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How to Draw a Simple Side View Car Sketch: Basic Steps

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

Hi friends, lots of car design aficionados would love to draw cars to show their own ideas about design, taste, and drawing ability.

First of all, before drawing we must think about good proportions because in car design proportions are the most important element. To do so we will use the wheel size to make a wheelbase and the height of our car.

Side View Fast Car Sketch Tutorial

Step 1: Draw the outline

Step 1: Draw the outline

Step 1: The Outline

To make it easy, we will draw a city car. In the illustration above, you can see how I use the wheel to draw the base of our city car. Once we have the wheel base and we know how tall the car will be, we start making a rough outline of the center section (Y0) which will give us the main volume of the car and its attitude on wheels. Last, we will draw a line to indicate the belt line, making sure it is not too high and not too low.

Step 2: Work the outline

Step 2: Work the outline

Step 2: Work the Outline

In the illustration above, we will re-draw on the main outline, trying to insert details like side windows, pillars, front and rear graphics (lights), good shadow on the ground outline, and some lines to indicate body reflections and glass reflections.

Step 3: Add shading and some details

Step 3: Add shading and some details

Step 3: Shading and Some Details

In the illustration above, we define better some details like wheel design and some cut lines (door lines and bumper lines). The last thing we will do is to use a black marker for the car shadow on the ground and pillars (from the line reflection going down). We use a light cold or warm gray tone #2 for body reflections and glass reflections, we use the same marker once again to give depth creating a shading effect down from the top, and at the end we use a black pencil color or a black ink Bic pen to give extra shading using the cross-hatching technique (crossing lines).

Voilà, the side view car sketch is ready. Now my demo is a neutral one; in fact, there is no design or creativity in it. Just try to copy it following the three steps with discipline, and apply your creativity!


Top View Perspective

Here a short video of a top view perspective. What is really important in drawing this view is the overall perception of the car.

We can judge overall proportions, top sections, and general volumes. The sketch also looks more exciting because its perspective and point of view are more dynamic than other views (the side view is a static view).

Adding some extra details gives a more artistic touch to the drawing and its composition, too.

© 2010 Luciano Bove


Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on October 11, 2018:

Hi thank you please follow my Youtube channel with live sketching tutorial sessions ;) channel name: Luciano Bove Car Designer

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Amechi on October 10, 2018:

Thanks a lot Sir for the tutorial. You have inspired many people through your tutorials, more power to your elbows.

Maamar Abaidi on January 13, 2015:

I have talent of designing cars , and I want to show my designs to expert to evaluate me . Thank you for all the informations about designing cars.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on September 07, 2013:

I am happy for you!

Shubhankar Kshirsagar on September 06, 2013:

Thanks sir Iam very fond of cars. It is my dream to become a sucessful car designer and you have helped me a lot in moving forward in my career.

Nilesh Tiwari on August 05, 2012:

It's really helpful for the beginners.


hamid79 from Bloemfontein South Africa on May 07, 2012:

I'm sending you my stuff TOMORRO lol i like

jacob on March 22, 2012:

hi i hated that thing because i said SIMPLE car instuctions

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 14, 2012:

Arnav thank you!

Arnav on January 14, 2012:

Thank you very much for the tips,before i was very much confuse with the proportion of the cars Regards Arnav

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 06, 2012:

Thank you Ivan!

Ivan Patrick Carmody on January 06, 2012:

Wow ! that's a really great way to draw a car, thanks for the tutorial... loved it!

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 06, 2012:

Thanks Ivy it sounds like a good idea!

ivyfromnuevayork on January 05, 2012:

you should youtube your tutorials

Ramiz on August 21, 2011:

truly sir its really helpful for us to practice and get the basic knowledge of designing....i like all these tips very much....pls send some more am waiting...and thanks for previous ones..

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 24, 2011:

Thank you Backstbrz!

backstbrz on June 20, 2011:

thanks for the tutorial... loved it!

joshua on March 11, 2011:

wot the hell

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on November 24, 2010:

Thank you Diddy219!

diddy219 on November 23, 2010:

Wow that is awesome. I could never draw a car be for.Thank You

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on November 06, 2010:

Thanks Rocky!

rocky on November 06, 2010:

good car

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on September 25, 2010:

Hi Bob,

with this technique steps you can draw any car.

bob on September 24, 2010:

can u draw a lambrogini

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 25, 2010:


kaka on July 25, 2010:


very good~~~

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 20, 2010:

Hi CS Design, thanks for passing by I'll check your demo.

CSDesign on July 20, 2010:

hey Nice tutorial!! i never did one like this

you can check it mine :D

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 19, 2010:

Yes you might search here for my other hubs or check out my blog Car Design Education Tips.

Thanks for commenting.

Hadjey Michael on June 17, 2010:

please I am one of the instructors in one of the Federal Government Technical Colleges here in Nigeria and I need to know the latest modelling technique and latest development in vehicle body building industries for the purpose of instruction.can I get any assistance (audio visual aid)from you?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on May 14, 2010:

Thank you Jessica for your comment, I sure will continue!

Jessica on May 14, 2010:

This is a great addition to the informative articles about car design. It is hard to find car design basics nowadays. I hope the author would continue to write more...thumbs up!

Omkar Pathak on March 29, 2010:

Gr8, dat was ez

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 28, 2010:


this is a new one check it out

gaurav on March 28, 2010:

thanks!!! i want to learn more

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 27, 2010:

Ciao Philip, I am glad you liked it! I just published a new one check it out at

Fhilip on March 27, 2010:

Reallly goood!

I loved it! As a starter in car design, your tutorial is really easy to understand. Very good, helped me a lot!

Thank you luciano :]

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 18, 2010:

Thanks for you encouraging comments!

Santiago on March 18, 2010:

thanks for the tips.

omi on March 18, 2010:

it looks cool n simple, but comprhensive. gud work

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 07, 2010:

Thank you Martin!

Martin on March 07, 2010:

A very nice and simple tutorial, thx! :D

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on March 05, 2010:

Thanks Mike!

Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on March 05, 2010:

Nicely done. Automobiles are difficult to draw well. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

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