Perhaps the last couple of articles on car design has inspired you to pick up a pencil and a sketchpad. With the enhanced community quarantine still in effect, we have that little bit more free time to try out something new. But how does one get started in car design, or even sketching out an existing model?
Porsche is here to help and your teacher is none other than Michael Mauer, the German automaker's head of design. He is perhaps one of the best teachers you can have when it comes to automotive design. After all, he did design both generations of the Panamera, Macan, third-generation Cayenne, the 991-series 911, 918 Spyder hypercar, and Porsche's first electric vehicle, the Taycan.
So where do you start with your sketch? Mauer says that it's best to start with the wheels because, according to him, “one of the challenges of drawing a car is defining the wheelbase and the correct proportions”. That way, you can simply erase one of the wheels if you are unhappy with the look, rather than being far along with the drawing only to realize that it looks wrong.
After that, you draw the silhouette but don't go into full detail yet, says Mauer. Sometimes, you may find that the outline doesn't always quite line up to the wheels of the car and that gives you the chance to move the rear wheels of the car further back. The designer adds that the eraser is your best friend when it comes to designing or sketching cars.
Once you have the outline in place, it's time to fill in the windows, followed by the lights, then the bumpers. From there, you can start adding more details and Mauer shared some tips for that as well.
If you want to emphasize a line, he recommends making it thicker to add a three-dimensional effect on your drawing. Lighter strokes of the pencil would show a more subtle bit of detail, while the opposite further accents a feature. To give more life to your sketch, he recommends looking at photos of cars to study lights and shadows. If you want to emphasize a curve, make it dark on the edge then gradually make it lighter as you go along.
If you want to be more adventurous, you can even color your sketch to add further depth and detail to it. Mauer's preferred way of coloring his designs? Watercolor or colored pencils. That way, you can do shade the car the lighter or darker to recreate light and shadows on the surface.
Once you're finished and somewhat unhappy about the end result, don't be discouraged, says Mauer. "Design is always about trial and error and I encourage anyone to pick up a pencil and have a go," added the designer. Like any skill, it takes practice and just keep at it and hone it by dishing out a drawing regularly. Who knows, you might just be able to sketch a car with little effort someday.
So what are you waiting for? Go and give it a shot right now.
(Read the full class by clicking here)