A Thing For Boats

I didn’t grow up with a cabin or boat since I was very small, but I like to observe boats. There’s just something about their shapes or colors, or how they move in the water that I find interesting.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity with a couple friends to sketch at the Wayzata Yacht Club, west of Minneapolis. Members were very nice and let us sit outside their clubhouse with a view of the marina. As they were preparing for a 2pm race, we got to watch them prepping boats, which added another element of excitement.

My favorite boat I sketched there was of this beautiful midnight blue boat. I started out with a Sailor fude pen sketch, then added watercolors. I deepened the watercolors at home (Indigo was the hue) and added white pen and text.

Another boat I sketched was Ol’ Yeller. I was drawn to the mustard-yellow color, and the position of the boat on the dock.

Boats can be challenging to sketch. I look closely at the shapes of their hulls (the main body of the boat that floats). The great thing about these boats was that they were roped down and couldn’t turn in the wind very much.

Since that sketch day, I have taken sailing classes and become a beginner sailor. After having to learn the anatomy of sailboats for the class, I have more appreciation for what I am drawing and all the ropes, wires, sails, and gadgets mean something to me now!

Boats on land can also be fun to sketch A couple weeks ago, some sketcher friends and I went to the White Bear Lake Classic and Vintage Boat show. This was a super-fun way to hang out with boat enthusiasts and learn a little about older boats and all the accessories that go with them. One man showed us his vintage wooden water skis, we looked at old motors, and of course, a few beauties that had been restored. One such boat was this restored red and white Aluma Craft. I liked the colors (of course) and the gleaming motor, and everything about it.

Here is the finished sketch with deepened values, pen work, and text…

As we sketched, a booming DJ voice told the crowd not to miss the 2 boats in the water, vintage mahogany boats. One was a ferry that went across White Bear Lake, and another was “Bootlegger”.

I just loved Bootlegger! I did a quick sketch of the front of the boat, then later added watercolor and other stuff at home.

I would like to have sketched the back of the boat, but ran out of time. Ah, such is life!

Here’s my finished sketch of Bootlegger:

This sketch was a two-page spread, and here it is:

You’ll see I had a bit of white space by Bootlegger, as I didn’t sketch the whole boat, so I added a fun semi-circle in pen and some text around it.

Find those sketch subjects that call to you! Your thing might not be boats, but go out and have fun sketching them!

Leave a Reply