For the last six months, TV presenter and disability rights campaigner Sophie Morgan has been getting to know her Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible, as part of her role as a Toyota GB Olympic and Paralympic mobility ambassador.
Sophie was paralysed in a car accident when she was 18 and drives a Land Cruiser converted to suit her needs by vehicle adaptation specialists Ergomobility. She has travelled all over the UK in her Toyota and even put it through its paces, pre-lockdown, at a 4X4 driving centre to learn about the car’s famous off-road capabilities.
In addition to her work as a disability rights campaigner, Sophie is a keen artist, with a fine art degree from Goldsmiths, University of London, and she recently set up her own bespoke art website: http://www.lovelines.co.uk. In contrast to her beautiful line drawings and portraits of people and animals, she has turned her artistic talents to her Toyota Land Cruiser and has shared her tips on how to draw the car:
How to draw a Toyota Land Cruiser
Here we go! The first step takes the longest, but it’s the most important, so it’s worth taking your time. Sketch the outline of the image that you want to draw onto your paper. I’ve used A4 sized paper, but you can choose whatever size you like and whatever material. Keep it very simple and only draw the shapes, paying attention to proportion and position. Draw with a hard pencil as opposed to a soft one, so that you can get clean sharp lines. Decide at this stage what background you want to add, or what you want to remove. I worked from a photograph of my Land Cruiser and decided to remove myself from the image because I want all the focus to be on the car. I also decided to leave out the background details and simply drew a line to mark the ground.
Once you’re happy with your outline, you can start to fill in the detail. Take an HB pencil and block in the areas that are a mid-tone, leave the light areas and simply colour all the darker sections. Try to keep the pencil marks even throughout and block out as much detail as you can, without drawing any of the light areas of the image; these should be left as the white of the paper.
Once all of your darker sections are filled in, it’s time to take a softer pencil (2B-5B) and draw over the areas that are the “darkest darks”. Pay attention to the black areas and the shadows and really block those areas in. This will give the drawing more depth. I decided to keep the number plate blank to draw the viewer’s eye to the front of the car. I am trying to give the illusion the Land Cruiser is travelling towards you. I have also drawn in the ground line and decided to add my signature. I have added in more detail with the darker, softer pencil, so that the shapes “pop”.
This is my favourite part of the process. Take a putty rubber, tear a small section from it, then gently rub out some of the shadow shapes that you see in the dark sections of your drawing. Keep adding more dark shading where you want to and use your rubber to bring up the lighter sections in contrast.
You can spend as much time as you like on this stage – really take your time and have fun. Keep an eye on the details you want to add and those you think aren’t needed. If you want your drawing to look hyper-realistic, then you may want to add a lot of detail, or if you’re like me, you may want to reduce the number of shapes and simplify the image. These decisions are up to the artist; only stop when you feel happy. Enjoy!
About Sophie Morgan
Sophie was paralysed in a car accident when she was 18 and rather than let the injury define her, she became a campaigner for disability inclusion. She is as an advisor to Human Rights Watch and travels the world investigating abuses to disability rights on their behalf, as well as being global ambassador for Leonard Cheshire, with whom she campaigns for more disability-inclusive education. In the UK she is a Patron of Scope and was recently voted (judges choice) as one of the 100 most influential people with a disability.
Sophie presents many live parasport events on Channel 4, as well as hard-hitting current affairs programmes such as Dispatches and Unreported World.
Sophie recently became an ambassador and judge for the Toyota-supported Mobility Unlimited Challenge, a $4 million (£3.1m) competition which supports radical improvements in the mobility and independence of people with lower-limb paralysis through smarter assistive technology.