the pigeon letters blog
How to Draw a Retro Camper

How to Draw a Retro Camper

procreate Dec 20, 2020

Hey AND ho, ho, ho everyone! I can't believe it's almost Christmas - did anyone else have a crazy year (cue me laughing and crying at the same time)? I'm just thankful I have this amazing community to share the end of the year with. 'Tis the season, for being thankful and stuff! 

I'm pretty dang excited about this tutorial today because I have recently become obsessed with the traveling about in camper vans and the such, so I figured we could play with creating a retro camper. Staying in a vintage camper is one of my favorite ways to get away and relax, especially with this crazy year that we've all had. It's also a plus that, in theory, Laura, myself AND my animals can fit in a retro camper (even though I wouldn't do that to my poor kitties). Everything I'd ever need in one little cutie! 

If you're someone who likes graphics that move, scroll to the bottom for a video!

I've been experimenting with a ton of different brush packs, which by the way, is a great way to get out of your creative comfort zone. Today I'm only using ONE brush pack for this whole tutorial because this brush pack has everything I could ever want for this tutorial. I'm using the ever so versatile COPICat Markers for Procreate. While they aren't required for this tutorial, I highly recommend snagging them because they're pretty freaking awesome. 

 

Grab them here.

 

Supplies

 

 

Step 1: Pick a base color and draw an outline of your camper

 

 

I chose red for my base color, but as usual, you can use ANY color. The first brush I'm using is called Bardot Wide from the COPICat brush pack. You can always sketch the shape of your retro camper, but I'm going to dive in headfirst! Create a deflated dome shape with a flat bottom, which is a bad way of explaining it so if I've confused you, just take a glance at my finished product or the video at the bottom to get an idea of what this camper's shape is.

Be sure to leave space at the bottom in the middle of your camper for a wheel! Feel free to adjust the shape of your camper to make it pretty. I just prefer my drawings to look a little wonky, it makes them feel more homemade! 

 

 

Step 2: Outline your door frame and window(s) and color your camper in

 

 

I split the color of my camper in two, to achieve a more vintage feel. The way I remember it, ALL campers were half white and half a different color. So funky, I love it!

Color in your camper, whether it be like mine or something else! If you're like me and LOVE texture, fill in your camper by hand. If you're not a huge fan of texture and don't want that stripey look, go ahead and color drop your color into the camper!

 

 

One of the many, MANY reasons that I love this brush pack is because the "markers" are buildable, just like actual Copic markers (just without bleeding through the paper haha). The pack also comes with two different categories of brushes that build color in different ways. This makes it so you have the option to use the "layering" markers or the regular "markers", depending on how you want to build your color. 

 

 

Step 3: Create a new layer on top of the previous and select a new color  

I created a new layer because I want to get rid of the red around the top half of my camper to really achieve that split color look. If you're using the same method, grab a darker shade of grey (anything will work for now) and outline the top portion of your camper. Color it in with that same dark shade, just like you did with the bottom half.

To get rid of the rest of that red on top, go back to the red layer and grab the selection tool. Trace the area of the red and get it out of there! 

 

 

If you aren't happy with the color you've chosen for your camper, you can always change the color using color drop or color fill.

 

 

If you need to clean up the edges, the COPICat brush pack I'm using actually comes with an eraser specifically for the markers, so I'm definitely using that whenever needed! 

 

 

Step 4: Create your door, windows, wheel, and hitch 

 

 

Grab the color you want your door to be and outline the shape, then fill it in. You don't have to be sold on the color because you can go back and recolor at any point. Take the same color and line your windows! I went over mine a few times to really build on that color. 

 

Grab the COPICat brush pack here.

 

Take a dark color and draw your wheel! If you want to change the size of your wheel, grab the arrow tool and shrink it down to fit your camper. 

 

 

I grabbed the Bardot Round Marker to add a hitch to the front of my camper. A totally optional portion of this tutorial but I felt compelled to add it to mine so here we are. 

Pro tip: If you like to work in a way that's non-destructive, go to the layer you're on, select it, and select a mask. Stick the black color on there and it will remove any part of your tire you want to be covered! I left mine covered.

You could also hide the wheel "under" the camper simply by dragging the tire layer toward the bottom in my layers panel.

 

 

Step 5: Create a new layer and add texture!

 

 

There are a TON of texture brushes on Procreate, whether it be from Procreate or a separately purchased pack. I'm sticking to using the Smooth Texture Marker from the COPICat markers for my texture. Create a new layer above the door layer and apply a clipping mask so we can work non-destructively. 

Add texture with a darker shade of your door color to add some grit to it! This will give the camper a more used look, you know, vintage-y and stuff. Some other great texture brushes from this pack: Irregular COPICat texture dark and Stripe COPICat texture dark

 

 

If you're using these texture brushes, it might take away from the stripey look of our camper, so if that's something you want to keep, apply a very small amount of texture. I usually use a lot more texture but honestly, these brushes are holding their own SO well.

 

 

You can really play around with your texture by selecting "N" next to the layer and change the blend mode around. Find one you like! 

 

 

Step 6: Create a new layer, grab a fine brush and add detail where you want to

 

 

 

Okay, guys, we've made it to the FUN part! Outline different areas of your camper using a really fine brush in black. This small thing adds so much detail and really makes the piece pop. Add a cute little handle, a window, or whatever you want. I intentionally made my lines wobbly to add to that organic feel. 

 

 

Play around with the lines and see what you love and what you hate! Line detail is the BEST, especially when working with shades of white and grey. I decided to add some snow and trees to my background to create that cozy ambiance that comes with a retro camper!

 

Grab the COPICat brush pack here.

 

I hope this tutorial was helpful and really got you into that cozy holiday mode! I so enjoy creating these tutorials for you guys and with you guys. I'm so thankful for this special community we've created together!

If you got this far and realized, I NEED. THOSE. MAGICAL. MARKERS. Press this big ole button below!