The family car

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Every family piles into the family cruiser eventually, and in some cartoons, the cars are the stars. A car can add dimension and reality to your cartoon, either as part of the background or as a character (see "The talking car" section later in the chapter).

Keep the following in mind when cartooning family cruisers:

✓ They often have squatty, exaggerated, funny-looking shapes.

✓ They're often some kind of SUV or station wagon.

✓ They're more accurately rendered if you study current car models to pick up on modern design details.

When drawing the family car, follow these steps:

1. Sketch a large, rectangular, three-dimensional box and a smaller box on top to form the area for the roof and windows, as in Figure 9-10.

This basic form helps you define the car and acts as a guide as you add details to the drawing. This car is passing you going left, so you see most of the driver's side. Continue by sketching out the area for the front grill and headlights and then draw another horizontal line under the grill across the front for the top of the front bumper.

2. Draw in the area for the wheels (see Figure 9-11).

Sketch the area for the wheels as ovals because of the angle they'll be viewed from. You can see the full view of the wheels on the driver's side but only the bottom of the wheels on the passenger side. Be sure and draw a slight, tall, thin oval shape to represent the inside of the wheel hubs on the driver's side.

3. Sketch the car's main details, such as the headlights, bumper, antenna, and so on.

To draw the headlights, just fill in two small circles for the headlights in the rectangle shape you drew previously. To finish sketching the bumper, fill in the rectangle shape in the middle of the bumper for the license plate as well as the horizontal lines for the radiator grill.

Figure 9-10:

The family car starts off as a large rectangle with a box on top.

Figure 9-10:

The family car starts off as a large rectangle with a box on top.

How Draw Small Box

4. Fill in the inside of the car by drawing the backs of the front seat as well as the small rectangle shape for the rear view mirror.

Draw two small square shapes on each side of the car for the rearview side mirrors. Keep them level with the top hood of the car and based at the bottom of the windshield.

Figure 9-11:

Add the circles for the wheels and it begins to look like a car.

Figure 9-11:

Add the circles for the wheels and it begins to look like a car.

5. Add the final details to finish off the look while adding motion to the moving car, as shown in Figure 9-12.

Cars have all sorts of small details, and it's important that you get them right so the car looks like a car. Adding door handles, mirrors, bumpers, and headlights sets the car apart. And don't forget to add the driver. To personalize your car, you can use your own imagination and creativity.

Perhaps some dice hanging from the rearview mirror? Also, when finalizing your car, you may want to darken or black out the interior so that the car itself stands out better. Adding a drop shadow below the car gives the impression that it's bouncing along down the cartoon highway.

Figure 9-12:

You're now ready to take a family trip across the country!

Figure 9-12:

You're now ready to take a family trip across the country!

Family Road Trip Cartoon

The sports car

Not every cartoon character drives a family road hog; some characters zip around in something sportier. If your main character is a middle-aged man going through a midlife crisis, or maybe a young, hip California woman, then a sports car is the perfect mode of transportation.

When drawing sports cars, keep the following characteristics in mind:

✓ Their shape is sleek and exaggerated, suggesting a fast car.

✓ They should be drawn with a slight forward slant, which gives them the appearance of speed.

✓ They're more accurately rendered if you study current car models to pick up on modern design details.

When drawing a sports car, follow these steps:

1. Sketch a rectangular, three-dimensional box, and sketch another low-hung box on top to form the area for the windshield and driver (see Figure 9-13).

This basic form helps you define the car and acts as a guide as you add details to the drawing. Make sure you place the top rectangle for the roof line. You want to also sketch in the area for the wheels. The driver's wheels are viewable here, but you see only the bottom half of the wheels on the passenger's side.

Figure 9-13:

A sports car begins with a rectangular box and a low-hung box on top.

Figure 9-13:

A sports car begins with a rectangular box and a low-hung box on top.

Box Car Draw

2. Draw in the details for the wheels, as shown in Figure 9-14.

As you finish drawing the wheels, remember to draw smaller circles inside the larger ones you drew for the outside edges of the tires. The passenger side wheels will be darkened.

Figure 9-14:

Add the wheels to make the drawing begin to look like a sports car.

Figure 9-14:

Add the wheels to make the drawing begin to look like a sports car.

Family Car Drawing

3. Sketch in other details like the side mirrors, headlights, bumpers, and side trim.

Draw two small circles on each side of the car for the side mirrors. It's starting to look sporty! To draw headlights, begin by drawing two vertical oval shapes on the front of each front fender. Next draw two horizontal lines across the bottom front of the car for the front bumper. Fill in the small details like the door handle and side trim as well as the antenna, rear view mirror, and handle on the front hood. Drawing everything with a slight, forward slant gives the appearance that the sports car is really moving down the road.

4. Include a few things that can add motion and movement to the sports car (see Figure 9-15).

To give the sports car your own personal look, add details like a funny license plate on the front or something hanging off the radio antenna. Adding a ground shadow below the car that doesn't touch the wheels gives the appearance that the car is moving quickly.

Figure 9-15:

If you go too fast, you may get a ticket!

Figure 9-15:

If you go too fast, you may get a ticket!

Cartoon Car Fast

Truckin' down the road

Trucks are everywhere in real life, so they show up everywhere in the cartooning world, too.

Keep these hints in mind when cartooning all types of trucks:

✓ Their shapes are boxy and exaggerated for a humorous effect.

✓ They're more interesting to look at if they're older, retro-style trucks.

■ ✓ They come in all shapes and sizes, so you should study them closely to capture what they actually look like.

When drawing a small truck, follow these steps:

1. Sketch a large, rectangular, three-dimensional box and a smaller box on top to form the area for the roof and windows, as shown in Figure 9-16.

2. Fill in the basic sketch for the wheels with the driver's side wheels fully showing. You can see the basic truck shape begin to take form. These shapes define the truck and act as a guide as you add details to the drawing.

3. Draw in the inside details for the wheels (see Figure 9-17).

To draw the wheels, just continue by drawing the inside hub and the bottom rear tire tread. You can see the full wheels on the driver's side along with the inside details of the wheel hubs, but only the bottom of the wheels on the passenger side.

4. Sketch in other details like the headlights, bumpers, and side trim.

To draw the taillights, draw two small vertical shapes at the rear on each side of the tailgate. Trucks have all sorts of great details like door handles, big side mirrors, big rear bumpers, and a gas cap.

Figure 9-16:

All trucks start off as a series of boxes.

Figure 9-16:

All trucks start off as a series of boxes.

Figure 9-17:

Your truck is almost ready to haul that ugly sofa off to the dump!

Figure 9-17:

Your truck is almost ready to haul that ugly sofa off to the dump!

Top Down Vehicle Drawing Truck

5. Add any final details to finish off the look of this old truck, as shown in Figure 9-18.

Don't hold back — you can really give your truck its unique look. Try adding an air horn on top or a flag attached to the radio antenna. Use your own imagination and creativity and see what you can come up with. Don't forget that adding a shadow below the truck shows that it's really bouncing down the road.

Figure 9-18:

Having the wheels appear off the ground adds the illusion of movement to the drawing.

Figure 9-18:

Having the wheels appear off the ground adds the illusion of movement to the drawing.

Cartoon Car Air Horn

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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