Draw Birds in the Sky
I’m going to use a sharp 4B pencil to draw the birds in the sky. Because the birds are far away, a silhouette for each bird is all that is needed. Just draw a pointy shape for each wing and the body in the middle. The reference photo gives ideas as to the shape, size, and positioning of the birds and their wings.
I’m drawing one more bird in the sky for five birds in all. Feel free to draw more than five birds if you want!
Add Details to the Far Side of the Lake
Now that the boat and sky are complete, it’s time to work on the lake. The lake is often an eye-catching element of a landscape drawing. Therefore, we want to do it justice. You can use the following general and easy steps for any lake drawing you wish to create after this one.
Underline where the hull of the boat meets the water. Afterwards, begin sketching little horizontal ripples on the surface of the water coming from the stern of the boat. Sketch more ripples at the far end of the lake. It might also be necessary to define the far shoreline and add more shading to the base of the grass.
Use a blending stump to blend the ripples of the lake. Use a sideways motion with your stump to stay consistent with the horizontal lines. Make sure to leave areas of the paper unshaded to show through between the ripples.
Draw Reflections in the Lake
Sketch an outline of the reflection of the boat in the lake. You can use your pencil to make sure features of the boat line up with features of its reflection to draw a mirror image in the water. After the hull, you can draw the outline of the tiller, the man, the mast, and the boom. I’m making the boom outline wavier because there are more ripples in this part of the water.
Now, shade the outline of the reflection. Try to use a side-to-side motion when shading the various parts of the boat’s reflection. The only exception to this is the mast, since it is so tall and skinny. You can keep most of the shading rather light. Put darker tones for the reflection of the top of the hull. Don’t forget to shade the person too. Also, sketch some very light indications of the ropes going to the boom and the mast.
Then, use up-and-down strokes with the side of your pencil to shade the reflection of the grass in the foreground. Keep the length of these strokes consistent with the length of the grass just above it.
Use a blending stump to blend the reflection of the grass. Pull the tones straight down from the shoreline and into the lake. It’s okay if some of the graphite goes beyond the original pencil marks.
Apply an additional layer of darker up-and-down tones to the reflection of the grass. We want dark values in the reflection to match the dark shadows in the base of the grass. Therefore, you don’t need to make this second layer as tall as the first.
Just as before, use a blending stump to pull down on the reflection of these darker tones in the grass. Then, use the same vertical motion to blend the reflection of the boat. Blend all parts of the boat’s reflection, including the hull, the mast, and the boom.
Finish Drawing the Lake
Now that we have drawn the reflections in the water, we can add other details to the lake. Begin by drawing horizontal lines where the base of the hull makes ripples in the water. Then blur the tones with a blending stump.
Outline the shoreline in the foreground to better define and distinguish the grass from its reflection in the lake. Since there are already a lot of dark values here, I’m using a 4B pencil to make my marks stand out. Put a little more shadow in the grass if necessary. Then lightly blend the outline of the shore.
Since the shoreline on the other side of the boat is farther away, it doesn’t need as much detail. Therefore, I’m just outlining the shoreline, putting a tiny bit more shading in the grass, and shading under the grass for the reflection.
Using graphite that is already accumulated on the blending stump, make horizontal streaks across the surface of the lake. Make sure that some of the strokes overlap the reflections in the water. Cover most of the open areas of the lake with these streaks.
Form a wedge shape with your kneaded eraser. Use the edge of your eraser to make more horizontal streaks in the lake. Make sure the streaks go across the dark values of the reflections as well as the lighter areas of the water. This is another way to draw ripples on the surface of the water.
Lightly draw a line along the top edge of some of the white ripples. Spread your markings across the foreground of the lake. If you feel the need, you can use the graphite from your blending stump to amplify some of the tones between the ripples in the reflections.
And that is how you draw a boat on a lake!