VW Bus - Sketch Tutorial




Illustration, Industrial Design, automotive design.



The goal here is to show a simple and effective way to professionally represent a design concept using the bare minimum. None of the following step images was digitally retouched, but scanned.

Dream, create and embrace!

Materials used: A4/letter sized alkalyne paper + soft lead color pencils. I`d rather get a bunch of black or any dark color pencils, avoiding frequent lead sharpening along the work and, therefore, keeping the creative pace.

  1. I believe the original VW T1, with its boxy style, gives the chance to come up with a detailed retro interpretation of a popular design. So, start with a side view that shows a little of the front. Lightly draw the ground lines and the wheels which should be a little elliptical to emphasize the not so side view look. I also suggest the far side wheels due to the two-point perspective. The boxy profile
    comes next with front and rear curves speeding up to the roof line.
  1. Lightly draw the DLO (Day-Light-Opening) and belt lines. Actually, the belt one comes from the front after half wrapping around the big VW badge, resembling the original T1's. I also suggest the wheel arches and door cuts. Make changes where you judge needed.
  1. Once satisfied with the design and its proportions, firm up the lines and add other design elements. Emphasize the body profile, door and bumper cuts, wheels and arches, ground and underbody, sliding door rail, front badge and lamps. Represent the body surface changes with light weight lines because they will be shaded later.
  1. Dark shade the ground line and the tires. Draw part of the far side inner pillars, that appear due to the window reflection areas. Detail the front badge, lamps, door handles, side door rail, wheel covers and...oh yeah!... add a mirror. Once again, firm up all lines to improve contrast, leaving the surface change lines for shading.
  1. Start shading the lower portion of the body side, under the horizon line reflection. Shade dark to light (subtle gradient) from body extremes to the middle. No hurry, do it more than once, increasing the pressure each time. Apply the same process on the windshield, side to far side, but stop gradient a liitle before the reflection, leaving a blank stripe aka highlight. Repeat the process again to the side windows, above the reflection areas, and side panel, from roof to horizon line reflection. Be sure to darken the reflection window areas. This will set a desirable contrast between glass and metal body parts, a trick which helps better understand the design.
  1. In order to enhance the metal parts look, add dark shaded stripes tangent to the horizon line reflection and lower side blister. Vary their thickness to represent their peculiar slightly curved stamping process aspect. The same can be done to the windows, but subtly. Shade the wheel covers, making sure ground/horizon reflections are upside down due to their negative section as in here.
  1. Assure that the shading of the front "V" shape portion, where lies the VW badge, matches the windshield. The idea is to emphasize the original T1 resemblance. Last but not least, add the tire treads and a backplate. All set? Ok...repeat the process, practice, develop your own style and HAVE FUN!