Journal

Posts tagged Old School Car Class
Scale up!

On March 29, 2019, I had one of the greatest days of my design career. Sketching cars next to one of my design heroes, Michael DiTullo!

After hours sketching with Old School Car Class, captured by Mike Herbert

After hours sketching with Old School Car Class, captured by Mike Herbert

There’s a few things about this photo:

  1. I was sketching automotive ideas from my mind. Prior to this, I was mostly all about sketching from references because I was still trying to build a mental automotive library. When I tried to do something unique, I was always so so dissatisfied and just went back to working from references - aka my comfort zone. So what changed this?

  2. I scaled up to bigger and longer paper. I started class off on 8.5”x11” and wasn’t really feeling it during the first hour. My pencil sketches kept feeling very “warming up” and restricted. After seeing how Michael and Cliff were going through pages of this long, transportation-design ratio paper, I felt inspired to try it out! So, I got my red markers and threw down some loooooong lines that utilize the entire range of motion from my arm. Then, detailed them into a car! It felt like a work-out. 10/10 would sketch-out again!

  3. For a good hour, I was sketching beside the designer I’ve been inspired by since I started college! Really, I never could have predicted this. I met Michael previously at a conference last year and saw him sketching cars, but at the time I had no clue how to do that and was too shy to join. He’s based in California, so when I saw that he was in Chicago this March, I invited him to come sketch with us at car class. I knew he was busy and that there was a low chance, but I figured I’d ask anyway, and he came to class! Lesson: Notice the opportunities that are in front of you and make something out of it.

9PM critique explaining my design decisions and sketching technique. Full house!

9PM critique explaining my design decisions and sketching technique. Full house!

I love how there was so much energy on a Friday evening. Everyone is coming from a hard week of work and hanging out to sketch cars. I always love seeing our work on the walls. It feel like design school and everyone that came that night was so supportive of each other.

This was probably the best pay-off in a car sketching session that I’ve had in a while. Breaking out of comfort zones helped a lot. Also, before class, we had Dark Matter coffee and conversations about AI and design. Definitely surround yourself with inspired people as much as you can! It can be quite infectious. :) Drop me a line if you’d like to sketch over coffee!

Suzuki Jimny

There was an industry event for Old School Car Class last Saturday that I was invited to pin up work for. It had been a while since I committed to a car sketch, and I absolutely needed to see where my skills were at. So, I pulled out some prismacolor pencils and got working!

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I went old school with indigo and black prismas and tightened up the sketch with the iPad. Going back in with a black overlay on the dark parts helped give more weight to the car. This is a new technique and style for me, and the process helped inform how I should approach using colored pencils more efficiently.

My test subject was the new Suzuki Jimny. I’ve always enjoyed the look of 4x4’s, but there was something refreshing about the proportions and character of this one. Also, I love how it looks in tan:

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Anyway — the event was great! Dan Zimmerman from Fiat Chrysler came by to show us some car sketching tricks while dishing out some words of wisdom. Anything can be a car if you just add wheels, basically.

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Cruising to the Beach

This past Saturday was another car sketching day at OSCC — this is a car design class that’s led by automotive and industrial designers Cliff Krapfl and Mike Herbert from TEAMS Design. We studied a bit of Dusenberg history and learned how to sketch super old school. The last time I used a Higgins bottle of black ink was about 7 years ago. As to a calligraphy pen — that was probably 10 years. It was so incredibly refreshing to become acquainted with this medium again!

There were a few collages of vintage posters and photography clustered on the table. Some of the thumbnails caught my eye with their compelling storytelling. With a 11x17 sheet of paper and two hours of class left, I tried to capture what I was inspired by...

Cruising along to the beach… what a perfect contrast to the 50 degree Chicago weather ;)

Cruising along to the beach… what a perfect contrast to the 50 degree Chicago weather ;)

Flipping Cars

Around a month ago, I sketched with a few OSCC pals at TEAMS Design. There were some model cars lying around at the table. I liked the Studebaker. At that time, I was really into drawing machine guts, so I decided to flip the car onto its side and sketch it. I set a timer for 5 minutes (the grandest lie) - no pressure, just something quick to warm up.

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I ended up getting really into it!

For a couple of weeks leading to this sketch, I had been doing some daily quick sketching exercises (mentioned in the previous post). I studied all sorts of photos. My intent was to sketch quicker and get better at proportions.

Sketching this flipped Challenger was my first time applying the lessons and habits from these daily exercises. I sketched my way through the car more strategically and was more aware of the lights and shadows. Some things could be better, but honestly I’m just glad I finished it within the evening.

I didn’t realize the kind of impact this kind of sketch would have on others. This sketch has come up a few times since then in conversation or through instagram attention. I guess it is uncommon to sketch a car on its side. Maybe it is a bit daunting? To tackle this topic, I saw past the mechanics and focused more on the values.

Anyway. It is hard to see where the improvement or progress is, especially when sketching and designing everyday. That is, until defining moments occur, like this sketch!