Driving Stick Shift

This past week, I sketched my car, just outside of my apartment. Cars are fun to draw – their features give them such personality. For my first sketch, I spent a good amount of time trying to get the proportions right – which worked out for the most part. Then, sitting in the driver’s seat for the second sketch, I adopted a slightly looser style, quickly eyeballing the layout of the interior. I took a few wrong turns though – whoops! I will have to return to this subject in the future. As I sketched my car, I was reminded of Florian Afflerbach’s amazing artwork. After seeing his drawings years ago, I was inspired to try some extreme close-up perspectives too … in my own way. His clean, architectural style is elusive to me. The cars I draw suddenly develop dents, scrapes, and misattached or misaligned parts. Sure is fun though. I filled a third page with some really loose doodles of my car from all sides.

Anyway, this is my car. My first car. A manual transmission hatchback that is so bright red it’s almost embarrassing. I love it though. Over a few months, I learned how to drive stick, a skill that I have always wanted to learn. It has taken me a bit to hone those hill starts, but I ain’t goin’ back! Driving is much more enjoyable and engaging with a stick shift.

Happy sketching!

Oldies but Goodies

I came upon these two old cars from the ’60s and ’70s in Mānoa last week: a Jeep Gladiator and a Mercedes-Benz 280 SE cabriolet. Drawing the Mercedes at such an extreme angle was a particular challenge. Never before have I sketched a car sitting within a foot of its front bumper. Although in the end I was sweating over the checkered grill more than the perspective!


I have always found that old cars have more character than what leaves the factories today. Over the past three days I went around the neighborhood to sketch a few I have noticed on my commute. It took me a little while to get the proportions right – I always struggle with perspective when my sketch subject has essentially no straight lines. Wanting to take a break from my standard pen sketches, I also had to re-familiarize myself with pencil. After about three hours of sketching these were my results.

Following a little online investigation my guesses as to what I sketched are a 1980s Buick Riviera, 1990s Jaguar XJR-S coupe, 1990s VW Vanagon, and possibly a 1990s Suzuki Jimny.

Of course, just when I was finishing, a truly old car passed me – a beautifully kept 1960s Mercedes convertible. Got to track that one down…