Draw a Basic Outline of the Lake and Boat
Start by drawing a slightly wiggly horizontal line for the shoreline. I’m using an HB pencil for this. Make sure to make these first guidelines light. Then sketch the tops of the tall grass. Don’t sketch this line too far away from the first one.
Sketch the basic outline of the boat’s hull. First, sketch a horizontal line in the lake. Then draw the top of the hull with a sharp curve upward for the bow, or front, of the boat. Keep the bow aligned with the top of the grass.
Draw a line under the top edge of the boat’s hull. This line should maintain the same curvature as the edge. The top of the bow here should not be curved back so much, so I’m going to make it more vertical. After that, draw the metal piece at the tip of the bow.
Sketch the outline of the inside of the boat. Since there is an upward curve to the boat, we see only a small sliver of the inside. We’ll add more details to the inside and the stern, or rear of the boat, later on.
Draw and Shade the Clouds and Sky
Next, use a very light touch to sketch an outline of the clouds. You can create the appearance of a cloudy day by sketching the outline of the negative space between the clouds. Sketch thick and thin shapes across the sky.
Now, use the side of the graphite from your pencil to shade in the shapes. Use gentle horizontal strokes. This will represent the sky, and all of the white areas are clouds. Between these bigger shapes you just shaded, add some thinner streaks going alongside them. These streaks can serve as shading or slight separations in the clouds.
With a blending stump, tissue, or other blending tool, smooth out the graphite on the paper. Go in the same general horizontal direction as the pencil strokes for the sky. Take care to preserve the white areas for the clouds.
Here’s how we can create clouds in the sky. I’m using small, circular strokes with an eraser pencil along the edge of this first cloud to create a little fluff. I will soon do this along the bottom edge of each cloud.
After that, I add a little more shading under the cloud. Then with my blending stump, I pull the graphite away from the clouds and blend the tones into the sky. This is simply to create more contrast between the light and dark values.
Repeat this process with other clouds. Have fun with it. You can even add other streaks or shadows in the clouds with the graphite from your blending stump. Make sure you blend away any harsh outlines left from your pencil. Keep going, and you will see the clouds take shape before your eyes. Be careful not to overdo it!
Draw the Grass Around the Lake
Still with the HB, use horizontal strokes to shade along the base of the far shoreline. Make it thinner near the center of the picture, since it is farther away. Then, use short vertical marks to draw the grass along the lake. If your horizon is an equal tonal value to your grass, you can soften it with an eraser.
For the shoreline in the foreground, repeat the same process. First, shade along the bottom using horizontal strokes. Don’t forget the area near the center. Then, shade with an up-and-down motion of your pencil to create a base layer of tones for the tall grass. Use the guideline to determine the height of the grass.
Back to the far shoreline, we can begin to add a few extra details. To start with, add some shading and a little extra grass near the base. Then, work on sketching specks along the top of the grass, with a few specks here and there between the top of the grass and the ground too.
Returning to the shoreline on our left, sketch another layer of grass to build up the volume. We want more detail here since this is in the foreground. Now, I’m repeating this with an additional layer but this time using a softer 2B pencil that produces darker tones. These shadows create even more depth in the grass. Again, sketch specks along the tops of the grass. Draw thin lines connecting the specks to the grass below.
Then, you can put even darker tones along the base of the grass, sketching up and down and stopping about midway. I’m using a 4B pencil to create these shadow areas near the ground. Shade the base of the far shoreline too but not as much.