From fall 2017, I have been learning how to sketch cars at Old School Car Class in Chicago. Despite being an avid sketcher, I 100% always steered away from anything car-related. Since I’m all about breaking my own boundaries, I took this class and am now absolutely in love with sketching vehicles! However, one aspect that’s often a challenge to articulate are wheels. To help remedy this, I began a small side project on wheel design.
For my first time designing wheels, I ideated very diversely to familiarize with the topic. Since I wasn’t working with an existing automotive design language, I established a few design principles to guide the process in designing a unified and robust wheel:
1. The wheels need to have a directional quality.
2. The tires and spokes should be in harmony. This was better executed on the second page after I got a grasp at sketching spokes in perspective.
I pulled some of the dynamic energy from those warmups into a more refined yet diverse array of designs in Sketchbook Pro. With each sketch, I challenged myself to design the positive and negative spaces as differently as possible from the previous sketch.
I vectored the top three concepts that had strength emanating through the spokes and hub, while exhibiting a unique directional quality. They could potentially be very robust and dynamic for rendering in Sketchbook Pro. Here are the ‘finalists’…
1. Organic Elegance
This wheel looks the most ‘sculpted’. I focused on conveying motion with dynamic forms and asymmetry with tapering transitions. It was key to give the same attention to the negative spaces in order to really deliver that dynamic quality.
2. Structural Symmetry
Can a wheel that leans more towards geometric be as dynamic? This design is entirely built on straight lines and perfect arcs. I injected some dynamic edge with slight surface changes and tapering shapes.
3. Chiseled Space
I considered a design that reverberates the viewer’s attention inward and outward by exploring how positive shapes and negative space intertwine with one another. Some additional definition can help convey this more clearly, but perhaps this is best left for 3D exploration.
To be continued…
The next step is to test drive one of these wheels in 3D. Stay tuned. :)