DVD review: How to Draw Cars Now!

tags: | in: Automotive Design 19 March 2012
DVD review: How to Draw Cars Now!

An exclusive review of “How to Draw Cars Now”, the instructional two-DVD set by Driven Mavens founder Arvind Ramkrishna, available for sale now.

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“How to Draw Cars Now” was first presented back in December 2011 when designer Arvind Ramkrishna – launched it on Kickstarter to support the first production run.

The project successfully raised the funding goal on January, and the first DVD sets are currently in production, almost ready for delivery.

Tomorrow will send a special discount coupon code to all our email newsletter subscribers, so if you are interested make sure you subscribe today!

We are also launching a free giveaway contest, so check back in the next days!

In the meantime, you can read more information below in our exclusive review of the DVD set preliminary copy.

Our Review

The first thing that strikes us is the quantity of material included: two DVDs, with nearly five hours of video content, four ebooks and an insert booklet.

All this instructional content is specifically focused on drawing cars, and represents a complete class/workshop on the subject, with training exercises, reference material and practical demonstrations.

In addition to this holistic approach, another unique feature of “How to Draw Cars Now” is its specific focus on a traditional and analogue drawing approach – with pens, pencils and markers – which is still today recognized by design schools as the best method for learning how to draw.

Content Overview

DVD 1

The first DVD is the “heart” of the package, and includes several chapters:

  • Introduction to drawing materials.
  • Presentation of some basic sketching exercises
  • Introduction to value sketching and cross hatching techniques with two examples of car drawings
  • Presentation of thumbnail sketching as a process for exploring ideas
  • Basics in reflections
  • Overview of car proportions. This is the most design-focused part of the entire DVD-set and explains the basic guidelines for creating realistic looking and well-balanced cars
  • Full marker rendering – a 1-hour time-lapsed fully-commented video that shows the creation process of a detailed rendering making use of the techniques explained in the previous lessons.

DVD 2

The main goal of the second DVD is to help transition from traditional to digital techniques, creating a digital version of the rendering done on the first DVD.

To do that, Arvind starts by giving an overview of the basic functions and tools used in Photoshop for digital painting, including brush settings and layer setup – this is particularly useful for Photoshop total beginners.

After a value rendering exercise and a car speed painting made from a reference photo, a 1h20m-long chapter shows the complete workflow for recreating the car side rendering seen on the first DVD.

Arvind’s approach towards the digital tools reflects his traditional media techniques, and allows to obtain images with a very interesting and distinctive analogue look.

Bonus Content

The insert booklet contains a thoughtful introduction to the DVD set and a number of reference images for different techniques, drawing exercises and types of reflections.

It also includes a weekly schedule that gives an idea of the different practice time needed for beginners, hobbyists and aspiring professionals.

The four ebooks are available in digital format on the second DVD, and include:

  • A collection of blog posts from Driven Mavens, reformatted in a easy-reading style.
  • An introduction to perspective drawing
  • An introduction to value sketching
  • An introduction to proportions, including printable templates

iPad Edition

For the product launch, Arvind has also made available a special version of the DVD set that includes an additional disc with higher resolution videos (1024×576 wide screen) in a digital format compatible with the iPad.

Conclusions

“How to Draw Cars Now” is quite a unique product in the car drawing niche: even if there are already a number of instructional books on car drawing, it is hard to find high quality video content on the specific subject, as most of the material available today mainly deals with digital techniques in Photoshop, SketchBook Pro or Painter.

The DVDs focus on the techniques rather than on the “design” aspect, and are strongly influenced by classic cars and vintage reference images and inspirations.

“How to Draw Cars Now” is available for pre-order from the official website at a price of $49 for the standard DVD set and $59 for the special edition that includes the iPad-formatted videos (excluding shipping costs).

We think this is a very good price tag for a quality, comprehensive product that clearly shows the hard work behind it, with several hours of edited content commented by a professional designer.

From an audio/video technical standpoint, the DVDs do not reach the highest quality possible – partly also because of the limits of the DVD format – anyway this doesn’t subtract from their instructional value.

In terms of alternative products, there are other good commercial DVDs that focus on more specific subjects, but without the large scope of this one, and/or at a higher price point.

With regards to free alternative material, there are many online videos on traditional car drawing, but most of them are time-lapsed demos without comments, or clips made by amateur designers, with one of the few exceptions being just Arvind’s Driven Mavens YouTube channel.

For beginners who’d like to learn to draw cars, this DVD set is a solid starting point with enough content to get started and be busy for a while, with the possibility of delving later into specific subjects – such as drawing fundamentals or digital painting techniques – with complementary training material.

It can also be useful for students considering a industrial/transportation design career, as they can have an idea of what are the actual drawing skills required in the industry.

Lastly, for design students it can be an useful way for having a close look at a different approach, learning something new and for going over some theoretical concepts and practical techniques.

For more information visit howtodrawcarsnow.com. We also suggest to check the videos published on Driven Mavens, which give a good idea of Arvind’s approach, technique and narration style.

(Image Courtesy: Arvind Ramkrishna)

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  1. Kent Biller

    How much is it worth?sounds cool for car designers like me yet to be prominent.

    19/3/2012 (via Facebook)

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