in Design

The Step By Step Guide to Drawing Cartoon Cars

Following the runaway success of Disney Pixar’s Cars and Cars 2, many people are interested in bringing their own cartoon cars to life. If you’re worried about your inexperience, don’t be, because drawing a cartoon car isn’t as difficult as it seems. However, first you’ll need some basic guidelines.

Fortunately, some helpful artists have posted videos with examples of how they personally approach the task. Hit the links below and follow tried and tested ways to achieve the perfect picture.

Starting With the Basics…

This artist begins by drawing the outer top body of the cartoon car, which resembles a blancmange. She then completes the body by drawing a joining line at the bottom featuring two semicircles, which are where the wheels will eventually be placed.

A semicircle is then drawn on the body of the car, creating a window, before the wheels are drawn in on the bottom of car, made out of one larger circle containing a smaller coloured in circle. At one end a small exhaust is drawn with two puffs of smoke and voila! You have a basic cartoon car in just one minute.

Use Imagination and Exaggeration

As this cartoonist points out, you really shouldn’t worry too much when drawing your cartoon car as you’re in the driving seat. Let your imagination run wild and simply draw the car you wish to see.

Starting with the bubble- like top of the car’s body, this artist starts at the front and works his way back, drawing large headlamps, the bumper and eventually the wheels and wheel guards. Drawing in the wheel spokes, he then adds the windshield, side window and back window on the car’s side.

Adding details like a door handle, aerial and of course the obligatory smoke chuffing exhaust, this cartoonist’s finished drawing looks like Herbie the Love Bug.

Adding a Background

Using a mounted board, this cartoonist draws the complete car body first. He then draws in the fixtures like the wheels, hub caps, a thin front and rear window space, the side windows and the head and tail lights.

Unlike the other two cartoonists, this artist draws in a road, composing the lines so that the car appears to be driving down the middle of it, before adding a hilly landscape that foregrounds the car nicely.

Challenge Yourself to Draw a Cartoon Street Racer

Sorry guys, I can’t embed this video so just click on the image.

Once you’ve mastered the first 3 basic drawings you can move on to the more challenging Street Racer drawn by this artist using geometric shapes. Starting from the road up, the cartoonist creates a Street Racer straight from the tarmac of The Fast and the Furious film franchise.

While this customized cartoon car features more detail, follow the video slowly step by step and you will be able to replicate the innovative design in no time at all. Once you’ve copied this artist’s concept try adding your own unique personalized details to make the design your own.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.