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Boats are among the oldest inventions of man. The most ancient boat discovered by archaeologists is called the Pesse canoe, a dugout canoe made from a single tree. This boat is thousands of years old and is now on display at a museum in the Netherlands.
While small boats such as canoes were used on protected waters, such as rivers and lakes, boats able to survive rough seas have also been in existence for thousands of years. One such boat made from reeds was discovered in Kuwait, and seagoing vessels must have been used to colonize Australia and other islands in ancient times.
Today, there are many types of boats, ranging in size from single occupant kayaks to huge military aircraft carriers that function like floating cities. This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial focuses on the sailboat, a medium sized boat that moves from place to place by capturing the wind in its colorful sails. Sailboats go by many names depending on their size and structure, including cutter, catboat, dinghy, ketch, schooner, sloop, and yawl.
Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.
To draw a boat using this guide, you will need a pencil and a piece of paper. You will notice that in each step, new lines to be drawn are highlighted in blue. You may also wish to use an eraser to correct mistakes and remove guide lines, and coloring implements, such as crayons, paints, markers, or colored pencils, to shade your completed drawing.
Ahoy! It’s time to draw your sailboat.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Boat
Begin by drawing a long, gently curving line. This will form the top side of the boat’s hull.
Draw another, shorter curved line connected to the first at a sharp angle.
Connect the two lines using a slightly curved line. You now have the form of the boat’s deck.
From each end of the deck, draw a curved line descending downward.
On the “pointed” end of the boat – the front, or bow – draw a three dimensional rectangular prism. Begin by drawing a rhombus, or irregular square shape. Then, draw long, curved lines downward from the rhombus. This shape adds the detail of a plank of wood to the boat.
Draw a wavy line along the bottom of the boat to indicate water.
Draw a long, curved line parallel to the first line you drew. Extend the line past the end of the boat, and complete this plank of wood by enclosing the shape using two short lines.
Draw parallel lines on each side of the boat’s back side, or stern. Connect the lines using two short lines.
Draw a long, curved line parallel to the far side of the boat.
Draw long, curved lines horizontally across the side of the boat to indicate the wooden planks the boat is made of.
Draw two long, curved, parallel lines upwards from the center of the boat. Connect the lines using a small oval. This forms the boat’s mast, which will hold the sail.
Draw two long, curved lines from the top of the mast to the deck of the boat. These lines outline the sail. This forward sail is known as the headsail.
Connect the lines of the sail using a curved line.
Erase the guide lines from the sail.
Draw another sail using two curved lines on the opposite side of the mast. Connect the end of the sail to the stern of the boat using a curved line. This rear sail is called the mainsail.
Decorate the mainsail with numerous wavy lines.
Draw a pennant, or flag, atop the mast. Extend the mast using straight lines. Draw three curved lines to enclose the roughly triangular shape of the pennant.
Add detail to the deck by drawing straight, parallel lines across it.
Draw more water using wavy lines.
Color your boat. Sail boats often have brightly colored sails, so be creative.
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