1. Design & Illustration
  2. Vehicles

How to Draw Vehicles: Tractors

This post is part of a series called How to Draw Vehicles.
How to Draw Vehicles: Trucks & HGVs
How to Draw a Car From Scratch
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Tractors have been an extra limb for landowners and workers for over a century, and in that time they have gone through many changes, including power, traction, and above all usage. In this tutorial we are going to be looking at how to draw a basic tractor and trailer from scratch.

1. Construct the Body and Wheels 

Step 1

To construct the body and wheels of a tractor, we are going to start by drawing some basic shapes. Firstly, we are going to add a long, rectangular cube for the chassis.

A simple rectangular cube will make the base for our tractor

Step 2

We are then going to add a larger cube on top of our original, which will house the engine.

We then draw a large cube on top of our first rectangle

Step 3

Bearing in mind that the engine will be at the front of the tractor, at the rear of the tractor add a circle which will be the transmission housing.

Step 4

On the top of our transmission housing, add a large cube which will act as a guide either for a roll bar or cab, whichever you choose to draw.

A large cube at the back of the chassis will be a guide for a rollbar

Step 5

Then add a large cube on the side of our tractor, which will be the mud guard for the large rear wheel.

On the side this second large cube will be for the mudguard

Step 6

Talking of wheels, we now need to add in some cylinders that will act as our wheels for the time being.

A series of cylinders make up the wheels note one is hidden by perspective

Step 7

To finish our guide work, add in any additional shapes that you think might help you with your drawing later. For example, in the screenshot below I have added a cylinder for the exhaust stack on the side of the tractor, a small cube that will be a counterweight on the front of the tractor, and some circles for the lights.

Now comes the time to add any additional guiding shapes

Step 8

To complete this section, we are going to compare a few tractor types below to see how much they differ with design and progress.

Note how tractors have remained similar since the early 1900s top to now bottom

2. Work in More Detail

Step 1

Now that we have established a guide for all our tractor parts, we can work into them in more detail. It is up to you which side you start from, but for this example we are going to go from right to left and begin by adding the front counter weight.

Remember to take extra care as we go into detail

Step 2

Now we work on the engine cover, the grille, and what little there is of the engine on show. This should be quite straightforward as there is not much engine that can be seen.

It is best to draw this tractor a section at a time

Step 3

Then we add the lights, and it may be best to use a compass for accuracy in drawing these circles.

Use a compass to draw the lights for accuracy

Step 4

Now we draw the exhaust using simple cylinders, a smaller one stacked one on top of a larger one.

Remember to place the upper cylinder in the middle of the lower one

Step 5

Next, draw the seating area itself, not forgetting the steering wheel and hand controls.

Perspective will obscure some of the seating area

Step 6

Once you have drawn the lower driver area, you now add the roll bar (or cab if that is what you choose to do). For this basic tractor, it has a very simple roll bar, but it does the job!

The roll bar is VERY important Safety first

Step 7

To complete our body, we can now work on the rear mudguards.

To complete the details of our body is the mudguard

Step 8

Now for one of the really detailed parts, the front axle.

Dont forget the tiny mechanics Any vehicle needs steering

Step 9

Now let's compare the differences in tractors over the years—notice how the function of pulling and powering machinery has been there from the early days, but the design has differed so much from period to period.

A comparison of our tractors through the ages in more detail

3. Work on the Rims and Tyres

Step 1

We now move on to working in more detail on the wheels of this tractor, firstly by drawing the outer tyre with a simple ellipse.

I recommend you practice drawing ellipses before trying to draw wheels and tyres

Step 2

Don’t forget the opposite side!

Another ellipse makes up the opposite wheel

Step 3

Next, we draw the outer rim using a smaller ellipse and do the same for the opposite side.

The outer rims require a sharper ellipse but perspective is the reason for this

Step 4

Then we move on to drawing the hubs for the wheels. Again, a simple ellipse is the way to do this but, to gain perspective, part of the hub should be obscured.

Perspective hides parts of the inner rims and hubs

Step 5

For the rear wheel, a large ellipse needs to be drawn, but part of the ellipse you will notice will be obscured by the mudguard. When you draw your rear tyres, you will notice that the treads are much more pronounced, so take care when drawing them.

Notice the large protruding treads on the rear tyre

Step 6

Notice that at the front of the tyre the treads can be marked out by simple lines at a diagonal angle.

It is very easy to draw the treads at the front of the tyre

Step 7

As with the front wheels, we need to draw an outer rim for the tyre.

A much larger ellipse is required for the rear rim

Step 8

Next up comes the inner rim.

A slightly smaller one makes the inner rim

Step 9

With the hub, we need to draw another two ellipses, but you will notice that the perspective of the drawing will again affect how much of this you can see at the end.

You can clearly see how much of the hub will be hidden

Step 10

For the wheel nuts that hold the wheel itself onto the hub, we need to draw an ellipse.

Very small ellipses will be the wheel nuts

Step 11

Then complete the rest of the nuts. Remember, each one will differ in shape thanks to perspective.

Once again take great care in these small details

4. Add a Trailer

Step 1

We are now going to add a simple trailer to show one of the many uses for these vehicles, starting by drawing some narrow cubes that will act as guides for the towing hitch. The tow hitch itself will be hidden by perspective in our final image.

A long cube will make up part of the tow hitch

Step 2

Next, we draw in the chassis, which is made up of a narrow cube.

Notice how much of our trailer will be hidden

Step 3

A larger cube is then placed on top of the chassis, which will be for the sidewalls and tail.

Notice how you will be able to see a little inside the trailer

Step 4

A long, thin cube on the bottom of the chassis will be the axle.

The axles on trailers have to be very strong

Step 5

The axles on most old trailers are supported by suspension parts called leaf springs; you can make a guide for this by drawing a triangle.

Most old trailers had leaf springs instead of coil springs

Step 6

Now we add a wheel which will almost finish off our trailer. The final touches can be achieved by drawing in the finer details. Bear in mind that that perspective will hide a lot of our trailer parts such as the tow hitch, the second wheel, and parts of the chassis and trailer side walls.

Only one wheel will be drawn as the other will be hidden

Awesome Work, You're Done!

Thanks for stopping by and joining me in this tutorial on how to draw tractors. These vehicles have done so much for so many people in the last century and hopefully will continue to play a very big part in agriculture and transportation over the next 100 years! 

If you want more, why not check out our series on How to Draw Vehicles.

Now off you go and do some hard work
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