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For final highlighting I have used a white gouache (for its opaque quality) and picked out some spots where the sun is being directly reflected back to the viewer. It is easy to go overboard at this stage. Generally the effect works best if you stick to just a few key highlights. The sketch rendering is now complete, and you are ready to move on and try other design solutions and ideas.
The drawing is now entering its final stages. I have shaded the background colour, and completed all the shadows. At this stage you generally go by feel, touching up areas until you are ready for the final highlighting stage.
Using a deep colour I have now shaded the area that picks up the reflection of the background (on the bonnet and the roof). This immediately has the effect of making the car feel more shiny.
I have also applied this blue tone to the far side of the windscreen, again to help with the impression this surface is reflecting the sky. Once you have completed the blue tones you can then begin to tone down the areas which are most in shadow.
Remembering to wait until each application of paint is dry, you can now begin to add the colour to the bodywork. Here I have applied a light blue tone to virtually all surfaces except those facing upwards. Remember that all horizontal or down facing surfaces (or indeed any facing away from your light source) will be colder in tone.
Here I have began to add a little colour to the image. This has been done by mixing the watercolour with water to reach the correct shade, although you should remember to test your colour on a separate sheet of paper. For the wheels I have used a grey/brown tone on the down facing surfaces to help give the impression they are reflecting the ground. You can also add a light blue colour to the up facing surfaces to give the impression they are reflecting the sky.
Near the end of the sketching phase I have began to include some section lines. These help make it clear what each surface is doing. I have also added some light sketch shading to the darkest of areas of the drawing. Both of these techniques also help give the image a loose and fast sketchy feeling. I have also added a background shape that will help lift the sketch from the paper, as well as giving us something to reflect in the windscreen and bonnet.
I have continued by adding more details to the drawing, including elements of the interior. I have not used any sweeps or guides in this drawing, it is completely free hand. It is important to build up the main elements and proportions first, before getting too involved in working out the details.
From there I begin to sketch in the details of the design. This is done fairly lightly at first, this will allow you to correct mistakes when firming up the lines later on. A good example of this is where I have faintly drawn the spacing for the spokes in the wheels. By keeping it light I can try out the spacing without destroying the drawing if it works out wrong.
To begin with I sketch out a quick wheelbase, I have also shown the axle lines to ensure that I have the correct angle to the ellipses. This stage of the drawing is put together using a normal ball point pen on plain paper.

In this tutorial Max Shershnev shows us his technique for producing sketch renderings using watercolour paints. An unusual technique that is not often seen in the car industry, the tutorial is a good example of why knowledge of where colour should go can be more important than the method used to apply it. Max lives in Russia and is currently a student of the College of Art in Smolensk, where he will complete his studies in June 2006.
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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