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View Full Version : DK's Sketchbook #3 - 15 Min. Exercises


Davkin
05-23-2010, 10:59 PM
I started this sketchbook in March with a specific purpose. I love vintage cars, especially hot rods and customs. Cars are difficult subject to draw and so to get plenty of practice in I decided to start daily 15 min. sketches. The idea was to sketch at least one car from a photo every day in 15 minutes. That only lasted a couple weeks but I'm starting it back up again, however now I'm opening it up to any subject, just trying to make sure I get at least some sketching in every day. The sketchbook is just a Strathmore 400 Series, (green cover) spiral bound 5.5" X 8.5". The pencil is a #5 Twist-Erase mechanical.

Here are a few of the car sketches from March;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03001.jpg
From a small hot rod calendar.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03002.jpg

From a magazine cover.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03003.jpg

Another calendar photo.

David

Davkin
05-23-2010, 11:01 PM
A few more;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03004.jpg

Another calendar photo

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03005.jpg

Calendar photo

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03006.jpg

This one is from a book called "Throttle" which is a compendium of magazine issues published in 1940 of a magazine with the same name. Hot rodding history is one of my favorite subjects.

David

Davkin
05-23-2010, 11:02 PM
A few more, all three of these came from the same book;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03007.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03008.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03009.jpg

David

Anne-Marie
05-23-2010, 11:04 PM
I started this sketchbook in March with a specific purpose. . . I decided to start daily 15 min. sketches. . . .I'm opening it up to any subject, just trying to make sure I get at least some sketching in every day.

I love the idea of gently encouraging yourself with 15 minute sketches. The cars are lovely and indeed evocative of a time gone by.

Davkin
05-23-2010, 11:05 PM
And finally, the sketch I did today to restart the sketchbook and open it up to more subjects. This is from a photo I took at a place called "Lake Solitude". The lake is really more like a large pond really and it's in the middle of a ski resort, (Solitude ski resort of course.) yet it's a two mile hike to get to it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03010.jpg

David

DrDebby
05-23-2010, 11:58 PM
Nice cars! And in only 15 minutes? That's amazing. Love the lake picture too.

Davkin
05-24-2010, 01:16 AM
Thanks. Another thing I meant to mention is that 15 min. sketches are a great way to warm up for a longer drawing session. I used the Lake Solitude sketch to warm up for the violin drawing I posted in my "#4 Anything Goes sketchbook". It's kinda like stretching before lifting weights or going for a long run. :D

David

eyepaint
05-24-2010, 02:13 AM
Great idea for practicing this topic / subject :)

Aiylah
05-24-2010, 11:10 AM
Great sketches for 15 minutes! I like how you use them to "warm up". Sometimes when I start drawing it feels like my hand is stiff and I can't handle the pencils properly.. maybe I should try your technique too! :D

Davkin
05-26-2010, 10:09 PM
No, I didn't abandon my daily 15 min. sketch goal already. In fact if you count the sketches I did in my #1 sketchbook I'm doing more than one a day, but even when I do something in my other books I want to try to do something in this one as well.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03011.jpg

This is from a photo I took last fall at Wheeler Farm. This poor old Dodge was sitting out back rotting away. It looks solid and mostly complete though, so I hope they save it before too long.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03012.jpg

This is from the cover of an old model railroad magazine, the photo was of a real train though, not a model.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03013.jpg

I decided to try something way out of my element on this one. This is based on Leonardo's study of soldier heads for the Battle of Anghiari. It's somewhat recognizable. I really got the ear wrong, and the eyes didn't go to well....or the nose....:lol: Still, considering how few attempts I've ever made, (virtually none) at drawing the human head I'm pleasantly suprised it looks as good as it does. I didn't take the whole 15 min. on this one. At about minute 12 I realized if I did any more I'd only make it worse! :lol:

David

DrDebby
05-26-2010, 10:51 PM
Good sketches. The human form is hard. You've done well for a short sketch on something you don't normally do.

Anne-Marie
05-26-2010, 10:55 PM
It's true, the portrait is fantastic! It looks like a "real person" with everything where it belongs. I still have the little kid thing of putting eyes up on the forhead, lol.

robertsloan2
05-28-2010, 09:21 PM
These are great! My favorite is Lake Solitude, it's glorious, but you did a good job copying Leonardo errors notwithstanding. They may only have changed the likeness more than anything else. The cars are incredible. I have major problems doing vehicles and getting their proportions right, you love them and do them so well!

Davkin
06-01-2010, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the comments Anne and Robert. Robert, I believe learning to draw anything is all about practice, practice, practice. That's the primary reason I started this sketchbook in the first place, to get better at drawing cars since they are a primary interest of mine. Of course it helps if you are very interested in the subject, then practice isn't so tedious.

Speaking of cars, here's a couple more;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03014.jpg

I did this one last Thursday. It's a '31 Ford (don't let the grille fool ya, it's not a '32) 5 Window coupe hot rod from a small calendar.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03015.jpg

Oops! I missed a day. This one was done Saturday. This is an oval racer called a "Midget". They were smaller cars with smaller engines but still raced by adults often on the same tracks as the big cars, (back then called "Roadsters"). This is from the 1941 "Throttle" magazine book.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2010/201970-sketchbook-03016.jpg

Skipped another day. I did this one today. Also from the Throttle book. This is a land speed racer called a "Streamliner" Basically the "Anything Goes" classification. The bodywork on this one is most likely all hand formed. After WWII streamliners were often built from surplus external fuel tanks that fighter planes used to extend their range while protecting bombing runs on Germany. Cars built from those fuel tanks earned the name "Belly Tanker". The body of the belly tankers were very similar in shape to the body on this streamliner, though I think the belly tankers were smaller.

David

DrDebby
06-02-2010, 06:37 PM
Cool cars. Love that you include history with your sketches.

Davkin
06-03-2010, 01:26 AM
Anne: Knowing what you're doing wrong is half the battle, so you're at least half way to doing it right. :D

Robert: Thanks for the comments. The hike to Lake Solitude is one of my favorites, but it's at a very high altitiude, so it's not accessible just yet. There's a great Aspen grove you hike through to get there, I love Aspens. I'll definately have to sketch some this year. I am actually pleasantly suprised at how well the little head sketch turned out, Ii'm going to have to do some more as well as some full figures.

Debby: I'm glad you like my little historical notes. I was worried I was maybe just irritating people with them. :lol: Automotive history is one of my favorite subjects, I've read many books. :D

David

Davkin
06-03-2010, 01:28 AM
Looks like I've fallen into a habit of only sketching in this book every other day, gotta nip that in the bud.

I did this sketch yesterday, it's from the May Pen & Ink challenge, though I never got around to doing it in pen.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03017.jpg

I'm not happy with how the vine came out, but other than that I did okay.

David

DrDebby
06-03-2010, 11:14 AM
Cool barn. Aesthetically pleasing.

Vivien Maloney
06-03-2010, 04:08 PM
Wonderful vintage car sketches David! I see a couple of Fords in your sketch collection. My son has a restored Classic Ford car like the one you've sketched and it is his "pride and joy". Well done.

robertsloan2
06-03-2010, 11:40 PM
Great barn, David. I liked that reference, you did well with it. The vine's not bad either. It's not detailed but it reads well as a vine with masses of light and shadow.

Davkin
06-04-2010, 01:07 AM
Thanks for your comments Robert and Debby. Vivien, I envy your son.:envy:

I really stretched myself with today's 15 minute sketch. This is from Michelangelo's Prophet Zechariah a fresco in the Sistine Chapel;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03018.jpg

I don't beleive I've ever attempted anything like this before, considering that fact it came out okay. Here's a web page with a photo of the real thing for reference;

http://www.artbible.info/art/large/78.html

David

Dougwas
06-04-2010, 01:35 AM
Great sketches, David. I really like the car sketches. A very good idea to sketch every day.

Doug

Anne-Marie
06-04-2010, 02:32 AM
Oooh, the prophet sketch is really nice. Great volume with the clothing.

I'm really enjoying all of your cars btw. Cars are one of those things that if you're not really into them (as normally I'm not) the idea of drawing a dozen of them is mind boggling, because don't all cars look the same? (I'm one of those people who, when someone asks me what kind of car so-and-so drives, I'll mumble, "let's see . . . it has four wheels . . ." Have NO idea about makes and models, etc.) Well, YOUR cars opened up my eyes, and I look forward to see what new model you'll undertake. Thank you for this!

(PS while I don't know a Pontiac from a Ford, I can distinguish an Omas fountain pen from a Delta from a Michel Percin from, like, a mile away. Ok, maybe a LITTLE exaggeration there. But funny how our interests make us keenly away of details, isn't it?)

DrDebby
06-04-2010, 01:57 PM
Well done on that prophet. I'm amazed at the level of detail you are getting in only 15 minutes.

robertsloan2
06-04-2010, 05:32 PM
Great drawing of the Michelangelo! I looked at the original and you're spot on with that. Wonderful copy. I should do something like that sometime.

Davkin
06-04-2010, 07:50 PM
Anne: I'm glad you are enjoying my cars. Yes, familiarity with a subject generally stems from our interest in that subject.

Debby: Speed comes with practice. :) Not that drawing is about speed of course, but the more you practice the more natural it feels and the easier it comes, like in anything.

Robert: I've been thinking a bit about this sketching habit and have come to something of a conclusion. While I started this sketchbook as a way to accelerate my skill in drawing cars the reality is that the subject is irrelevant. No matter the subject they can all be broken down into line, shape and value. The challenge is in learning to draw what we really see, not what we think we see. I think sketching frequently is really about developing the skill of turning on our artistic brain at will, and pushing the logical/verbal brain to the side for the moment. I think the master artists have primarily learned how to "switch brains" at will. For us less experienced aspiring artists it's still a challenge we struggle with to varying degrees, and hopefully through copius amounts of practice we will master that skill some day as well.

David

robertsloan2
06-04-2010, 09:22 PM
You're right. The more I draw anything, the easier it is to observe other things. That's been true all along. When it becomes familiar, it becomes intuitive and easy. I just need to be a bit careful about cars till I'm used to them.

Davkin
06-05-2010, 01:33 AM
Here's today's sketch;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03019.jpg

Okay, I bet I fooled ya. I bet you think this is a sketch of car, don't ya? Well it's not! It's a sketch of a sculpture of a car. :D Stanley Wanlass happened to have a display of several his sculptures (and a couple of his hot rods) at a big car show here three weeks ago. Stanley Wanlass is my favorite contemporary sculptor, granted I'm not familiar with many sculptors. I got very excited when I his display and took lots of photos. This sculpture in particular is my favorite of his. This sculpture is of the "Marmon Wasp" the first Indy 500 winner, (1911 I think). Here's my photo of the actual sculpture;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03019_ref.jpg

How can ya not love that thing, it's gorgeous! (at least to a gearhead like me.) Obviously I made some serious proportion errors, in particular either the driver is too big or the car is too small. :lol: The perspective is a bit off as well.

David

Davkin
06-05-2010, 01:47 AM
I intended to spend at least an hour or so getting some drawing done as well as my 15 min. daily sketch, but ended up only having time for the sketch. I've got a little project going where I'm replacing my current computer station. It's very big and bulky and has been moved several times and being a particle board creation it's in no shape to survive another move which is likely to happen in a few months. So, I decided to dismantle it and replace it with a simpler, smaller, less bulky, lighter glass and steel computer station. Tonight's task was just to clear off everything but the essentials for computer operation and assemble the taboret file cabinet I bought yesterday. The taboret ended up being much more of a bear to assemble than I expected and I had several interruptions, so by the time I was done it was nearly 10:00 pm already. Okay, all that rambling to bring you to this point.......I discovered some old sketches while cleaning out the old computer station.

I beleive I did these sketches about 24 years ago while I was in Argentina, (religious mission). In high school I had become very interested in architecture, in fact I had my own drafting board and even did a couple house plans for a construction company my senior year. At the time my career plan was to get into architectural drafting and eventually rendering. So, I checked out a lot of books from the library and sketched a lot of plans and renderings of my own design. I assume I did these in Argentina since the notepad was made in Argentina, but it's possible I did them shortly after I returned home.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03x001.jpg
A simple house plan sketch in ink

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03x002.jpg
A simple rendering of the above plan

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03x003.jpg
This one was actually sketched in blue ball point pen but I didn't feel like changing the setting on the scanner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03x004.jpg

This one is graphite and apparently never finished.

I attended tech school for computer-aided drafting and unfortunately Utah, (and much of the country I believe) was still in a pretty deep recession and jobs were scarce. On top of that I found out architects don't pay their drafters well at all so I ended up in a mechanical drafting position, (where I've been ever since) so my architectural dreams died. Maybe I'll design my retirement home myself some day. :)

David

DrDebby
06-05-2010, 01:03 PM
Nice sculpture. The sketch may not be perfect, but that's why it's a sketch. The architectural stuff is interesting. I was a mechanical drafter too, then became a mechanical designer. Did that for 20 years. Tho' it does mess up perspective on my drawings as I automatically revert to isometric when I draw. :rolleyes:

robertsloan2
06-05-2010, 02:40 PM
David, cool sketch of the racing car sculpture. Yeah, the driver's a little out of proportion and the wheels are angled leaning forward, but that gives it a slightly cartoon-like feel as if it's going very fast. Good detail and accuracy on the body of the car and on the driver taken separately.

Congratulations on your new computer station! Sorry to hear your taboret was a bear to assemble. I lucked on mine, it came pretty much whole. Post a photo when you've got your new stuff in and all sorted out.

Great architectural drawings. I did some of those in the 1980s, it was a pretty big hobby for a while though I have to laugh at some early designs that I'd forgotten to put bathrooms in. Yours are very plausible, look like they'd build well, and you did great renderings of the exterior that make sense in terms of the plans. Very cool.

Davkin
06-08-2010, 01:33 AM
Debby: My official title is mechanical designer at the current company I work for, however I'm not sure I'd dare call myself that if I was job hunting. I think it's just an excuse for them to pay me more for my experience. I think my math skills and general knowledge of engineering principles are a little soft for a true mechanical designer.

Robert: The angle of the wheels is on purpose. If you look closely at the sculpture it's wheels are angled as well, though maybe mine are a little more exaggerated. Wanlass' sculpture is mimicking the effect that photographing race cars in motion had back then. The technology for capturing objects in motion wasn't what it is today and photos tended to be distorted, there's a pic of the Marmon Wasp taken on race day on this web page;

http://www.kettering.edu/archives/wilkerson.jsp

Here's an overall photo of my new computer station and area;
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jun-2010/201970-office-1.jpg

The old station was huge, made of out particle board so very heavy and complex. It served me well for about 15 years but a move is coming up in the not too distant future and I knew it wouldn't survive another move, so I decided to tear it down and replace it with something less bulky and not made out of particle board. I ended up spending most of my Saturday on the project. It took nearly two hours just disassemble, (a sledgehammer was involved.) the old station to it's basic pieces. It didn't take long to build the new one but it took some time setting everything back up. Plus I had to run to Officemax and buy some organizers as well as a new chair and assemble it. I blew a caster out on the old one and the upholstery was worn out anyway. Good thing I've been selling my automotive hobby tools, the sales have paid for all this. Anyway, all this excitement wore me out, I ended up doing nothing but vegging Saturday night and all day Sunday.

Here's a pic of my art station;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jun-2010/201970-drawingsetup.jpg

David

Davkin
06-08-2010, 01:37 AM
I didn't get around to doing anothe 15 min. sketch until today. I bought a book the other day called, "The Great American Pin-up". It's a book entirely about classic pin-up artists. I decided to sketch part of the painting on the cover by Gil Elvrgren.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03020.jpg

The mouth came out a bit large and not as puckered as in the painting, (the girl in the painting is supposed to be suprised) Also the eyes aren't level. Here's a link to a pic of the painting, though it's low res;

http://www.thepinupfiles.com/images/elv00352.jpg

David

DrDebby
06-08-2010, 02:12 PM
Cool new work station. I like your art set up too. Your pin-up sketch is very close. You could try her again for another 15 minute exercise and see if you could do better.

Mechanical design for me was "We want it to kind of look like this, and it has to fit in half the space you'd like." It was being inventive and making things fit where there wasn't room. I got the title "Goddess of No Space" for doing so. :lol: The actual engineering calculations were done by the engineer directing me. The only calculations I'd do were tolerances for machining so that parts would fit together every time. Even such things as choosing a slide, sensor or motor was usually decided by someone else or committee. :rolleyes:

robertsloan2
06-08-2010, 11:42 PM
Cool new work station. I love the glass and chrome, that's an elegant look and very sturdy. It'd probably confuse my cat though if I got a glass table! Cool art area too, that also looks like a good sturdy table. Great taboret with all the drawers too. I can see why you'd get rid of the particle board one. Falling apart but took a sledgehammer to disassemble? Sounds about right, bet it wobbled all the time.

I like your pinup girl sketch! That sounds like a fun book to sketch from. I may have to go back to Jack Hamm and Loomis to find some girlie picture examples to sketch, that'd be fun. She's cute. Even with the slightly larger mouth, she just looks a bit more modern -- girls are supposed to have big full lips these days, all the Botox thing.

Davkin
06-09-2010, 01:20 AM
Debby: I probably will try this pinup again, but I'll scan the pic on the book cover and enlarge just the bust, (no, not THAT bust) so I have a better reference and I'll give it more time next time. I'm actually going to take a break from the 15 minute sketches, I want to refine my sketch style, right now it seems to primarily consist of scribbles. :lol:

It sounds like our careers in mechanical design have followed a similar path. The running joke in our office is I always say it can't be done then I find a way to do it. Today my boss and a project manager called me into the office to consult on a project, as I was walking in I said, "It can't be done!" and my boss says, "Okay, we got that out of the way at the start, now we can do it." :lol: Of course, sometimes I wish I hadn't figured out how to do the seemingly impossible. Sometimes when you pack all that stuff into a small space you end up with a product you wouldn't really want to build because the maintainence will be a huge PIA for the customer.

Robert: Actually the old setup was quite sturdy, it's just that to move it requires some disassembly and those joints were quite worn out. It's sturdiness came at a price too, it was a huge PIA to move, and the design made access to route cables difficult. This new setup isn't real sturdy, though sturdy enough, and it will be real easy to move. The only part that's not sturdy is the keyboard tray, it's bouncing as I type this. I plan on getting a lap top in a few months though then I'll be able to ditch this tray. The art taboret is very nice, it's an Ikea model. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. I actually have two, one for my other hobby, model building. They take some time and effort to assemble, and to make matters worse I modified them to add that spaced up table top to them.

The book is really good, literally hundreds of photos of pin-up art. I got it for slightly less than $20 at Barnes & Nobles in their bargain section. Their's and Border's bargain section are like crack cocaine to me. :lol: I plan on doing a few sketches of the art in this book.

David

Davkin
06-19-2010, 01:48 AM
Hey guys. You probably thought I was neglecting my sketchbooks....well I guess I have been. Partially because I have had other stuff going on, partially due to laziness, and partially because I've been working on a non-sketchbook drawing . I did get back to a sketchbook today, the 15 minute book. However I've decided this won't be 15 minute sketches anymore, not strictly anyway. I thought about it and I decided I'm probably not getting what I want out of the 15 minute sketches. I want to work on developing a more polished sketching style so I won't be putting the timer on the sketches in this book anymore and I believe I'll be returning to the original focus of strictly automotive subjects. I did this one today;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03021.jpg

I spent about 30 minutes on this one. This is from the cover of the 1941 Throttle Magazine Special Indianapolis edition. Yep, this is a 1941 Indy car, or as they often referred to them, "The big roadsters". This view is kinda weird though, makes the car look much smaller than it is. I messed up the front wheel, but in my defense I had to make it up since the photo cut most of it off. :D Since I'm following the magazines with my sketching you'll be getting a few more 1941 Indy car sketches from other angles.

I may be using sketchbook #2 tomorrow, (Saturday) as I am planning on going for a hike.

David

vhere
06-19-2010, 05:23 AM
nice sketches and lovely old cars and lorries - will you take this when you hike again and sketch quick landscapes from life do you think?

mhimeswc
06-19-2010, 08:26 AM
I liked the race car sculpture, as well as your sketch of it. The #5 car is terrific. Hope you get some good sketching done on your hike today.

Joan T
06-19-2010, 11:33 AM
Wonderful 15 min sketches!!!! You do the vintage cars so well, but I like the landscape and the barn too!!

Davkin
06-19-2010, 12:03 PM
Vivian: Thanks. No, this book is strictly for the "studio". It's just a cheap spiral bound Strathmore book. My #1 and #2 sketchbooks are what I use outdoors. I may take #4 outside at some point as well, we'll see.

Michelle: Thanks for the comments. That sculpture is probably my favorite so that probably won't be my only sketch of it.

Joan: Thanks for the comments.

David

DrDebby
06-19-2010, 12:13 PM
The sketch of the Indy car is great. The foreshortening because of the angle, even with a photo reference is superb.

robertsloan2
06-19-2010, 12:39 PM
Great sketch of "the big roadster." It doesn't look that small to me, it looks like it's in perspective. That's so cool.

Jakesgram
06-20-2010, 02:59 AM
David,

You're doing a great job with your sketches of everything: the cars, the pinups, Lake Solitude, everything. I definitely agree with your comments about turning the left, logical, verbal brain off and learning to see with the artistic brain. If we can do that, it's all just lines and shapes and values and colors and most especially, negative spaces!!! Very nice work.

Jean

Davkin
07-01-2010, 02:07 AM
Thanks everybody for the generous comments.

I finally got back to this sketchbook today;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/201970-sketchbook-03022.jpg

This is from a photo in a magazine. There are a couple magazines that cover hot rodding history and I love reading them. However this photo was from an article about a recent vintage drag racing event, the car does have history though. These cars are often referred to as "slingshot" dragsters due to the sensation the driver had of being shot from a slingshot on take-off due to the positioning of the driver behind the rear wheels.. While rear engined dragster were experimented with from the beginning it wasn't until the mid-60's that they started to dominate the top classes and not until the early 70's that front engine dragsters disappeared from the top fuel classes altogether due to being uncompetitive and unsafe. I'm sure many of you have heard of Don "Big Daddy" Garlits. Don started out driving "slingshot" dragsters and lost a portion of one of his feet when the clutch blew up. The driver actually straddled the rear axle on these beasts with his feet resting on the sides of the back portion of the engine! Any catastrophic driveline failure often resulted in injury to the driver. This accident prompted Don to get serious about rear engined dragsters and he's considered to have designed the first one to be consistently competitive against the slingshots and almost single handedly brought that era of drag racing to an end. However there's still a certain nostalgia for the slingshots and they compete in nostalgia events every summer, albeit with better safety equipment made from modern "space age" materials that do a much better job of containing drivetrain shrapnel.

Sorry for the rambling history lesson there, I just love this stuff! As for the sketch itself, I ditched the .5 HB mechanical for this one. I started with a faint line sketch using a .5 2H mechanical then shaded it all using a 3mm lead holder with 4B lead. I did it in about 20 min.

David

robertsloan2
07-01-2010, 02:17 AM
Interesting bit of history, and great sketch with awesome perspective.

Davkin
07-01-2010, 02:23 AM
Thanks Robert. You sure are up late! :lol:

David

robertsloan2
07-01-2010, 12:50 PM
Usually. I'm a night owl most of the time, so midnight's not late for me under most circumstances. I don't live on a schedule or need to be up early in the mornings for anything though, since I'm disabled and living on disability. That's been a big relief to me.

DrDebby
07-01-2010, 01:25 PM
It is fascinating reading the stories behind the sketches. Very nice sketch of the drag car.

Davkin
07-17-2010, 02:16 AM
I finally took a break from the moving chores and made some time for sketching;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jul-2010/201970-sketchbook-03024.jpg

This is a custom 1948 Mercury from a photo in a magazine. The proportions aren't quite right and the leaning forward look was not intentional. However, I consider this sketch a win, there was improvement in several areas for me. Fat fender cars are a real challenge to get right in the proportions. I erased the front end a couple times before I finally got it somewhat right. I spent nearly and hour on this one.

David

robertsloan2
07-17-2010, 02:29 AM
Nice. I like it. Fat fender cars look better to me than modern ones, there's something appealing about the design. This is elegant.

christinemlr
07-17-2010, 06:13 AM
Hi David, I haven't had time yet to look through all your thread here, but your pencil sketches are wonderful, do you really manage to do these in 15 mins or less! That really does amaze me. You really do capture the 'spirit' of the different kinds of cars - no I'll put that differently, the cars themselves do have their character, but your drawings give them a personal spirit. Can't quite express my meaning here, but I think you might understand what I'm trying to say. I must show this thread to my grandson (age 6) he's a car nut, well any kind of vehicle really I suppose it just has to have wheels! He does great drawings of cars, trains, buses (hundreds of them) and yours will inspire him I'm sure. And they inspire me too, I'll look at the photo of cars in mags differently now ( I normally have zilch interest) now I might even have a go. Trying to do a 15 min sketch of a car would be great exercise for me. A far from easy subject, you're mastering it with your own style.
Xina

Vivien Maloney
07-17-2010, 04:02 PM
You love your subject and it shows in your sketches which are great!

Davkin
07-17-2010, 05:40 PM
Robert: I agree, actually just about any car from the 60's and back look better than most modern cars. Concessions to aerodynamics and economy obviously. I'm not sure a '48 Merc is techically considered a fat fender car though. '46-'49 were years of transition for car design. '46 started with cars that didn't change much in appearance from the '41 models due to the production interruption of WW2. Most manufacturers did have new designs ready to go but needed some time to do the tooling once they had permission to resume production, so often '46 and/or '47 models don't look much like the '48 models. For Ford/Merc '46 thru '48 were the transition years from the bulbous fat fenders of the pre-war period to "modern" styling so they still had some of the bolted-on-fender look. The big change came in 1949, with a 100% new design, (except for the drivetrain, the flathead remained) and was the end of the separate fenders and the beginning of one of the most famous car customizing eras. Sorry, I got a little long winded there. :D

Xina: This sketchbook started out as being for only 15 min. sketches but I've allowed myself more time on the last few. If the sketch was longer than 15 min. I'll post how long it took in the description.

Vivien: Thanks. Cars and landscapes are my two favorite subjects, I hope to get good enough to combine the two in 50's era style illustrations, I think that would be a lot of fun.

Man am I beat! I took two loads over to the duplex today, (car trunk and 4'x8' trailer) and in near 100* heat! Who's the idiot decided it was a good idea to move in the middle of July?!!!:lol:

David

DrDebby
07-17-2010, 05:59 PM
I hear you, moving in 100+ degree weather. I did that in a heat wave in September from California central valley to Las Vegas. It was 106 in CA and 110 in Vegas. :rolleyes: I'm glad I don't live either place anymore.

Anyway, glad you took a break for a sketch. This is a wonderful sketch. Good luck with the rest of your move. Oh, and take more sketching breaks. :D

Davkin
07-27-2010, 10:14 AM
I managed to find some time for sketching after wrangling the dryer ducting last night. I still have no air conditioning, but we had rain last night and the temps dropped to something reasonable. Hopefully the air will get fixed today!

Anyway, here's my sketch;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2010/201970-sketchbook-03025.jpg

This was from a photo in a magazine. The car is a "Fiat" bodied dragster, early 60's style. The Fiat bodies were popular in that era of drag racing due to their small size and light weight, but the body was the only thing left that was Fiat. In fact the body was so popular that fiberglass replicas were made just for drag racing, so in that case even the body wasn't really Fiat.

I got the perspective wrong in the sketch. The photo was more from above. I knew it would be tricky to draw but I gave it a shot. I spent about 30 min. on this one.

David

deb789
07-27-2010, 10:38 AM
Great sketches, David! :clap:

vhere
07-27-2010, 03:46 PM
yes, well done - but what is the funny protuberance on the bonnet?

(forget what you call the bonnet - but the thing in front of the drivers window)

Vivien Maloney
07-27-2010, 04:19 PM
I like your car sketches, and the history behind them is really interesting. I am also wondering about the thingy on the bonnet? Does it serve a useful purpose or is it just there for decoration?

christinemlr
07-27-2010, 06:19 PM
Nice sketch David, I much prefer to see drawings than photos of cars and the ones you draw capture my interest. This is a very unusual one, thanks for the notes of info on it.
Xina

DrDebby
07-27-2010, 06:25 PM
Cool drag car. Interesting background.

Davkin
07-27-2010, 07:06 PM
I'm finally internet connected at my new home so I can now reply to comments. Yesterday and this morning I was posting from work, so I had to keep the time spent minimal.

Vivien and Vivien: Here in the colonies we call it a "hood". Not sure why we call it different things, same thing with "lorries" and "trucks". The thing sticking up is a scoop to help the incoming fresh air go directly into the carburetors. Without a scoop the airflow across top of the carbs isn't pulled in as efficiently. That type of scoop is often referred to as a "mailbox" scoop, for obvious reasons.

As a side note, the carbs stick up so high on the "hood" because the engine is purposely set very high in the chassis. These cars also sat higher in the front than the rear. The reason for this is weight transfer. Tire technology wasn't what it is now. The tires were much more narrow and the rubber compounds not as sticky, so to aid traction drag cars of the time were setup to transfer as much weight as possible to the rear tires the instant the car launched from the starting line.

Deb, Debby and Christine: Thank you very much for your comments.

David

virgo68
07-27-2010, 11:29 PM
kudos to you David - I wouldn't even try to draw a car! Well done, I think some of these are great beginnings for more developed pieces if you wish to further down the track.

JTMB
07-28-2010, 01:48 AM
Nice car sketches, David!

Davkin
07-28-2010, 02:13 AM
Two nights in a row of car sketching! This was from a photo I took at a car show earlier this year. I know this is a Plymouth, 1941 I beleive. You just gotta love the art deco styling of the pre-war cars. I took about 40 min. on this one. The grille was a challenge.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2010/201970-sketchbook-03026.jpg

David

Davkin
07-28-2010, 02:16 AM
Jackie - that's the idea with these sketches, to get practice and develope the skill enough to be able to eventually do "finished" pieces, I feel I have a very long way to go though.

John - Thanks.

David

vhere
07-28-2010, 10:38 AM
mmm that one is nice

- and thanks for the explanation :) hood/bonnet - both hats




and our boot is your trunk :)

DrDebby
07-28-2010, 02:05 PM
Very nice sketch. Like the angle of this one. The car body design pre-WWII is very cool. I'd bet a car company could really clean up if they introduced something like that now with a modern engine in it, perhaps a hybrid. That would be cool.

Davkin
07-28-2010, 02:22 PM
Very nice sketch. Like the angle of this one. The car body design pre-WWII is very cool. I'd bet a car company could really clean up if they introduced something like that now with a modern engine in it, perhaps a hybrid. That would be cool.

That's more or less what they did with the PT Cruiser, not exactly a successful design IMO though.

David

DrDebby
07-28-2010, 02:30 PM
It would be a fringe market, to be sure and not mainstream. And the PT Cruiser did sell to a handful of people. The problem was, it wasn't a sound car. My brother has one and is still swearing at the thing (can't afford to change now). He's had nothing but problems with the drive train.

The design was too sleek and modern looking in spite of the nod back. They tried to marry the new with the old and it came out, well, strange. The old cars had some size to them. The PT was considered a compact, not a full size. That was another mistake in the design. I think it just hasn't been done right yet.

Davkin
07-28-2010, 03:58 PM
From what I understand Chrysler worked a lot of the bugs out towards the end of production of the PT. I know someone with one and he doesn't seem to have many complaints. Any design the auto manufacturers come up with today that "retro" would be significantly "sleekified". The only exception would be the Mustang and possibly the Challenger, their designs stay pretty true to their muscle car roots but of course they aren't based on pre-war designs. The alternative is to take a 30's car and stuff a modern drivetrain in it which is what a lot of hot rodders do, but that takes pretty deep pockets.

BTW, those old cars aren't as big as you'd think. Especially the fat fendered cars, they were quite compact inside. The overall dimensions might have been bigger but the pre-war designs did not lend themselves to roomy interiors.

David

Davkin
08-01-2010, 08:23 PM
My latest car sketch, done off a photo I took at a car show last year. I'm not really a fan of the rat rod genre of hot rods but they do some times provide interesting photo and art subjects. I spent about 30 min. on this one.

David

virgo68
08-01-2010, 09:12 PM
Dave you have a great start on the skills for finished pieces already. All you need to do is work a little longer on the tones of some of these sketches and they could become "finished pieces" fairly easily. Your observation skills are developing all the time - you are looking at the forms and perspective more closely, next progression is to look at the lights and darks in your reference (be it a photo or real car) and you are well on your way ;) Looking forward to seeing some more.... :)

DrDebby
08-01-2010, 11:12 PM
Something must have caught your attention if you photographed this one and then drew it. Nice composition.

Davkin
08-05-2010, 01:13 AM
Okay Jackie, here's a sketch that is practice for a finished piece I'll start working on soon. There's some obvious perspective and proportion issues, but that's why I did the sketch, for practice. In fact I plan on doing a 9X12 sketch also for further practice before tackling the finished piece, probably 11x14. This is based on a photo I took at a car show last year. I think I did a little better on the darks. :) I've included the actual photo for reference.

This will be a challenge to do a full scale detailed drawing of, there's a lot going on there. Any suggestions on how to tackle it are welcome. One thing I think I'll have to do is simplify the reflections, especially the door, I don't really want reflections of other cars on it anyway.

I'm seriously considering investing in some ellipse templates.

David

DrDebby
08-05-2010, 01:30 AM
First of all, this is a very good sketch.

What media are you going to use for your final piece?

This is an odd crop of the car. When I look at it, I feel like the picture isn't complete rather than an interesting close up. Personal opinion only here.

The flip side of darks is lights. You have some light areas, but have missed the shiny, glaring white highlights. Then again, I don't know what you were trying to do and you may have used your artistic license. So again, personal opinion which you can choose to ignore.

Davkin
08-05-2010, 01:57 AM
Debby, Thanks for the comments. The final piece will still be graphite. As for the crop, well, that's what attracted me to the photo. I'll be interested to hear other people's opinions on that as well, maybe it doesn't look as good as I thought. As for the rest, it was just a quick sketch for practice and to make sure I really want to develope the subject further. I didn't want to take time to put in all the details at this point. I only spent about 35 min. on it. The target for the final peice will be realism.

David

Davkin
08-05-2010, 09:54 AM
After thinking about it I realized it's really the viewing angle in the photo I like so much. What if I "uncropped" the top so the top of the hood, the top and the full windshield are visible? I haven't actually cropped the photo, I took it with that crop, but I can create the rest of the picture using other photos of the same hot rod. I can't uncrop the left side, I have no way to know what that looks like from this perspective.

David

DrDebby
08-05-2010, 01:29 PM
The angle of the photo is really cool. I think you could probably leave the left side off and just put the top on. Sketch it again that way and see if YOU like it better. After all, it's your drawing.

Davkin
08-05-2010, 01:40 PM
Debby, I do plan on doing another sketch, a larger one with more detail and so I'll try uncropping the top on that sketch. Yes, it is my drawing, but I want plenty of feedback. I'll be spending 30-40 hours on the final drawing most likely so the more info and opinions I have up front the better. I think your comment regarding the crop will turn out to be very helpful.

David

robertsloan2
08-05-2010, 11:03 PM
Gorgeous car drawings, the last three are great. Especially that last one with the foreshortened view and giant fenders. They're grand. You have a feel for this subject.

vhere
08-06-2010, 05:38 AM
I think I would overemphasise the perspective a little as well - pushing the drama of the viewpoint.

Davkin
08-06-2010, 11:37 AM
I don't know about that Vivien, I'm afraid the camera lense has already introduced plenty of distortion. :lol:

David

Davkin
08-16-2010, 09:46 PM
Saturday I took my Dad to a truck show. My Dad was an independent truck driver for nearly 30 years and I have a lot of memories revolving around big rigs when I was a kid, in particular many summer trips to California and Disneyland. The show was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was hoping for some antique heavy trucks and/or machinery. The closest thing to that was a 1930's 3 1/2 ton International. Still I had to take photos of something to draw later so I took photos of a nice early 50's Kenworth. I just did a 40 min. sketch from my photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03029.jpg

Here's the photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03029-ref.jpg

I have some major proportion problems but I'm pretty happy for such a quick sketch of such a complex subject. I'll probably give it another try later in the larger sketchbook and take more time on it.

David

DrDebby
08-16-2010, 10:01 PM
Ooh, shiny! Even tho' it was a quick sketch, you got the idea of shiny across the way you laid your sketch lines.

Davkin
08-17-2010, 12:25 AM
Thanks Debbie. I think my chrome work still needs work, even though it is a quick sketch, but that's what these sketches are for. Maybe I'll get good enough that by Christmas I can do a large version for my Dad as a gift.....seems unlikely. :lol: Maybe for his B-day in January.......or better yet Father's day........uhhhhhh, maybe Christmas 2011. :lol:

David

robertsloan2
08-23-2010, 01:45 PM
Excellent sketch of the truck. Good foreshortening and good detail on it, general shapes and scale is excellent. I see what you mean about working on the chrome, that's a matter of value. Not just paying attention to value but enhancing it.

On chrome there tends to always be some areas where the lightest lights are right against deepest darks with a hard edge and some soft gradients. The shapes of the reflections flow around the chrome object and can be changed as long as they still flow along the curves of the object - like something else is reflecting in it but the bumper is still shaped the same. It can also be simplified and still get a chrome effect if the values aren't really going that dark or lined up like that with a hard-edged light and dark transition.

Where I first realized it wasn't with actually looking at a chrome object. It was looking at some chromed letters on a motorcycle shop that had bright blue shaded sky coming down to a hard-edged dark brown line that had a light brown interruption and then a medium dark shading out to sand color - like the letters were molded chrome reflecting a desert horizon. It just hit me - that's the reflection of the horizon and it looks like chrome with just three colors. So I tried it in black and white with just the values and it still looked like chrome.

Davkin
08-26-2010, 09:42 PM
Robert, yes chrome is really just like water, we're just seeing a distorted reflection of whatever light is hitting the chrome.

Decided to try the broadstroke method on a small car sketch. The size is really a little small for the broad stroke method on something as detailed as a car but I gave it a try. The point afterall is to practice getting the relationship of lines and shape right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03030.jpg

This is a 50's Nash Metropolitan that I took a photo of at a local cruise night. Overall I did okay. The big mistake is the perpsective of the passenger side fender, the headlight ended up sitting way too high. I didn't notice it until the end. Oh well, each sketch is a lesson learned. :D I took about 30 min. on this.

Here's the ref photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03030-ref.jpg

David

DrDebby
08-26-2010, 10:19 PM
Cool car. Nice photo. Bet it would be awesome in color.

You keep talking about "broad stroke" sketching. How is that different from what you were doing before?

Davkin
08-26-2010, 10:47 PM
Broad stroke is done using a chisel point and you focus on value changes rather than details. You should visit Carl Purcell's site to see how it's really done;

http://carlpurcell.com/cpart_gallery.php

Click on the pull down and select "Other Media" to see his graphite broad stroke drawings.

My previous sketches have mostly been done with a .5 mechanical pencil.

David

Herb
08-27-2010, 11:53 PM
Looks like line and shape are coming together pretty well, David. You would probably enjoy being here in Evansville this weekend. We have what they call the "Frog Follies" street rod show. There are usually about 4,000 street rods here from all over the US...street rods everywhere!

Davkin
08-28-2010, 01:12 AM
Sounds cool, but also sounds crowded! :lol: The biggest show we have here only pulls 500 cars if that. My Dad is going to the Good Guys show in Texas early October and they typically have 10,000 cars! He kinda hinted he'd like me to go but I'll pass. A show like that is just plain too big, plus I don't want to spend the money and vacation time on traveling there. We have a Concours de Elgance show tomorrow we are going to, very nice garden setting with lots of beautiful restored cars, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

David

robertsloan2
08-28-2010, 02:38 AM
Robert, yes chrome is really just like water, we're just seeing a distorted reflection of whatever light is hitting the chrome.

Decided to try the broadstroke method on a small car sketch. The size is really a little small for the broad stroke method on something as detailed as a car but I gave it a try. The point afterall is to practice getting the relationship of lines and shape right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03030.jpg

This is a 50's Nash Metropolitan that I took a photo of at a local cruise night. Overall I did okay. The big mistake is the perpsective of the passenger side fender, the headlight ended up sitting way too high. I didn't notice it until the end. Oh well, each sketch is a lesson learned. :D I took about 30 min. on this.

Here's the ref photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Aug-2010/201970-sketchbook-03030-ref.jpg

David

Looking at the photo, I think it's more the driver's side headlight that's too small and not placed quite right - but if that was enlarged to match the photo due to the foreshortening, you could see that the passenger side fender and headlight is spot on accurate. It's more that you made the nearer one the same size it is so it came out a bit too low - enlarge it without moving it down and it'll snap into place.

I'd suggest tracing the photo and drop the tracing over your drawing as a test, though I can also see the photo made the foreshortening extreme. Photos do that sometimes. You could compensate for it by going somewhere between how large that headlight is in the photo and exactly matching the far headlight, depending on how a real car in that position looks for plein air sketching.

Very often I've run into that myself - a proportion looks wrong, but it's because the proportion of something else was wrong and I got it right but it looked odd. It's even funnier when it happens on faces. I've done that same thing with a pair of eyes on an angle and that can get really silly.

I love the photo too -- going to have a go at this one tonight with pens since I just paid so much attention to the proportions. Maybe I'll get it! (Or maybe get that bit and wreck the rest, it's just as likely!)

Davkin
08-28-2010, 03:01 AM
Ya, afterwards I realized the foreshortening is not extreme enough. That's something that is real hard to get right on these closeup car photos. I think it's a bit of the intellectual brain working against me. The intellectual brain knows there's a side to the car and it's much bigger than the sliver shown in the photo. For some reason I have a hard time overcoming that.

You're also right about the headlights, it's the driver's side that' wrong. If you look at the angles of the top edges of the fenders the passenger side is at the proper angle whereas the driver's side is angling down while it should be angling slightly up.

David

robertsloan2
08-28-2010, 04:11 PM
Glad I could help. I really think that even with that, you got it better than I did. I got the headlights right but I'm not all that sure of everything else, though mine did come out three dimensional. It's in my Blick book. As soon as I posted, I saved off the reference and gave it a go, grimly determined to make my own mistakes and test what I said in case I steered you completely wrong.

I also missed a gorgeous creek scene you did a couple of days ago, don't know how I missed it but I saw it up in Drawing and Sketching forum's sketch thread and commented there. Maybe it was on loose paper. It was so beautiful with that heavy-trunked tree leaning out over the water and the big rocks, one of your best creek scenes.

DrDebby
08-28-2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the link and the answer to my question.

Davkin
08-28-2010, 06:17 PM
Thanks Robert. That creek sketch is in Sketchbook #4, the final version is in post #53. I'm also pretty happy with that one, except as usually the darks need to be darker. I might go back to that spot and take a few photos and along with that sketch work out a better composition and try and do something more finished from it.

I just got back from the annual Utah Concour de Elegance. It was in a beautiful garden setting this year but I'm not real happy with the organizers, but I won't get into that. I saw quite a few cars I've never seen before and took at least 150-200 photo so I'll be doing a sketch from one of those this weekend I'm sure.

David

GhettoDaveyHavok
08-28-2010, 09:28 PM
Gah... Some of the attachments still ain't working.... I'm gonna cry if this keeps happening... Ok, not really.

Anyway, keep up with the sketches. It's fun to watch. :)

JTMB
08-30-2010, 01:05 AM
Really nice car and truck work, David! I find cars a very intimidating subject - have only tried them a couple times. Keep up the good work.

Davkin
09-22-2010, 09:47 PM
Well, it's been almost a month since I've sketched in this book! I kept meaning to get back at it but there always seemed to be something else to do instead. In particular I've been meaning to sketch some cars that I took photos of at your annual Concour de Elegance. A Concour is a more of a restoration show, they rarely allow hot rods, customs or even race cars. The Utah Concours used to allow some hot rods and customs but not this year and there was only one race car, a very early Alfa Romeo.

Anyway, here is my first sketch from those photos. This is a 1953 Nash-Healy. What makes this especially interesting is that the body design was by Pininfarina, an Italian design who's studio was, (and still is) in Italy. It was really a pretty extravagant expense just to have a 2 seater sports car in the Nash lineup let alone one with an Italian design given the face that Nash was already beginning to see hard times financially and would soon be bought out and eventually become part of AMC losing the Nash nameplate altogether.

My sketch on this is really pretty bad, I just didn't give it enough time. It suffers what most of my car sketches do from this extreme perspective, I drew too much of the side. I guess my logical brain keeps butting in and telling me that more of the side must be visible. I was really trying to fight that tendency too and thought I was winning until I got near the end and realized I'd made the same mistakes. Also it's not as tall is it should be, I really got that sucker stretched out. :lol: The grill is way off just because I rushed it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-sketchbook-03031.jpg

Here's the ref for comparison;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-sketchbook-03031-ref.jpg

Hard to beleive this car was produced by the same company that produced the little Metro that was the subject of the previous sketch.

David

Davkin
09-22-2010, 09:51 PM
Here are a few of the photos I took at the Concours. You are free to use them for whatever purposes you like. I have many more if you'd like me to upload them, let me know. I'm not sure how much interest there is in car photos here so I don't want to fill the server with them if there's not demand.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-concours-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-concours-2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-concours-3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-concours-4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Sep-2010/201970-concours-5.jpg

Don't mind the old man in the plaid shirt and baseball cap. That's my Dad and he tends to wander into the photos I take at car shows. :lol:

David

virgo68
09-22-2010, 09:56 PM
:clap: I think you are doing pretty good David - I would never even attempt to draw cars!! Your ref photos have a lot of distortion of proportions so I am thinking you are fighting with your brain telling you how a car "should" look vs the photo in front of you with foreshortening etc. Robert's tip with the tracing is a good idea or drawing a grid on some clear acetate and working on the grid systems till your hand and eye co-ordination overrides your brain (!). I think you are doing pretty well though as your sketchbooks are meant for practising rather than producing finished works? Your sketchbook is where you are recognising and ironing out any problems.

:thumbsup: You are collecting an amazing library of reference photos, some of these old cars are real beauties - I find today's cars, although more comfortable and efficient etc, lack a certain "soul" and look so bland!

robertsloan2
09-22-2010, 10:10 PM
Thank you for those great car photos! I'll definitely have a go with these, since they are the type of cars I like best. I love those old classics, they vary so much and have so many interesting shapes and details. I agree with Jackie that today's cars are bland - they all have the same look, have now for several decades depending on whether it's boxy or egg-shaped.

I know some of that is aerodynamics, but what's been lost is a matter of style and drama, of a car being something more individual and recognizable. They look utilitarian and oversimplified compared to the grand chrome-decorated beauties of this period and earlier. Most of the recent designs tend to look more like they came from a Lego set or something made for three year olds to play with - not much to distinguish them in profile from each other. I never "got" why car designs all started going for the same common look.

You're aware of the perspective distortion on your sketch, other than that it's spot on! Keep going, you have the feel of it beautifully even if it's stretched out in exaggerated perspective.

Since you have so many great photos to share, have you considered hosting a Weekend Drawing Event? The sign-up for hosting is in the All-Media Art Events forum and it's not that hard - pick a weekend to host from those that don't already have volunteers. Pick out 16 of your best photos, try to have at least one with people, some animals, some landscapes, some still lifes or other interesting objects. You could easily put three or four of these cars in a WDE, you've got great landscapes, adding a few more with people and animals wouldn't be that hard to fill out the 16 main images - usually a 17th gets used for the invitation post with invitation text on it.

I know I'd love to see these in an WDE and the ones from your hikes are incredible landscapes. Flowers or fruit are good for still lifes, at least one animal is good but I think you had some animals in some of the hiking ones, and of course one or two at least with people. It would rock!

DrDebby
09-22-2010, 10:46 PM
I can see what you are saying comparing your sketch to the photo. But, it's a learning experience and you are learning from this sketch. Therefore, it is a success. The rest of the car photos are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Bootz
09-22-2010, 11:50 PM
I've yet to attempt a car with extreme perspective. You inspire me. Nice work!

Davkin
09-23-2010, 01:31 AM
Your ref photos have a lot of distortion of proportions so I am thinking you are fighting with your brain telling you how a car "should" look vs the photo in front

For sure, the camera exaggerates perspective, but I need to learn how to draw what's in front of me, also artists often exaggerate for effect anyway. For sure there's a "battle" going on in my brain as well with these extreme perspective photos of cars. I've loved cars my whole life and so know them well, extreme foreshortening just doesn't look right compared to the images of cars stored in my brain, I'm finding that much harder to overcome than I thought. I swear, early in the sketch I thought I was doing great, possibly even my best yet. It wasn't until near then end that I realized it was all wrong. I need to take more time up front to make sure the perspective and proportions are correct. I might try drawing with the ref photo turned upside down, maybe even try pure contour. I've decided to dedicate the rest of this sketchbook to sketches from my own car photos, (27 pages left) and see if I can't kick this habit by the time I get to the end of the book.

with the tracing is a good idea or drawing a grid on some clear acetate and working on the grid systems till your hand and eye co-ordination overrides your brain

I really don't see what could possibly be learned by tracing. I'm not concerned about production, the goal is to learn to draw what I see accurately. As for gridding, it's time consuming and too mechanical for my tastes and I'm still not sure it would really help me meet my goals. Besides, it wouldn't be practical for me to use a grid to draw from life at a car show or whatever. I don't know if I'll ever do that, but it would be nice to know I could.

think you are doing pretty well though as your sketchbooks are meant for practising rather than producing finished works? Your sketchbook is where you are recognising and ironing out any problems

For sure, that's the whole purpose and even though I might not agree with some of the suggestions it does help a lot to get honest feedback, that's the reason for posting them here.

You are collecting an amazing library of reference photos, some of these old cars are real beauties

You should see my hard drive, there are literally thousands of photos on there I've taken just of cars! I also have plenty of landscape and architectural photos as well, I even have a lot of photos of old machinery.

find today's cars, although more comfortable and efficient etc, lack a certain "soul" and look so bland!

That's for sure. I love my '99 Ford Crown Vic. It's a great performer and as reliable as the sunrise but until earlier this year I had a '64 El Camino hot rod and there was just something about the raw rumble of a stripped down muscle machine that makes you overlook it's quirks and questionable reliability......until you get stuck in traffic on a 99* summer day. :lol: I'd still love to have a hot rod again, but something even more basic, like an early 30's roadster but a project car just isn't in the cards for me for the foreseeable future.

I know some of that is aerodynamics, but what's been lost is a matter of style and drama,

Aero definately plays a role as mileage and emissions are the name of the game today, but how do you explain the new Mustang? The current generation "retro" Mustang is far less aero than the previous generation yet they now have a V6 version that makes over 300 hp and gets over 30mpg! I'd buy that in a hearbeat if I could afford it.

of the recent designs tend to look more like they came from a Lego set or something made for three year olds to play with

Ya, that new Nissan van thing leaves me shaking my head.

Since you have so many great photos to share, have you considered hosting a Weekend Drawing Event?

No, frankly I looked into participating and it just isn't the kind of thing I'd want to participate in let alone host. Besides, I only have one decent animal photo and no real people photos, (well, except of my nieces). I have plenty of car photos obviously, quite a few landscape, a fair amount of architectural and quite a few of old machinery, that's it.

But, it's a learning experience and you are learning from this sketch. Therefore, it is a success.

That's certainly logical, assuming I learn something from each sketch then I can call it successful. But if by the end of this sketchbook I'm still getting the perspective wrong I don't think I'll be inclined to call it a success. :lol:

David

Beautiful_Butterflies_Studio
09-27-2010, 11:13 AM
THere are some AMAZING sketches here, from the quick 15 min sketches of not just the cars, but landscape and people, to the more detailed sketches of the cars.

The history and information that you are providing is fantastic. Although I am not a "gearhead", I do appreciate a BEAUTIFUL CLASSICAL car, and thus I LOVE what I am watching you do..... KEEP GOING!!!!!!

Davkin
11-10-2010, 09:31 PM
I bet you guys thought I had forgotten about this sketchbook, nope, I was just taking a break while I focused on outdoor sketching. I did another sketch based on a photo I took at the Concour De Elegance in August.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03032.jpg

I really focused hard on getting the proportions and perspective right. I spent more time with the "thumb and pencil sighting device" than I usually do and I think this was a huge step forward from my previous extreme perpsective car sketches. I spent nearly 35 min. on this one! Hopefully this will come more naturally as I practice more. I've decided the rest of this sketchbook will be dedicated solely to automotive sketches, most of them from the same car show I think. I had a bit of an "Ah Hah!" moment on this one in regards to the tires. For one thing, I realized that if the cars perspective and proportion are not correct it won't matter what you do with the wheels, they won't look right. Also, I found it easier to get the wheels right if I start with the rim, draw it first, then draw the outer edge of the white wall, then the outside of the tire. I was getting really frustrated with the front wheel, no matter what I did it just looked goofy, then I looked closer at the photo, it looks goofy in the photo too. :lol:

BTW, in case you haven't figured it out the car is a '59 Chevy Impala. Here's the ref photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03032-ref.jpg

David

seejay
11-10-2010, 10:24 PM
Great cars, great photos, great sketches.:clap: These cars have wonderful shapes / curves; nice to look at, but they look difficult to draw. You are doing well I think.

(*** random thoughts warning *** - please feel free to ignore):D

FWIW, wheels are circles seen from side view, and ellipses from other angles, therefore tricky to draw. Unfortunately what makes them even trickier is the multiple "circles" that make up the wheel - the inside and outside of the tyre, the rim, the hubcap etc. And if they are turned on an angle to the car, as the front wheels are in your photo, then the minor/major axis of the ellipses are different to the back wheels, which may be why it looks goofy. Did I tell you that I hate wheels!!

Anyway, by the time you fill this book with cars you should be an expert on wheels.

Cheers

virgo68
11-11-2010, 12:23 AM
Cool. Definitely a tricky subject - one I have never even attempted :)

But I guess it like anything - you really just need to draw what you see rather than what your brain is telling you is right!

Chuckcamo
11-11-2010, 12:33 AM
you captured the car proportions very well, I like to use the thumb and pencil technique too, definitely useful for extreme perspectives. great job for a 35 min sketch. :)

Davkin
11-11-2010, 09:39 PM
Great cars, great photos, great sketches.:clap: These cars have wonderful shapes / curves; nice to look at, but they look difficult to draw. You are doing well I think.

(*** random thoughts warning *** - please feel free to ignore):D

FWIW, wheels are circles seen from side view, and ellipses from other angles, therefore tricky to draw. Unfortunately what makes them even trickier is the multiple "circles" that make up the wheel - the inside and outside of the tyre, the rim, the hubcap etc. And if they are turned on an angle to the car, as the front wheels are in your photo, then the minor/major axis of the ellipses are different to the back wheels, which may be why it looks goofy. Did I tell you that I hate wheels!!

Anyway, by the time you fill this book with cars you should be an expert on wheels.

Cheers

Thanks Chris. Yes, wheels are quite tricky, largely because they are made up of multiple concentric circles when viewed from the side but since they are not all on the same plane they present a significant challenge when viewed from an angle. I always started by trying to draw the outer edge of the tire before, which is really difficult because there usually is no hard edge there. It's turning out to be much easier to start by drawing the outer edge of the rim first and then the rest of the ellipses of the rim/tire are drawing relative to that.

But I guess it like anything - you really just need to draw what you see rather than what your brain is telling you is right!

Yes Jackie, but these extreme perspective photos make that even more difficult. I pretty much botched today's sketch. :lol:

you captured the car proportions very well, I like to use the thumb and pencil technique too, definitely useful for extreme perspectives. great job for a 35 min sketch.

Thanks Chuck. I actually don't like to use the thumb and pencil technique, but at this stage it's obvious I really need to. Hopefully at some point I get to know my subject well enough that it won't be necessary anymore, at least for quick sketches.

David

Davkin
11-11-2010, 09:42 PM
Here's today's effort. Didn't work out nearly as well even though I spent as much time on it. This one was much more difficult! I think I inadvertently gave it a chop. :lol:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03033.jpg

Here's the ref photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03033-ref.jpg

It's an Oldsmobile, I'm guessing a '56 or '57.

I figure I've done more than 20 sketches overall this month so far so I guess I'm ahead of the challenge even though I missed a couple days. :D

David

RainySea
11-11-2010, 09:53 PM
Nice. . . so are you doing these cars in 15 mins? that is amazing to get the perspective and all right on them that quickly as well as shading.

DrDebby
11-11-2010, 10:24 PM
Good to see you drawing cars again. I know it's a favorite subject of yours. The Chevy looks very cool.

Davkin
11-11-2010, 10:37 PM
Nice. . . so are you doing these cars in 15 mins? that is amazing to get the perspective and all right on them that quickly as well as shading.

This sketchbook started out only for 15 min. sketches but recently I've decided to spend more time on them.

David

JTMB
11-12-2010, 12:37 PM
Nice to see your good sketches of cars I remember from growing up! (Since they are my age - or younger - I refuse to call them vintage...! :lol: ) This would be very difficult subject matter for me, regardless of the time constraints.

Joan T
11-12-2010, 05:42 PM
No wonder you're so inspired to sketch cars...look at your photos!!! I love the one of the truck too. Nice work!

Davkin
11-12-2010, 09:50 PM
Thanks John and Joan.

I decided to do something a bit different today. This is the 1927 Indy 500 winner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03034.jpg

As is often the case I misjudged the size and the whole car wouldn't fit on the page. I decided to leave the driver out and the numbers off to just practice proportions and perspective. I did better than the Olds but it's still a bit off. In particular the tires aren't tall enough. Open wheel cars are especially difficult when it comes to the wheels. While the body is simpler, the wheels are very difficult to locate and size correctly since there is no bodywork around them.

Here's the ref photo;

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2010/201970-sketchbook-03034-ref.jpg

David

WYSIWYG
11-12-2010, 11:09 PM
Wow these are fabulous! I have a huge soft spot for old cars... perhaps a bit unusual for my age and gender but we've got a couple of clubs in town which focus on them and I love seeing them drive up and down on Sunday's to the meets - fully restored, gleaming and gorgeous!

DrDebby
11-13-2010, 12:14 AM
Very nice!

Chuckcamo
11-13-2010, 12:36 AM
I like the shading technique you used on the open wheel car... like the chop Oldsmobile too. :) very good sketches....