This quick note is about the line of sight that we follow when looking at a car from the side.

You may have notice that in the side view drawings the headlights or tail light are not at the edge of the drawing, instead there’s the grill or something like that.

That’s because cars are not exact square boxes. Remember the “don’t follow the basic shape” thing?

The image bellow illustrates the look of a car from above and our visual field.

See how the front and rear are curved and not flat. Hence the lights are not the border of the image, the grill, at the front and an element like the license plate at the back are. That’s why we still see them from the side.

This is also why we draw the windshield and rear windows. They are also curved, not flat.

In the image, the red lines represent the incorrect line of sight and the green lines represent the correct one.

 correct way of drawing a side view

In red, the incorrect edge of the drawing. The green line is the way to go.

This might seem obious to some but not to all so it would be wrong not to mention it.

notes