Lotus Exige S1 Sketch

Finally finished this ballpoint sketch of a Lotus Exige S1 – it’s commonly known as the S1 which stands for Series One and was derived from the car which has made an appearance on these pages before, the S1 Elise.

I distinctly remember when these came out, I’d seen a race series version of the Elise at Donington Park which had a single seat in the middle and fully enclosed bodywork rather than the ragtop Elise.

When the Exige was released for the road it was nearly a carbon-copy of the motorsport Elise, it looked like a Le Mans endurance racecar but scaled down to 2/3rds size.  It’s a very raw car so would only suit hardcore driving fans, that full on experience is a little too close to a racecar for most looking for some weekend fun.

This sketch was drawn initially as just the outlines in pencil and then over the top in biro, just to do some marking up for a new digital drawn design.  However, I started shading a part of it, then another and before too long I’d decided to shade the whole thing.

The first word of this post is “finally” and that’s because it feels like it’s taken far too long. It no longer qualifies as a “quick sketch” in my book (and this is my book 😉)

The shading is fairly rough and I admit that’s partly due to rushing through it.  Ballpoint shading can be done delicately and with quite fine control but it can be amazingly slow sometimes if you’re aiming for the soft edges and lighter tones.

Glad to have finished off and I’ve already started on two other versions which will probably take longer than this, however the end result should reflect that hopefully.


  1. Nice! I quite like the shading actually; it has an old school, frame-by-frame animated feel (maybe Father Christmas has found himself a new mode of transport?) which is a pleasing contrast given the sleek subject. I look forward to seeing the new ones! 👍


    • Yeah, I supposed it has a kind of “rough” appeal to the shading…. there’s an automotive artist who’s work all looks rough, it’s still got the guidelines shown, perspective lines, etc. It would bug me to leave too much in but there’s a definite appeal there….


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