How do I draw a car in perspective?

I’m working on a graphic novel and it’s coming along great, except when it comes to drawing machines. No matter how hard I try, I can’t draw what I see in my mind’s eye. Why is it so hard to draw a car in perspective?

Jasmine Kanter · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
You’re not alone—cars and machines are one of the most difficult things to draw freehand. Even professional comic, manga, and storyboard artists use references for cars, and sometimes even drawing software to render machines for them! Here are a few tips to make drawing easier:
  • Use reference photos. You can draw real-world cars like the
    Jeep Compass
    or you can look for a car that is as close to your imaginary vehicle as possible and use it as a basic reference.
  • Make sure your reference photo has the same proportions as the drawing space. Your brain checks your lines against the borders of an image to see if they’re true, so if the borders are different between reference and drawing, your lines will be off. You might have to cut your reference photo or mask some parts of your comic panel with tape to achieve the correct proportions.
  • Simplify the shapes of the car as much as possible. Most cars can be reduced to a couple of rectangular boxes stacked on top of each other with cylinders for wheels. Draw the biggest shapes in perspective first (body, wheels, windows) and then move onto the smaller ones.
  • Trace pieces of the car as needed. Seriously, there aren’t any laws against it. Your readers aren’t there to appreciate how accurately you’ve rendered the corner of a leather seat in a
    BMW 435i
    —they can be interested in your story without getting too picky about the visuals.
The best part of a graphic novel is the story it builds with words and images—likewise, the best part of owning a car is the experience of driving it, not finding car insurance. The
app is designed to save users time and money. Users save $887 per year on average, which is probably why Jerry is the top insurance app in the country on the App Store.
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