Sailboat Paintings


AGE GROUP:  Elementary


  • Papers
  • Pencils, markers, crayons, or paint
  • Paintbrushes, water bowls


  1. Demonstrate how to draw the boat by drawing an upside down trapezoid for the bottom of the boat, and a smaller, right side up trapezoid for the cabin of the boat.
  2. Draw a vertical line above the cabin for the mast of the boat. On each side of the line draw a triangle for the sails. They are more interesting if they are not the same size. Students can add stripes on the sails and on the boat. They can also add windows and doors to the cabin.
  3. Behind the boat, which should be located near the center of the paper, show students how to draw a horizon line. Near the bottom of their paper, they can draw another line for the beach.
  4. On each side of their paper, students can draw palm trees or tropical plants. To draw a palm tree, draw a very skinny tall trunk. At the top of each trunk, draw five or six lines coming out like spokes on a wheel. On each side of the line draw a curved or zigzag line for the edges of the palm leaves.
  5. Optional – drawn an outline in black marker for emphasis
  6. Next, students will be either coloring their art with crayons or markers, or painting with tempera paint cakes or watercolors. Paintings will be more successful if students paint the boat, sand and trees one day, and the water and sky on another day. Remind students to use contrasting colors. Avoid making the boat a color that matches the water or sky too closely.
  7. Print name legibly on the front of the paper (at least an inch from the edge so the name will not be cut off).