Car design Tip | Sketch with the “Happy Accident”!

TIP 180 Car sketching using the happy accident - The design sketchbook

Hey guys,

Today I would like to share with you a Tip I learned at my Design school. When I was student in Product design, I was so fascinated by Car design that I went to ask for information to the transport design students. One of them shared with me that his teacher one day told him that:

“Sometime when you explore, it’s good to do not think too much. Don’t try to get everything perfect like you wanna control every single of your line. “

Whenever you do research, just try to throw your lines like how you feel inspired. All depends of what come in your mind at this moment. It’s something you can direct. You are not going to control 100% your line, but you can direct your inspiration. For example, if you are looking for shapes that are more natural, more organic, more vegetal, you just need to think about leaves, about nature (Feel free to find inspiration pictures), about flowing water, about natural elements and so on. And so you car car is going to get that feel.

At the opposite, if you want something for machinery, more metallic, you may think of Transformers! you will get a car that will get these types of shape. This is how you can direct your exploration.

Look for the Happy accident! Which means whenever you throw your lines on paper, you will get some kind of random association of lines. And then your mind can interprete them in a certain way. You will discover that “Wow! These lines are actually super cool!” So why not reuse them? So you just need to carry on sketching and research to developp your ideas and project. That’s how you will get unexpected results.

So, take it easy, carry on looking for inspiration, and it’s gonna be fun.

Note: This tip is a bit more advanced. However, if you are beginner I still warmly recommend you to try as you may surprise yourself! I personnaly like to look at who is a great car designer who inspire me a lot. (My friend Ben Go who is a yacht designer, told me about him)

I am thinking to prepare for you guys a sweet tutorial about 3-point perspective. Before going there, I invite you to study well the 2-point perspective from the Designer Starter Kit first. Feel free to watch the related videos for beginners from the TIP 150 to 155  🙂

See you! If you like it, say hello in the comment 🙂




Sketchbook Pro software, with a Wacom Cintiq 13HD

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro a

Start by doodling multiple shapes

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b

Do not think too much. Follow your feel and inspiration.

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b c

Don’t try to be perfect. It’s now the beggining only, at the exploration phase.


Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b d

Throw your lines following your inspiration. Don’t just copy a curve, try to feel it inside you.

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b e

That’s how you can direct your inspiration.

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b f

The Orchid Mantis!

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro g

The Happy Accident is a powerful creative technique! Combine it with you inspiration and feel, and use it as many time as you want. 🙂

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro i

If you found a nice combination of lines, carry on developping it further.

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro b k

I imagined a lighting sytem below the layer of the car itself

Car-design-the-design-sketchbook-chung-chou-tac-sketchbook-pro l

It’s always cool to add the scenery where you imagine your car riding.

Facebook Comments

About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field