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expressing or covering much in few words; brief in form but comprehensive in scope

A commitment to providing quality professional tuition and guidance continues with this thorough foundation video covering the main things you need to know about idea sketching. Sketches evolve on the page as they are drawn live, together with an explanatory narrative. This video illustrates with first hand examples all the basic techniques that anyone can use to start drawing their design ideas effectively.

The aim is to give you the groundwork so that you can improve beyond all recognition and start producing professional looking work in a much shorter amount of time. To be able to learn to draw and render your own ideas in any viewpoint with correct looking perspective and proportion can be difficult and frustrating, especially if you don't know where to start, a few secrets and how to practice and develop your ability.

Looking back at my old work and the work of amateurs nowadays it is obvious that almost all of us start off making the same mistakes which can be corrected so easily when you’ve seen it being done properly. I've been lucky enough to learn from some incredibly talented designers in my career and I know what a difference the benefit of experience makes.

This video shows in great detail how you can improve your sketches dramatically by learning professional techniques and watching them in action. It has already helped many to produce more professional looking sketches without the guesswork and novice mistakes. Concise Car Sketching is also already included in the formal tution of design students on certain University design courses. Read on a for a thorough breakdown of the main content of the video and to get an idea of the structure and progression from the basics right through to advanced idea sketching.


  A description of the fundamentals covered in Concise Car Sketching:-

Section 1 – Sketch Construction

Wheel positioning
Construction becomes Automatic
Centre-Lines for symmetry
Volume and Proportion
Ideas flow with fluency
Basic wheel sketching



Live sketch 1 basic structure
Live sketch 2 maintain perspective
Live sketch 3 front and rear views
Live sketch 4 top down views
Live sketch 5 quick thumbnail sketching
Live sketch 6 experimenting with volumes and proportion




Section 2 – Basic Rendering Practice



Rendering exercise 1 – Pencil shading

In this example I take you through the process I was taught while a student to use and existing car as a reference and render it with just a pencil. This is an important exercise which teaches not only rendering technique and surface communication but also design proportion, graphics and detail.



Rendering Exercise 2 – Reflective surfaces

You’ve seen the professionals create impressive effects of reflective surfaces just by sketching in a certain way and probably wondered why your attempts aren’t working as well. This exercise will show you how to practice and learn for yourself, using real-life references, how to achieve the impression of a shiny painted car body surface using a classic airbrush or pastel and marker technique.




Rendering Exercise 3  - Contrast, Highlights, Colour

You will benfit from knowing how to handle these aspects in order to give your sketches that dynamic “jumps off the page” feeling so important for grabbing people’s attention and creating impressive images. In this demonstration I take you from a basic marker sketch and turn it into something much more impressive with high and low contrast areas, touches of highlights and a subtle dash of colour in the right places.




Section 3 – Idea Sketching

This section will take you past the basic construction of Section One gradually adding more detail using the rendering techniques covered in Section Two to produce idea sketches of an increasing level of detail. I guide you through the process with a series of examples which start from scratch and show exactly, ways in which professionals create their idea sketches in the studio. 



Extra Description

The next level; still using just a pencil, this is the next stage beyond basic construction and proportion and shows the features you need to define and render more carefully in order to create a definite styling idea for further development.



Prioritise Ideas

It’s all about the communication of your thoughts. An example of how sometimes you just need to show an isolated feature in order to assess an idea as you carry out your thought process on the page. This shows the use of texture and material differentiation with simple pencil work on a quick, functional sketch.



Thumbnail Rendering

Sometimes your doodles will be looking good and you won’t want to stop at line-work. In fact some of the nicest results can come from working small and dirty with smudged pencil, delicate shading and a few highlights. This demo shows me trying exactly that with a zoomed-in look at a thumbnail sketch I decided to spend a little more time on.



Pencil Rendering

Using the techniques in Section two I apply them to an original sketch of a realistic design created from a blank sheet and you can see me trying to work out form in this simple development sketch with shaded surface description.



Pastel or Airbrush

Using the same sketch I again describe the surfaces this time using some pastel or airbrush shading together with some simple reflections.  This is an efficient and effective technique which produces convincing results in a short time for when you need to present multiple ideas and works equally well in digital or real formats.



Simply – Form, Material, Impact

This is a sketch which has the three vital ingredients above presented in probably the simplest and purest way with a technique that is as valid to real or digital methods.  It is quick, fun, communicative and almost universally effective on all designs.



Flowing Forms, Flowing Rendering

Showing how different design languages require suitable rendering techniques I take you to an intermediate stage of a realistic design proposal which uses the previous techniques but takes up the presentation to the next level with more exact form definition and a cleaner finish.



Advanced Idea Sketching

The final combination of all the previous lessons sees me complete a sketch rendering of a design in Photoshop which uses both reflections and value shading. This is a balance between techniques and demonstrates initial sketch and structure and a combination of the previous rendering methods including subtle colour, dramatic lighting and composition. This sketch is meant to demonstrate how much can be communicated in less than two hours, without using special tools or effects, by maintaining a freehand technique for most of the sketch and knowing just where to be more precise.


  running time- 2h 28m
  Click here to watch trailer





Miles is an automotive design consultant who graduated from Conventry University's Transport Design course in 1999 to pursue a career which started at Pininfarina and continued at companies such as Volvo trucks, Shanghai Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover.

Having worked in the UK, USA, Italy and Sweden in various areas of industrial design, Miles' experience is broad and his styles and techniques are influenced by an array of different disciplines, not to mention a multitude of other talented designers along the way.

Not shy about working in 3D CAD and getting stuck into modelling engineering solutions, he nevertheless recognises that manual sketching is the cornerstone of most successful automotive design careers and is passionate about giving beginners the information they need and constructive feedback whenever possible.


Further Testimonials


"Miles has a drawing technique that is highly geared towards creating fresh innovative work, and seeing it in action is inspiring! ....we can definitely recommend it to anyone looking to make their first steps into car sketching"

Designer Techniques.com


"I am a firm believer in manual drawing and this tutorial pointed out the exact problems I was having. From wheel and overall car perspective to pencil/marker/pastel/digital rendering, this product helped me become a better designer immediately. I noticed that I won't be a great designer if I don't understand the very basics of sketching, and this video took it step by step very easily throughout the 3 sections from simple sketching to fully fledged ideation rendering. Concise Car Sketching was a great instructional video and investment for my future as a car designer."

Samuel J. Su - student, Berkeley, CA


"I'm sure with Concise Car Sketching I'm going to improve very very quickly."

Matteo Petraglio, designer, Switzerland


"Your video is one of the greatest of its kind in my opinion. It is helping me a lot with my digital and hand sketches."

Kevin Smit , FL. USA