draw our center section very important for judging proportions (indicated as the center line), the last thing is the shadow of this shape indicated on the ground.

First Step

Drawing in a box technique to make it simple

Drawing in a box technique to make it simple

Step 2 consists in giving a design to our shape well done in perspective, so to do it I started to round some corners and sections in order to give a car look to our box. I also think about body sections ( a box is flat and cars are not made of flat surfaces). While drawing I also started to think about car fluidity and sexy look so you can notice some nice shapes that will give good reflections to the car body and its sketch.

So think about sculpting your volume, do you want a soft and sexy side body shape like a muscle car? Or do you prefer a more robust rigid type of surfaces like VW or Audi's cars?

Once you decide how to sculpt your sketch use sections to understand how to do it and have the right result, apply theory of light for shadows and light source and give value to your sketch.

Remember to exercise a lot, drawing cars comes with a lot of practice.

Second Step

Tip-Up sketch

Tip-Up sketch

An Important Perspective

The Top View perspective is a unique point of view very useful to explain your design. With this perspective we can see the side, part of front & rear of your car design proposal. We can also see the plan main section and understand a lot about the volume and sections of your design.

The overall proportions are clear and the sketch talks to us. It is a view with a lot of useful information. So, at the end, it is almost like going around the car.

A good opportunity, because other perspectives just show your design in a very partial way. So this one is a bit more special.

Last Advices

My last advices are

  • When you sketch remember to have the right posture so that you can move your arm correctly and get really nice lines flowing on paper.
  • Your line quality is important so start drawing lightly (be kind to your paper), then you can select the best lines to make your sketch outline.
  • Do not forget to cast your shadows
  • Be careful with the perspective Vanishing Points
  • Be careful with the minor axes of your wheels ellipses (they go to the VP)

The Top View perspective is really a good one, so have fun enjoy searching for the right design from this point of view, discover all nice details you could add.

Finish and complete with a nice background and a cool light source to give some drama and chiaroscuro to your shading using a good focal point.

Practicing a lot is highly suggested.



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© 2010 Luciano Bove


Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 06, 2017:

mo.of sorry you are free to express yourself, but I do not agree with your critic. Peace!

mo.of on January 03, 2017:

I am sorry to say that your axes aren't really correct and so are the tires. That fish sense style isn't helping any design, because it stretches the proportions. guess you are doing your thing and that it doesn't bother you, but maybe it matters to young sketchers. mind the axes and tires. if it doesn't look right, do it again until it fits with your feeling of perspective. and don't draw two eggs flipping in two different directions. anyway, peace

renu srivastava on May 09, 2012:

good concept for sketching

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 28, 2011:

Hi All, I am sorry for you but this is a very simple exercise to learn perspective in car sketching.

all1 on March 28, 2011:

am sory but i can't understand. instead its very beautiful