Sketching Your Houseboat

July 2019 Multimedia Jane Willow


Whether you are already an artist, an aspiring one or you are just looking to try something new, sketching your houseboat could be a lovely way to pass the time during the long summer evenings. As the sky is more often clear during the summer, when the evenings draw in, the skies come alive with an impressive array of pastel like pinks and oranges, which could help create the perfect backdrop for your drawing. If you are new to drawing or would simply just like some guidance before you get going, there are some tips below to help you create a sketch of your houseboat worth framing.

Laying the foundations

Because boats have a very strict symmetry, when drawing your boat you need to try your best to make sure that all the proportions are precise in order for it to look realistic. You should start by drawing two straight lines for beams that slant slightly downwards, then draw on an oval shape around them, this is the first building block of adding a three-dimensional look to your boat. 

Once you are confident that you have got the proportions right, you can move onto the next step which involves drawing a smaller oval on the inside of the boat to create the hull. Once these two steps are complete you will have the basic foundation of your boat and you can continue to add in the necessary detail from there. 

Details and shading

When it comes to drawing the house, bear in mind that it will need to be three-dimensional to match the shape of the boat. Drawing your houseboat in 3D, while trickier, will make it look much more life-like and sophisticated. 

Once you have the basic outline of your houseboat you can start drawing in the details, and once this is done, the next step is to start shading in order to add depth and texture. Having a few pencils with a different thickness level can help with this part, otherwise you can create darker tones by adding more pressure to the pencil while shading.

As splash of colour

If you would like to go one step further and add colour to your houseboat, you could keep it simple and use crayons or even try your hand at watercolour. The trick with watercolour is to experiment with getting the water to paint ratio right, you don’t want the brush to be either to wet or to have too much paint on it. It’s a good idea to practice this on a separate piece of paper beforehand, as well as experiment with different colour combinations and shades. 

If you think you might like to add paint to your drawing you should make sure you do the drawing on suitable paper for whichever paint you wish to use, whether it be watercolour or something different. This is to ensure that it is of the right thickness level and material to handle the paint. 

Watercolour is a beautiful medium for painting and the combinations are endless, you can use it to create a more impressionistic feel to the picture which can look effective, and its very good also for painting water, skies and landscapes, which will be perfect for capturing your houseboat in its natural environment. The best thing is, you really don’t have to be an expert to get great results with it! 

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