How to Draw a Cop Car

Written by b. ellen von oostenburg
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How to Draw a Cop Car
Not all cop cars are black and white nowadays (police car up close image by Aaron Kohr from

Cops chasing robbers has been going on for centuries. In the past the cop was on foot or on horseback, but today, it's the cop in the cop car that chases down the bad guys. Whether the cop car is zooming down the freeway or darting in and out of city traffic with its flashing lights, it is always a source of excitement for young and old alike. In the past cop cars generally all looked the same, but today, virtually any brand of car can be a cop car. In Italy the police are using Lamborghini's to chase down the criminals driving Lamborghini's. Therefore, to draw a cop car really well, you have to know how to draw any car. And to make your drawing even more exciting, you must draw the cop car in action, like in a comic book.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drawing pencil
  • Drawing pad, 16 by 20-inches
  • Tracing paper, 16 by 20-inches
  • Illustration board, 20 by 24-inches
  • Drawing board, 20 by 24-inches
  • Graphite stick
  • Black marker, fine point
  • Black marker, medium point
  • Markers, coloured set
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Find a photo of any car that you want to make into a cop car, or use one of the photos in this article as the reference for your drawing. Draw a large rectangular frame with a ruler and pencil on your 16 by 20-inch piece of drawing paper. This will be your "picture plane." A picture plane is the space your composition will sit in.

    How to Draw a Cop Car
    Use reference photos that are eye-catching (police car speed, toy model car, chase criminal image by alma_sacra from
  2. 2

    Sketch the cop car inside the picture plane rectangle. Draw the cop car at a sharp angle on your paper to create movement. Start sketching in the large shapes of the car first, such as the overall shape of the body of the car. Add fenders, roof and bonnet. You will add details later. Refer to your photo, but don't worry about your drawing looking exactly like the photo. Drawing is an exaggeration of reality. Exaggerate the lines of your cop car to make it dynamic. For instance, make the bonnet longer than in your photo. Draw tires bigger to emphasise the action of the tires on the road. Sketch in some arched lines to represent smoke behind the tires and the back end of the car to suggest burning rubber on the road. Lightly sketch in the flashing roof lights and then sketch in some large star bursts above the lights to suggest flashing.

  3. 3

    Lay the piece of tracing paper over the sketch of your cop car and draw over your original drawing. Transfer only the lines you like, and add new lines if necessary. Also at this stage, draw in more details. Some cop cars have pinstripes like racing cars, so if you want pinstripes draw them in over the bonnet or side panels. Add final details to the grill, lights, signals, rear view mirrors and lights on the roof. Look to your photo and the photos in this article for reference or ideas on how to draw details. Sketch in a cop insignia on the side of the door.

    How to Draw a Cop Car
    Any kind of car can be a cop car (Police car isolated on white background image by Christopher Dodge from
  4. 4

    Place your finished line drawing on the tracing paper over your white illustration board and tape it down. Take a blank piece of tracing paper and completely cover it on one side with the graphite stick to create a transfer paper. Lay the transfer paper graphite side down underneath your drawing that has been taped down. Draw over all of the lines of your drawing on the tracing paper with pencil to transfer the drawing to the board. Remove tracing paper, tape and transfer paper when finished.

    How to Draw a Cop Car
    Drawing cop cars at dynamic angles creates exciting compositions (toy police car high speed pursuit image by alma_sacra from
  5. 5

    Finish the drawing with the fine point and medium black markers. Imagine that your cop car is chasing a criminal at night. Fill in the sky area black, as well as inside the car, and underneath. Fill in the cop insignia on the side door panel and details in all other areas of the car. Add colour with the coloured markers to complete the cop car action drawing.

    How to Draw a Cop Car
    To insure your drawing is correct, refer to photos for details (police lights close up image by Matt K from

Tips and warnings

  • If you want a perfect, photographic drawing of a cop car, just lay the tracing paper over your photograph and copy it. Follow the same steps mentioned to create your final drawing.
  • Keep your colour scheme simple. If you are doing a night drawing of a cop car, use the colours of the flashing roof lights, but keep the rest of the colours muted down with grey tones or blue to give the effect of night.

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