PENCILS UP! Ralph Gilles To Highlight New Free Online Design Course

Petersen Automotive Museum Creates Online Program For Future Car Designers...

The Petersen Automotive Museum is offering a free online Auto Design & Sketching Course. The course is set to inspire the next-generation of automotive designers. Throughout the course, those who sign up will hear from some of the greatest car designers today to master the first critical steps in automotive design.

Ralph Gilles with the 2004 Chrysler 300C Concept Car. (Stellantis).

Among those highlighting the online course, Ralph Gilles – Chief of Design at Stellantis. Currently, he is in charge of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, Maserati, and the FIAT Latin America brands.

Gilles began his career at Chrysler working on vehicle interiors. Some of his well-known interior projects included the 1996 Dodge Intrepid ESX Concept, 1998 Intrepid ESX2 Concept, 1998 Jeep Jeepster Concept, and 2000 Dodge Viper GTS-R Concept. In 1999, he was selected to lead ‘Studio 3’, a satellite studio in Auburn Hills. With a staff of 6 designers, 11 clay modelers, and 5 engineers, Studio 3 would go on to create the 2005 Chrysler 300, 2005 Dodge Magnum, and 2006 Dodge Charger.

One of the early instrument panel designs of the Jeep® Jeepster Concept by Ralph Gilles. (Stellantis).

Under the leader of Sergio Marchionne, Gilles would go on to return the Chrysler Group design department to its glory days as its Head of Design.

An avid car enthusiast who enjoys spending time at the track, go-karting and watching Formula 1 auto racing, Gilles has participated in the Mille Miglia, Targa Newfoundland Rally, the Car and Driver One Lap of America and the SRT Viper Cup Series. In addition, he has frequently served as a judge at various Concours d’Elegance events across the country including Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Hilton Head,and The Inn at St. John, along with the Eyes On Design car show.

Ralph Gilles – Stellantis Chief Design Officer with the 2013 Viper GTS. (Stellantis).

The course contains 3 self-paced modules, with a focus on sketching exercises in ‘Module 3’. Each module is broken down into smaller lessons, ranging from 6 to 15 minutes. Students only need to provide sketching materials to participate in Module 3.

The three modules include:

  • MODULE 1: Principles & History Of Auto Design
    • Key Concepts Include:
      • Core Design Principles
      • Necessary Auto Designer Skills
      • Critical Historic Trends in Auto Design
      • From Idea to Showroom
      • Cars & Sustainability
  • MODULE 2: Famous Car Case Studies
    • Key Concepts Include:
      • DMC DeLorean (1981): Futuristic Icon & Market Miss
      • Lamborghini Gallardo (2004): A Supercar for the Masses
      • Ford Shelby Mustang (2005): Updating the Past
      • Tesla Model S (2012): Making Sustainability Cool
  • MODULE 3: Let’s Draw
    • Key Concepts Include:
      • Perspective-Based Sketching
      • Circles & Ellipses
      • Drawing Classic Cars
      • Drawing Modern Cars
Early Jeep® Renegade Sketch. (Stellantis).

Other instructors and industry experts include:

  • Lesile Kendall – Chief Historian of the Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Christine Feuell – Chrysler CEO
  • Roman Yneges – Faculty at Art Center
  • Franz von Holzhausen – Head of Design at Tesla
  • Francesc Arenas – Design Director, Hispano Suiza
  • Xiaochun Li – Faculty at UCLA
  • Colin Phipps – NIO Shanghai Design

To sign up for the free online classes, you simply go to Yellowbrick.co. Classes are available on an on-demand basis, so you can view them at your own pace or availability.


Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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