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Michael Lugnegard - Interview

What is your passion? What motivates you? Under which circumstance do you develop the most and perform the best? Where do you want to be in five years? Michael tells us what motivates him.

Mats Sjogren, Fun Bee Drawing
In this tutorial Mats Sjögren guides us through a technique he uses to produce fun concept sketches and ideas.
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Mikael Lugnegard, Pencil Sketching Video Tutorial
To celebrate the creation of his new web site Mikael has put together a new video tutorial. In it he talks through his methods for creating a powerful pencil sketch.

Mark Randall, Marker Rendering
In this tutorial, Mark will show us a sketch rendering using traditional markers and pastels. Sometimes its good to take a step back and have a more “hands on approach” to a sketch!
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…or if you don’t know when to stop you can do something like this. I’ve applied the classic Lotus ‘Type 49’ livery (hence the gold wheels) by marking out portions of the bodywork and altering the Hue/Saturation/Lightness. I’ve also deleted the Grain Filter on the background floor and replaced it with a reflection of the car. For this, copy and paste the car, flip vertically and reduce the opacity of the layer to about 8%. That’s it, move on to the next sketch.
Now it's time to bring the sketch into Photoshop ( I use CS 2). I use a very budget CanonScan Lide 30, and it works very good (slow though). Since the scanner is in A4 format, I need to scan the image in two parts and assemble them in CS. The first thing I do when that's done is to adjust the Levels (Ctrl+L) to get a nice, bright and white background. Then I tune up the darker levels to get some contrast.
One thing that is really difficult to do good is wheels. I don't put much effort into mine at the moment since I know we will go digital later on.
I continue to work the sketch with more reflections until I fell OK with it. Sketching cars in kind of different. You need to understand the car to sketch it, cause there is so many details that makes it a car.
How about door panel/car body reflections? Let's begin by shading the whole area lightly. Then we can draw some “templates” for how we want the different reflections to play on the surface. This can be a bit difficult to do. You need to “feel” the reflections, and there is no template for how to do this.
To create depth in the image, the darkest value should be closest to the “camera” and the further away the less contrast. To achieve this, I fill the air-intake with black, give the headlamp a lot of contrast, scribble some value into the tire area, just beginning to work the front and putting less effort into the rear. One area in particular that is very important is the greenhouse. The glass acts like sort of a mirror. Remember, that on transparent surfaces, the shade above the horizon usually is close to opaque and what's beneath more transparent.
Next step is to start indicating reflections and thereby describing the material and form. At first, this is done very light, so I can take a step backward in case it doesn't look right. When I'm happy with the reflection pattern I begin to work the lines and do some tight 45 degree lines. The lines are instead of marker work, and have the same purpose, to add value and readability.
The next step is to trace and refine the original. For those of you that use Vellum, this won't be a problem. The tracing part can be a bit cumbersome, and some of you just might skip it and sketch out the design straight away. When doing car design, it's all about the right curves, the right proportions. Therefore I usually sketch very rough sketches in the beginning, just to find the right tension between curves, folds, feature-lines etc. These roughs can then be made “readable” by overlaying and refinement. That's the process I will take you through now.
Before we begin tracing the initial sketch let's look at the materials we will be using. I will sketch on normal Xerox Colortech+, a very nice copy-paper. I will be using three types of pencils. A black Verithin (king of sketch pens), a black Prismacolor, for adding lineweight and shading, and my favourite ball-point, a black Pilot Super Grip, Fine (awesome on vellum)
Since this will be kind of a semi-rendering I prefer to have most of the design nailed before I start. I begin by making a very fast, 10 minutes at the most, ink sketch with a Copic Multi Liner Brush-M. With this first sketch I try to get the lines and proportions that I want. I also make fast lines to indicate where the reflections will be falling, just as a guide for the coming rendering.
Car designers usually sketch the wheels way to big, just to give the car the right presence. Big rims and wheels just look good, it may be a harsh and bumpy road, but that's the price to pay for beauty ;)) My wheels are too small, so I copy the wheel area, and enlarge them using the Free transform tool.
 How do I know where to draw the reflections, and how to arrange them next to each other? The answer is simple but still not. Observe reality - recreate – mimic - understand - observe more - interpretate – render more. This takes time to learn, and shouldn't be rushed. Don't just copy other sketches. They might not have done it right, and you won't really know why to put lines and value in certain places. It's much better to work from photos and memory.
By the way, this sketch comes from a real project. For this project, I choose not to sketch in a very dramatic car-like way, with a lot of perspective distortion, and extreme angles, not a traditional car sketch in other words. This will be a very honest sketch. It's not made to be eye-candy or to persuade the design-boss. It's made to tell the client about a design proposal.

When I trace I'm very light on the hand, just indicating the linework. I try not to work the lines to much, instead I do the lines with as few strokes as possible. When the main curves are set, I use shipcurves to give them some really beautiful lineweight. It not necessary to do all the curves at once, I usually do this bit by bit.
mikael lugnegard interview
mikael lugnegard pencil sketching video

I will begin by introducing myself. My name is Mikael Lugnegård and I'm a Swedish designer, currently working in the automotive industry. I'm 27 years old and I love my work. Design is my passion, no doubt. If you feel like reading more about me, my journey and my take on design, please read this article. After that you can also take a look at my new web site,

When Allan approached me about writing a tutorial for his website, we both agreed that it would be nice with something that wasn't completely focused around a digital technique. There's a lot of great tutorials on how to use Photoshop in a successful way, so that won't be my focus. I will however do some digital touch-up on the final sketch in CS, but 95% of the work will be old school.

In my opinion, to communicate ideas, you need to master a few different skills. One of these is to draw, with pen and paper. This is a fundamental skill you need to master. REALLY. Consider one of the following scenarios. You're in a client meeting, and you need to sketch down an idea to show your client what you're thinking. The sketch you looks like something a 5-year old has done. This doesn't evoke trust, the most important thing in a business relationship. You get my point. Imagine how satisfying is would be to nail that fast and dynamic sketch in front of your client with only a ballpoint pen!!!

At most design schools they teach you how to use a single wooden pencil to create an entire rendering, sometimes referred to as a “Prisma-rendering” due to the type of pencil usually used (Prismacolor wood pencils). These are fast and very pretty looking techniques, and they are fairly easy to master. This will be more of a walkthrough then a tutorial in the sense that I won't describe every pen stroke, more the basic steps and thoughts behind. Ok, let's go!
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