Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Drawing Boats

Drawing boats can be challenging on a number of fronts; getting the basic shape, making your boat float, and building believable reflections. A simple way to draw your boat uses a figure eight. Read through this post and you'll be able to see the figure 8 in the boat above.

Drawing Your Boat

The diagram above demonstrates drawing a boat using a figure 8. The figure 8 becomes the gunnels of the boat. The gunnels (or gunwales) are the tops of the boat's sides.

Step 1: Draw a figure 8 as in the diagram. Note that the right hand orb of the ellipse is smaller then the left orb. We'll make the smaller orb the bow.

Step 2: From the highest point on the right orb, draw a line down and to the left to create the bow, and another line down and to the right to create the stern. These lines can be somewhat curved as in the diagram or straight depending on the kind of boat you want to draw.

Step 3: Draw a line to connect the bow and stern. And connect the right side of the bow to the bottom of the boat.

Step 4: Erase the line that is dotted in the figure, which is not visible.

Step 5. If the boat has a square stern, draw a line across the back of the left side of the figure. If the boat has a square bow, follow the same process.

Floating Your Boat

To make a boat look like it's floating we need to understand the water line, which is the line that marks where the top of the water hits the boat. The waterline is flat (horizontal) if the boat is at eye level, just like in the photo of the blue lobster boat in the top photo above. Note that this is true even though we are looking at both the stern and side of the blue boat. If you've seen a boat in a painting that looks like it's going up hill, it's because this was not understood.

As you begin to look down on the boat more, it moves off the horizontal as in the photo on the bottom left. The more you can see of the inside of the boat, the less horizontal it will be in your painting. In the photo on the bottom right, where we are standing at the end of the boat and looking directly down on it, a line from the center of the bow to the center of the stern is vertical.

Note also that the figure 8 approach works best when we can see part, but not all, of the inside of the boat. In the bottom two photos where we can see all of the inside of the boats it's not as helpful.

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