How to Draw and Paint Boats and Water | Malcolm Dewey | Skillshare

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How to Draw and Paint Boats and Water

teacher avatar Malcolm Dewey, Artist and Author

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction: How to Draw Boat Shapes


    • 2.

      Painting Boats Demo: Part 1


    • 3.

      Painting Boats Demo: Part 2


    • 4.

      Painting Boats Demo: Final Steps


    • 5.

      Painting Water Introduction


    • 6.

      Painting Water in the Impressionist Style


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About This Class

In this class I will show you how to draw a difficult shape, like a boat, using my favorite drawing technique called the Box Method.

Then I will show you how to paint the boat within a sun filled landscape scene. I use various impressionist techniques to create the light and sparkling effect in the scene.

You will also see how to add life to the scene with a figure PLUS the use of aerial perspective to give the scene depth.

I use these techniques everyday in my studio or outdoors. You can use the same methods to achieve a lovely painting in the impressionist genre.

I hope that you enjoy the class and try out the techniques in your own painting.



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Malcolm Dewey

Artist and Author


Professional artist and author. I work in oils painting in a contemporary impressionist style. Mostly landscapes and figure studies. I have a number of painting courses both online and workshops for beginners through to intermediate artists. 

My publications include books on outdoor painting, how to paint loose and content marketing tips for creative people.

My goal is to help people start painting and encourage them with excellent lessons that they can use for years to come.

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1. Introduction: How to Draw Boat Shapes: Malcolm, you says a short video about very handy drawing a for difficult subjects and in particular subjects with curving lines and and difficult contours like boats or yachts, for instance. And I call the Smith of the Box method on what it Intel's as we'll see in the picture is drawing a box around the subject, in this case, the red lines, and then carving up the plains of the subject with straight lines, as you see in these pink lines in the photo. Now you do this on your photo reference and then through the box on your canvas you can see in the quick demonstration are easy. It is to use this method that helps, and you try this out for yourself and it works for any subject. Could be a person. I'm standing in your reference, and you can do the box drawing method for any difficult shape 2. Painting Boats Demo: Part 1: tinder, sir. Dim, amusing on this reference, and you can see the drawing method I'm using, forgetting the shapes of the boat. Do a square or rectangle around the shape of the boat and then using straight lines to call that lines off the boat. And then you can transpose that onto your canvas and draw the same lines, making sure that intersect. The box has up showing you in the Serb picture, now the sitter from using similar to previous ones. More basic palette of colors and brushes are 6 to 800 knife and some painting medium. Starting off with getting the horizon line passing straight. Mr. Use a ruler and and roughly get that in always good to start with, theorize online and are are transposing the rectangles onto my painting surface and then during the straight lines, as you can see to get those shapes in and the curving shapes off boats are notoriously tricky to do on. This saves a lot of time, and you can use this method for painting any shape, really on just box the shaping with its A person or something like these butts or any other shape which may cause a bit of struggle and moving straight into them, just roughing in the main shapes. And I'm good to bring a figure into the painting as well. Just getting a feeling for that. And most importantly, getting those shadows shapes in early, especially if you painting outdoors. You must try and get the shadows in because they move so quickly, but the shadows pretty much the main docks in the painting. So I'm getting those in and using some of the natural composition elements to help lead the eye on. You know, you can change these as you go long as it's required. I'm getting in. The extreme lights was keying in those lights. Marcin. Early on there will be a reference, and you can already see the lots and dogs working together and then move into the general blocking in honor of my lots and dogs and basic composition set up. I'm simply gonna start working my way through the painting on working the various colors and the thing with this painting. What some fund, sadly difficult it was. Painting is the composition is almost. You can divide the picture up into three before grand, where the boat saw on the beach, then the river and then the hill and scarred ALS Very horizontal, You could say so I've got Teoh trying to look ahead and try and break up these three hollers on tourism figure behind that second boat will help connect four grand into the middle ground on the hill and sky Gonna play simply secondary roles. All the action is really in the foreground. And you can see another fact. Heaven started with sky because drawing element and everything happening foreground is really going to dominate the painting. But Scott will be brought and bathing the area Really in a sort of diffused bright light. Must like you've taken the right sitting on your photo shop in just raised it a little. So colors, as you can see, tend to have a wash start, look. And that is really part of the concept. Off this painting is to get that what stopped brought a lot, uh, affecting everything. All the boats, etcetera and the landscape. We're gonna have that Loki sort of washed out look. No blocking in is nearly complete. Um, everyone is spend too much time on the background area. Just make sure that that remains cool in temperature. Pushed back. What are the colors or infection? Really cool, Kasich. So that lend to that concept of washed our colors, foreground. I'm gonna warm things up and bring much sparkle as I can in the middle and late sections of this painting. But for now, just getting those blocking and and a bit of development along the shore of the distant building. Once that's done, most of our intention is going to be in the foreground. Elements, I think coming along pretty will. And, uh, this painting may have some potential off drawers but worried about it feeling better as we move along. 3. Painting Boats Demo: Part 2: okay, straight into part two, and I'm bringing a bit of detail in the under painting off the river here and what I'm really doing is, as you can see, mixing colors but greying them down. And there's two reasons for this. One is the type of light that I've already spoken about in part one, a lot that is diffusing and overexposing the colors to a degree. What I'm going to be doing as some starting your is bringing in sick a lot of value color to add highlights to the water. So the Violeta grays and blue grays that are next to these heart lights are going to set off the highlights. And it's simply a case off color, relationships and value relationships, the great colors leaning towards the complementary coming off, the highlights being, um or yellow, uh, so you can see are mixing some of the kept me Mueller with titanium white to get those hard out. So I got it be set off really nicely against those grey washed art, violets and blues. And this is how I'm gonna start falling that up as we go along in this middle section of the painting on bringing in the interest, carrying the ark through from four grand into the middle ground on getting that nice, sunny sparkle on the water. I want area noted here that is bothering me is the C four grand in the details that I thought would help carry the I from the four grand into the middle ground on, uh, I'm not feeling comfortable about that. It's actually district to me. And but, uh, I'll for John and decide what I'm gonna do with that. Then back into the boats bit of detail just to trying to find this boat on bond, but not too much. The focal era is on the left, and that will develop Maura's. I get into developing the figure and bringing in a bit more warm colors into the boat on the left. But we need to get basic drawing right for ALS. The elements. So using large brush a lot of paint on the brush and just getting the major shapes to find way using the dog shadow just to cut in to the light reflected clothe. Okay, I'm trying Teoh work with this full grand area still haven't quite resolved it in my mind. unfortunately so back to the boat that's working those colors on getting in the reflected light, warming it up a bit. But making sure that the reflected light is still cooler than the red, catching the sunlight. So always keep in mind the color temperature. It's not quite enough just to makes the color ask yourself. Is it warmer or cooler on lighter or darker? Those questions always come in to PLO in your mixing color, getting in a bit of the reflected light into this boat in the foreground as well. It's not often that are workers shadow, and but I went a bit off a suggestion off the local color and some interest in the shadow, but not much. Just so it's something is they don't want you to dwell on it. The shutter is ultimately going to define the shape off the boat. Okay, now I've headed aside. Make a decision, and I don't like all these details in the foreground. It is a distraction that's unnecessary. I'm going to paint him out and they're pretty much gone. I'll come back with a few very low key marks and details, but messing like ahead before, and I work in a few more of those schools that are on Grey's that I lost before, which I'll go over again in due course. But for now, Way just needed a bit more of that violence, I think, to set off the sparkle off light on the water. Remember, this is Scheller water, So it is also reflecting some of the sand as well as the Scots. They need to bring something intuit to indicate that it is shallow water, I think just time to had some final touches to this boat. On the right hand side, our boat in the focal area gets a bit more richer color and will come back in Part three and wrap things up. 4. Painting Boats Demo: Final Steps: the final touches to bring this painting, too, and I'm just getting Teoh getting a bit more saturation. These touches add something to the painting. Just toe ramp up the he effect a little bit on bond. You'll see that not too much gets done not too much detail, but things like just adding a bit of warmth to this reflected light on the side of this boat. Onda note Painting in the direction off the panels off the boat as well with the brush does help and then bring the figure to laugh on a few touches off warm color. As I mentioned, adding figure helps to join the four grand into the middle ground plus ads but of scale and human interest. Just another dimension to the painting. A few spots of color suggesting but paraphernalia and what have you adds a little bit off interest as well. I would like to bring in a touch of interest in the distance are suggesting a few sailboats. It's a bit of autistic license, I suppose, but also adds element of scale and life to the scene as well. So just spots off highlight against the distant dogs, some saturated warm. What? And, uh, When there's a sailboat, there's always a flag, something right in in the distance. There mass effect to carry the I is the rope mooring rope for the boats. It's simply a device that helps just to connect everything, and you can always find good useful if you're doing boats and yachts and whatever you use rigging and things like that to help carry the I a few suggestion of rocks, also adding those dark elements that set off the lots again. And then that's about it. I think that sign up and that's over. Look at this painting and C five managed to save it in the end, I think, overall, the suggestion off Sonny Byrd scene has been achieved in this painting. 5. Painting Water Introduction: painting water. We're going to look at an Impressionist approach, not a for two realistic approach. We want an approach that's going toe work for any scene, and this includes painting yachts. Everybody loves painting yachts, but we'd rather looking for the essence off the scene, not details. So Step one is to decide on the emotion off the scene. To do this. We look at the scene and describe it. Consider the drama of the scene, how it makes you feel what is actually going on. Step two is to observe the shapes off the surface. What you see is reflections, and we look at the light color and value off those reflections. Then step three. Observing that color carefully. This is all about color, relationships and accurate observation. What chart for these trips avoid painting water as cliches and symbols? Just a flat color and a few highlights. Keep Claude Monet in mind. He kept it simple and honest with shapes, textures, comers and lot. And this is how are we going to approach the lessons on water and yachts 6. Painting Water in the Impressionist Style: so that's ever closer. Look after painting water this photograph off the boat on the pond, in fact taken it called Manet's so pointed toe Cerveny. So there's a few important points here. First of all, reflections or the opposite off worm. What is being reflected So the vegetation on the bank is reflected in the water appears doctor in the water and the pages etcetera or softened up. Where is the boat dog? It's off the but is reflected in the water, and the reflection in the water is a bit lighter. Them be boat itself. What you really looking at is a Siri's off shapes in the water, so we intend to look at the water sometimes and get intimidated. And and corn quite figure it out because it's mysterious. We know water is colorless of what infect are we seeing? In fact, we're just looking at shapes. When you need to do is try and mix colors according to the largeness and darkness or and warmth and cool off each other's shapes and put them down in the right place. And then you pretty much have water taking care off, and so could the mix, painting and look at the water and see what it's made of, and all he's done is put on a Siris of marks with the brush. Find some dog woman Cool. Dark shapes are afflicted, lighter in the water. Light shapes are reflected, but darker. There's an impression, or broken water is probably a wind blowing over the water, creating ripples that could be a tired coming in. So it's not a flat mirror like surface that's also not for too realistic. It's an impression in a true loose and painted the star. It is simply a case of building up the layers from transparent paints through Teoh Teik, and one they're all talk to each other. Broken color, Debs squiggles, stumbling off the brush, pulling it across the surface. Then the next one but more going on in the sport. It's in the sea. They all waves and is simply achieved that by making the brushstrokes sort of commerce shaped world more like brackets that have fallen over and that sort of you shit impression off waves broken, uh, watch paint you. And then there's dog shapes. In between. Return writer shapes Woman Cool green has more yellow in it, which is warmer and the other has more blue in it. Make it cooler and I will work to give a There's some violet in there in the distance is well, I think what really makes this stand up for me in particular, is the The dog shapes against the lots the blues, oranges, greens you want to say what's but business? Really? No pure. What on highlights here and there. There's mixed in to break that. What light blues? Everything. There's being captured to create an overall harmony and colors is used in the water. All appear in the buildings and butts in the back craft, just simply adjusting the lights, missile darkness or warmth of cool off it pants. But everything is there. It's this complete harmony throughout Andi. He's used a few covers, in fact, just mixed them appropriately. But beautiful depiction off water. My approach win painting here is to really do something somewhere something, a lot of shapes. Most of them are moving from left to right on, and just any said one shape next, the other in warm and cool and light and dark. And that's what lets required