A bird’s eye view: MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann drawing a MINI.

HOW TO DRAW A MINI – DRAWING A CAR MADE EASY.

Drawing a MINI is easier than you think if you have the right tips to get you going. Watch our step-by-step video tutorial to see how MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann takes a blank sheet of paper and turns it into a MINI Cooper S.

First create the outline, then fill in the car body and finally choose your car colours: even if you’ve never drawn anything before, car designer Josef’s tips will help you sketch a MINI you can be proud of. In our video tutorial, Josef walks you through every step you need to create a realistic drawing of a car. And he shows you how to add in all the unique details, like the headlights and black band, that will make your drawing really look like a MINI. You will also learn about the things you need to pay attention to so your Resolute Edition of the MINI 3-door Cooper S looks as realistic as possible. Our video tutorial tells you all you need to know.

How to draw your MINI

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED, TRAIN YOUR EYE TO PICK OUT DETAILS.

First, you should remember that no-one is born a master. Even Picasso had to practice. And if you’re doing this for the first time, you should not expect your first drawing to be Louvre quality. In addition to learning the basics of perspective, you should also train your eye to really see the details that define a MINI. This will make it easier for you to draw one. Pay attention to the specific proportions of a MINI. See how details like the headlights give the car its characteristic look. And maybe you’ve seen a specific colour that’s a real head-turner. Looking at something and really seeing it is the key to creating a realistic drawing.

MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann sitting at a desk drawing a MINI.
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JUST RELAX AND HAVE FUN DRAWING YOUR MINI.

The first line is the hardest. Especially if you aren’t used to drawing at all. So what’s the best way to start? First, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the proportions of a MINI, for the compact size that defines it. Josef advises that you start out with very light lines to try and sketch a rough outline. Then use some “section lines” to designate the bonnet and windows. It’s probably best to start with the tyres, placing them in what will be the outer part of your sketch. Then gradually try loosely adding in lines to get an approximate car body shape. Concrete details such as the radiator grill and wing mirrors should only be lightly pencilled in. These first lines that you make won’t be visible later on when your drawing takes shape and you add some shading, so don’t worry too much about them.

A look over the shoulder: MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann drawing a MINI.
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MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann using a stencil to draw the tires.Detailshot of MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann’s hand drawing the headlights of the MINI.

DRAW A CAR LIKE A PRO: USE A TEMPLATE.

Once you’ve got the outline of the car body, then you can add in what’s called the greenhouse. This is basically the windows and the roof. Since the greenhouse on a MINI does not have the pronounced pillars that other cars typically have, this dark appearance that is created is known as the black bands. Next, you’ll want to work on the tyres and the headlights. Now is the time to start making darker lines in your sketch. The front of a MINI has characteristically round headlights. Drawing an oval is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you haven’t practised. “It’s a lot of work, even for professionals,” says Josef. That’s why he uses templates, in order to work more efficiently. “When you drive a nail into the wall, you use a hammer. Why shouldn’t you use tools when you’re drawing?” Using templates for the tyres is also a good idea. “It can take longer to draw a detailed tyre, with the rim, than to complete an entire sketch,” says Josef. “That’s why I recommend setting priorities. Generally a simple placeholder will do the trick.”

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FINISH YOUR MINI DRAWING BY ADDING IN THE FINER DETAILS.

Details are what make a car sketch look as realistic as possible. Let’s take a look at the headlights. Not only does the shape need to have that typical roundness, but the shading on the inside of the light needs to capture the long lens and its reflection to recreate the focused but friendly look it gives a MINI. An attention to detail while drawing the radiator grill is also important. Make sure to try and get the hexagonal shape and the prominent air intakes of the Cooper S. Josef’s expert tip: “It’s important to not get lost in the details. Remember to keep looking at the picture as a whole”.
Detailshot of MINI Automotive Designer Josef Kuhlmann’s hand drawing the details of the headlights.
Strips of a Pantone formula guide in a glass. MINI CEM-Designer Evelin Hartmann working at her desk.

LETTING YOURSELF BE INSPIRED BY THE SHAPES AND COLOURS OF YOUR WORLD.

MINI is famed not only for its legendary car design, but also for its wide variety of colours and combinations of materials. There really is no other colour that is so inextricably linked with MINI as British Racing Green. But of course this is not the only shade of green that wows MINI fans. As a CMF Designer (Colour, Material and Finish), part of Evelin Hartmann’s job involves designing colour and material concepts. She develops ideas for new colour shades and then decides which materials and textures are best suited to them. She also tests which colours work best on the various shaped surfaces in the car. “Before I start the actual design of a concept, I let myself be inspired by a great number of things and create moodboards, which are collages of photos with colours and different surfaces and textures,” explains Evelin. “I’m very observant in my everyday life and also when I travel, because everything around you can spark new ideas and highly personal interpretations.” It’s important to play with different materials and colours and see what response they elicit. Contrasts, opposites and accents create tension. They give a design that certain something. “It’s also important to remain curious and to discover the world with open eyes,” advises Evelin.

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Picture of the finished MINI drawing.