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8: SHADOW (Line Weight: various)

the shadow is not really a part of the car, I chose to hatch in a completely different direction than the hatching/shading on the car in order to separate the shadow. The darkest part of the shadow is the area directly below the car, then, as it projects away from the car, the shadow should get lighter and more transparent (vignette).
7: SHADING (line Weight: various)

shading, try to shade in the same direction as the initial hatch lines.

Don’t forget to vignette, or shade in a direction which starts dark and fades lighter as the shade moves away from the focal area (J).

Again, the focal point should have the most contrast, line weight, and detail.
6: HATCHING (Line Weight: light)

is a quick way to indicate lighting. The hatch line should have uniform line weight. Sometimes it is best to hatch in the opposite direction when indicating a surface corner (i).

5: FOCAL POINT (Line Weight: medium and heavy)

very important to have a focal point – even on line drawings. In this case, the focal point is the corner of the car closest to the observer, or closest headlight. This area will begin with thick line weight that tapers as it flows away from the focal area. This also includes thicker line weight around the headlights (h). This is also a good time to indicate tire tread and black out grilles, spokes, and vents.
4: GLASS DETAILS (Line Weight: heavy)

rather heavy line weight is used around the glass area to indicate seals, material separation as well as emphasis on the DLO (Day-Light-Opening). (g)
3: SURFACE SEPARATION (Line Weight: medium)

third step is to separate all major surface changes, such as the hood, cowl, grilles, vents, and separation lines.

NOTE: Most surface breaks on vehicles are rounded or have some sort radius. To visually emphasize this; instead of using a single line (which indicate a sharp, acute surface break), two parallel lines should be used to indicate a radius on the edge (f).
2: PERIMITER LINE WEIGHT (Line Weight: heavy)

The perimeter line weight will probably be the thickest to help pull the image off the page and emphasize the overall silhouette– it should be darkest towards the undercarriage.
1: INITIAL SKETCH AND OVERLAY (Line Weight: light)

choosing a final design, I check the perspective by reversing the page and looking through it using a lamp.

I use axle lines in order to make sure that my wheels are within perspective (a). The minor axis should be perpendicular to the major (or axle line) axis (b).

In order to check surfaces, I draw contour lines (c and d) along the X and Y axis while going over every surface change.

Just like the wheels, notice the axis lines along the headlights in order to make sure that the ellipses for the headlights are correct (e).
Hand Sketching

Hector graduated from Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) in August 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Transportation Design. He is currently working as a contract/freelance designer for various industries. Most recently his projects have included an automotive television commercial as a consultant and automotive designer, race car video game concept designer, magazine features, and vehicle production work. As a designer he likes to design anything from bicycles, to cars, boats, aircraft or spacecraft, and everything else in between! You can see more samples of Hectors work at his online portfolio at, 
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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