How to draw a Porsche 911

Step-by-step instructions on how to sketch a Porsche 911 from scratch – from Porsche’s own head of design

How to draw a Porsche 911

Bring out the artist in you © Porsche

Running out of things to do during the lockdown? How about brushing up your sketching skills by drawing what for many is a dream drive: the Porsche 911? Here, we show you how to draw the car, step-by-step…

Taught by the best

Learn from the best © Porsche

The advice comes from Porsche head of design, Michael Mauer. “I drive my wife crazy,” he says. “Even at breakfast, I’m sketching, and it’s almost always cars.” Mauer is constantly on a quest for the ‘happy accident’ – a sketch that could be the start of a new car. And this is how he does it.

Start with the wheels

Start with the wheels © Porsche

Michael’s first tip is to start with the wheels. This defines the drawing and helps you get the proportions right. “I sometimes continue to sketch and realise the rear wheel is in the wrong position, so I erase it and start again.”

Grounding the car

Grounding the car © Porsche

Next you need to “put the car on the ground” and draw the line between the wheels. Now you can start building the outline. It helps that the 911’s silhouette is so iconic. And don’t be worried if you need to make changes, says Michael. “That’s why we have erasers.”

Step-by-step

Step-by-step © Porsche

Details are added step-by-step. Michael draws the windows (the shape of a two-seater coupe will be very different to, say, a five-seat SUV), then the front headlamp, plus more detail on the rear end, such as the shape of the bumper and rear lamp.

Layer-by-layer

Layer-by-layer © Porsche

Sketching a car is all about adding layers of detail. “The biggest challenge is to stop sketching.” Here, the headlamp becomes an ellipse, the front air intake is added, along with more detail on the bottom of the door. Also spot the really thin line on the body side, giving a more 3D feel.

TOP TIP: “It’s not an accident that this very fine line, when it comes closer to the rear wheel, is dropping. It doesn’t mean that on the final product the line drops, it’s just a way of visualising and giving the person that’s looking at the side view an impression of how the car might look in the flesh.”

Details matter

Details matter © Porsche

The technique is to gradually add more and more details. Michael sketches the door handle, then begins to add more lines of varying thickness, to add or remove emphasis. “It’s is all about creating a three dimensional feel.”

TOP TIP: Michael suggests taking a picture of your own car, and studying the lines that indicate the positive and negative parts of the body. “Try to imitate those lines in your drawings and it will help bring your sketch to life.”

Add shadow and contrast

Add shadow and contrast © Porsche

Up to now, the sketches have simply been lines. The next step is to add shadow and contrast. “The shoulder is still completely without colour because we want to give the impression that this is reflecting light.” Studying photographs of cars will help you here, says Michael.

The fun part

The fun part © Porsche

Now, it’s time to add colour and bring the drawing together. “The blue colour on the upper part of the car reflects the sky, while below the line, where it’s darker, we reflect the floor.” Michael says you can use watercolour paint or crayons here – or, if you’re really technical, Photoshop.

Back to black

Back to black © Porsche

All car designers treat glass differently, says Michael. “I like to colour it black at this stage, and the same with the wheels. We can add highlights in the next step.”

Adding curves on paper

Adding curves on paper © Porsche

Look at the colour of the glass, says Michael. The upper part is black, and the lower part is lighter. “This creates the impression that there is curvature.”

Bringing it to life

Bringing it to life © Porsche

There are more tricks you can apply with colour and shade to create depth. Look at a photo and note where you can see through the glass, or where there’s a reflection on the body. Study how shadow appears on the different surfaces. Try adding white paint to lift key areas.

And there you have it: a Porsche 911. “I encourage anyone to pick up a pencil and have a go,” says Michael. Over to you!

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