A dirt bike is a great subject for drawing practice at any skill level. Proportions, shapes and shape relationships are easy to identify and the exposed engine allows for fun, interesting development of details. Starting with a basic template, test sketches will generate familiarity with primary dirt bike parts. This practice will inform necessary adaptations for future experimentation with angles and perspectives. In no time, you'll be drawing dirt bikes in all forms of activity with ease.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Coloured pencils
- Blank paper
- 12 inch ruler
- Dirt bike reference picture
Choose a clear dirt bike reference picture. Even if you are familiar with dirt bikes in three dimensions, working from a photograph will help you focus on consistent details and shapes for your drawing. In the beginning, choose a picture that displays the bike directly from the side, with front wheel straight. It is helpful if you can print the reference picture at a size that you can copy by direct measurement.
Draw a four quarter grid. Measure the dirt bike in your reference picture, front wheel edge to rear wheel edge. Using light pencil, make a square grid using the picture measure as the border dimension. Dash in horizontal and vertical midway lines. Draw the same grid on your reference picture.
Sketch in the basic shapes that define the dirt bike. Using the grid on your reference picture as a guide to proportions, lightly draw two circles for the tires, a triangle that matches seat and gas tank fittings, and a trapezoid that outlines the frame and engine mount.
Sketch in straight lines connecting parts and fenders. Continuing with light pencil, draw in straight lines for rear axle bars, front shocks, and handle bars. Sketch in the basic curve of front and back fenders.
Refine drawing details. Using heavier pencil lines, draw the specific details of the dirt bike including crank case and engine exhaust, drive chain, steering bar handles, wheel sprockets and spokes. Build fender, body, axle bar and shock details around the basic shapes and lines you have already drawn.
Erase sketch marks. Using a light eraser, remove any guideline and basic shape marks that are still visible.
Shade and colour according to preference. Add depth and three-dimensional appearance to your drawing using shading and colours according to details from your reference picture.
Tips and warnings
- Instead of a single pencil, try using an HB graphite drawing pencil for basic shapes and a 4B drawing pencil for details. HB is lighter graphite that is easier to erase. A 4B pencil is naturally darker and very easy to work with for more permanent markings.
- Once you have mastered a basic drawing of a dirt bike using grid measures, a basic study of perspective drawing will help you translate that knowledge into live action drawings.
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