Honda Crossover by Bart de Graaf

Bart is becoming very accomplished at producing loose yet realistic feeling sketches. Using subtle lifelike tones and photo-sampling he is able to give his designs a lot of visual impact without spending hours and hours carefully rendering every detail. This kind of efficiency is very much what design sketching is all about, as opposed to pure artwork.

Notice how the windows and interior of the car are cut and pasted from a photograph - this not only makes them look real but is also very quick. Since the purpose of this sketch is not to communicate a vision of the interior, this is fine during early stages of a project. The green and pink tones, of the windows and body-side reflection respectively, enrich the sketch with the kind of subtle tones you find in real life and in this way make it instantly photo-realistic from a distance.

This is great work and shows a very rapid and impressive improvement. Although Bart did this sketch a while ago and has improved even more since then, with his agreement I wanted to share this and comment on it as an example to others in what is successful and what few things I might change.

If you have signed up for my newsletter you will receive or have already received Insight Tutorial #9 which shows one technique of achieving a similar kind of sketch.


Feedback Comments

The large wheels and low profile tyres begin to give this design a very dramatic stance and the turning front wheel adds even more attitude. To be very critical the rear wheel could be moved backward slightly to lengthen the wheelbase and improve the stance further on a chunky crossover vehicle such as this. It would also help prevent the car from looking like it is sagging slightly at the rear which is contributing to it feeling a bit overweight.

This is a loose sketch so obviously not every detail is rendered and this keeps things looking fresh, however some of the more important areas such as headlamps, grille and lower apertures could be tightened up a bit without much effort to give a really clear impression of the car's face.

Possible Interpretation

I tried to apply my feedback comments on this sketch which hopefuly addresses some of the issues with the heavy stance and overly-loose front end. I felt that increasing the ride-height would be suitable for a crossover vehicle and also make the body look lighter.

The rendering stlye is a matter of taste and while I personally really enjoy the realistic, fine art technique of Bart's, others might prefer a bolder approach. I used a simliar technique in my sketch to begin with but then added a but more drama and contrast with sharp edged reflections and a strong "hot-spot" at the front corner. The soft curves and flowing forms of the design mean that this technique is quite suitable to accentuate its character.

If I was to further develop this design I would probably revise the headlamps to more closely capture the character of Bart's original sketch which had meaner, narrower lamps which are important to the character and something I lost in my interpretation.