Freehand Sketching – Sketching a World War 2 Spitfire


Sketching a World War 2 Spitfire

If you want to excel in your approach to drawing, then expand your subject matter.  Driven to Draw does not aim at making you into a professional but it aims at helping you to sharpen your mind through the act of drawing and exercises drawing different subject matter.

Difficulties in Drawing Planes:

Difficulties in drawing a plane typically arises from lack of foundational drawing skills and fundamentals.  Once you have fundamentals down, you can draw ANYTHING! Seriously.  You just need to put things into context on how this needs to be accomplished.

Problem 1: The main body of the Plane

Drawing the main body of the plane requires that you understand how to relate to the changing shape and form of the plane.  To do this, you need to think of shapes and forms like “sections.” How do you interpret theses sections?  What are these sections doing from one location to the other?


Brake the form to even more basic shapes and then try to blend those shapes together.  Cultivate this habit of drawing the simple shape first.  When you are comfortable with the simple shapes, you can start adding more details.


Problem 2: Drawing the Wing

This can be difficult because we typically do not “see” in our minds what the underlying shapes and transitional surfaces do when you start to draw these shapes.  You have to combine the activity with physical models as well as look at CAD where you can see the wire frame and how  the form is created in order to understand it.  Most people looking at an artist or designer who sketches, only see the RESULT of the hard work of practicing so many years to understand these basic concepts.


Continue to look at reference pictures or even grab a toy plane and observe the shapes.  Remember, I said SHAPES, nothing else.  Do not even look at any other details.  Just try to interpret the basic forms.


Sketch Notes:

1.  Choose an appropriate photo reference.  If it is in perspective, try to analyze the perspective and break it down.

2.  Lay down your construction lines in perspective.  Though I used a black marker, consider using a gray marker instead as it will appear somewhat hidden.  You can use a 30% grey marker. Just bear in mind the color of your paper. Newsprint already has a tint to it so you may need to go with 40%.  (I wish I started off with that)  

3. Focus on sketching quickly.  Even if your drawing does not turn out too well….DO NOT WORRY.  Just continue to work at it or draw it over again.  This is not artwork…it’s PRACTICE.

4.  Flesh out the general shape and proportions and then start to add little details.  Be sure to indicate details.  

5.  Gradually build the drawing and add more and more details.

6.  Have Fun as you draw!