How to Draw Speed Lines in Pen

The idea or notion of depicting velocity and movement has influenced artists for many years. How to draw speed lines in pen, the depiction of movement in drawing can and has taken many forms.

How to draw speed lines in pen? To depict an object moving in pen, you need to draw the basic proportions and shape of the object.

  • Organize Suitable  Equipment and Materials
  • Draw the Basic Relationships and Shape of the Object
  • Add Speed and Motion Lines
  • Draw shapes which Express, Depict or Evoke Movement

In this article, I have outlined and detailed how How to Draw Speed Lines in Pen from start to finish. I have described which equipment is best suited to the drawing to speed and motion lines.  Also, find full instructions on how to draw a variety of different types of objects.

When we consider the diversity of things in the world around us that move, there are a wide variety of options. Planes, cars, trains and other mechanical means of motion immediately come to mind as suitable subjects to draw.

Which Subjects can be Drawn Using Speed and Motions Lines?

Alternatively, another there are also creatures in the world that also offer favorite subjects to draw. Horses, eagles, and dolphins are all ideal and fitting subjects for representing the subject of movement.

Which Pens can be Used to Draw Speed Lines?

  • Speed and motion lines expressing and depicting movement can be drawn with almost any suitable drawing or writing instrument.
  • However, certain types of the pen will allow you to draw the correct quality and strength of the line to create a motion line.
  • Mechanical pencils and fine line pens offer a significant amount of control, which which will enable you the achieve the right quality of finish in your drawings and sketches.
  • These pencils and pens are well worth the investment if you are looking to develop your drawing skills.


Subjects Which can be Drawn with Motion Lines

  • Once you have established that you are drawing a moving object, you need to consider which topic or topics you want to explore in your drawings.
  • Possibly one of the most popular subjects is that of a running horse.
  • A running horse is best drawn, by reducing it right to down to their basic shapes.
  • Firstly, focus on simplifying the body, neck, legs, and head of the horse into simple-looking basic shapes.
  • After you have completed drawing the contour of the horse you begin drawing the speed lines.
  • How, because you want to create the illusion of a moving horse you can now draw lines that appear to begin emanating from the limbs and body of the horse.

How to Draw a Person Running

  • Developing your drawing skills in relation to moving people, begin by reducing the proportions of the human form down to a set of basic shapes, forms, and proportions.
  • However, before you can do, you start by drawing five primary lines which represent the torso, arms, and legs.
  • Draw the legs in a bent position to represent the appearance of a moving figure.
  • Next, progress onto drawing the arms, again draw the bending to represent a figure moving.
  • Begin by adding the head to the top of the figure, and this needs to be big enough or small enough to fit seven times the overall length of the figure.

You are now ready to progress onto drawing the limbs.

  • Now that the shape of the figure has been drawn and established you can draw the speed and motion lines on your drawing.
  • Speed line should be drawn quickly, off the main characteristics such as the head, legs, and the arms.
  • The lines should be drawn in one direction, suggesting movement off the figure.

How to Draw a Sprinter

  • You can use the same method outlined in the previous paragraph to represent a sprinter.
  • All you need to do is draw sporting clothes of the figure once you have drawn it.
  • Add detail to the clothes, in the form of wrinkles and creases, and these can then be accentuated with tonal shading or hatching.

How to Draw a Dolphin Swimming

  • Animals and fish are an excellent way to express speed and movement through the drawing of motion and speed lines.
  • Dolphins are a popular choice of subject matter to draw, and when reduced to their basic form, they can be quite simple to draw.
  • When you are ready to start your drawing, begin by drawing the main shapes of the body of the Dolphin using a flattish looking oval shape.
  • Draw lines can quickly and establish the main body of the Dolphin to represent the tail head and fins.
  • To represent and express movement draw the Dolphin swimming on the surface of the water, and incorporate the waves and splashes of the surface of the water.
  • Dolphins are great for expressing dynamic movement.
  • Once the waves have been drawn, you can add further additional sped lines on the fins or the tail of the Dolphin.
  • Tone can be hatched onto the splashes using a fine line pen or a black biro.

How to Draw Motion Lines on a Moving Car

  • Another effective way to express speed and movement is through the representation of mechanical objects.
  • A car is a prime example of a dynamic object, which can be drawn to express speed.
  • Again, if you are confident enough to draw the contour of the shape of the car, you can illustrate this directly with a pen or pencil.
  • Once the shape of the car has been drawn progress onto drawing speed lines in pen. Illustrate various combinations and thickness of a line to add a variety to your drawings.
  • A fine line pen can be used to draw the motion lines.
  • Combine lines of various thickness to add strength and depth to your drawing.  Draw with curved lines to create a greater sense of dynamic movement which appears three dimensional.

Draw an Aeroplane Flying Through The Air

  • Another favorite subject which is mechanical is that of an aircraft or jet plane.
  • Draw the contour of the aircraft; you can then focus on creating impact by drawing various thicknesses of the line with your pen or pencil.
  • Additionally, think about and consider the direction in which you want the plane to aircraft to travel.
  • Will it be side to side or forwards into an illusionary space?
  • Think carefully about how you want to depict the path and speed of the object you are drawing.
  • Quickly drawn curved and jagged lines can be drawn to convey a more three-dimensional quality, as opposed to a flat object moving from side to side, from one edge of the picture plane to the next.

Related Questions

Drawing Shapes which Express, Depict or Evoke Movement

Cartoons or animated images immediately come to mind when you consider which different shapes can be drawn to depict movement or speed.

Star Burst Shape

Based on the principle of radial lines which emanate from a central point in a circular form or shape, these are lines which appear to be branching outwards from a central point.

Motion Blurring

A Motion Blur consists of lines which are carefully drawn together on top of a figure or a subject which to want to express or depict movement.

How to Draw a Motion Blur

  • To draw a figure moving for example, or a jumping figure first illustrates the underlying proportions and the position of the head, torso, legs, and arms.
  • Then draw appendages such as the hands and the feet last.
  • Now that you have finally drawn the figure and established an action pose you are happy with begin drawing a motion blur off the legs of the figure or character in movement.
  • To enhance the three-dimensional quality of the figure shadows can also be drawn using light lines.
  • These can be added to the bottom of the legs for example.


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Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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