How to Draw & Paint a Ferry Boat

How to Draw & Paint Ferry Boats


Growing up on Prince Edward Island offered me the opportunity to travel to the mainland by ferry boat.  We loved discovering which ferry we would ride on and we knew each one down to the smallest details. This was usually the best part of our trip.

I created this 5 minute video to detail a few features of my favorite ferryboat, The Abegweit.

My first grade students had fun looking at a few James Rizzi prints, especially his ocean-themed painting. His animated style of drawing is perfect for kids. We used his ferry boat illustration as our inspiration for this watercolor painting project.

How to Draw & Paint a Ferry Boat

To start, the kids looked a James Rizzi styled boats then got busy drawing. You can do a directed line drawing for the boat but I preferred to show the kids the various shapes involved and let them draw at their own pace.

My first graders used oil pastels, liquid watercolor and pan watercolors on watercolor paper but you can easily use regular drawing paper, markers and even color pencils or crayons to color. The important part of this lesson is the drawing and learning how shapes combine to form recognizable objects.

My advice is to try drawing a ferry boat using your preference for materials and see what happens. In the full version of this lesson, I give my suggestion for materials in order to scale the projects up or down for various grade levels.

Using liquid watercolors, the kids painted the background first then used pan watercolors to paint ferry boats and for the details.

How to draw & paint a ferry boat
Ferry Boat drawing and painting art project

For another James Rizzi inspired art lessons, click HERE.

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  • Rachel

    Makes me think of our ferries that run between our North and South Island here in New Zealand. Thank you for your instructions, we always love James Rizzi style painting.

  • Heather

    This is sooo great! One if my son’s art teachers along the way introduced the class to James Rizzi and every piece inspired by him was different and awesome (we live in NYC so the kids drew buildings). Can’t wait to try the ferry boat. Thanks!

  • Karen Graham

    Enjoyed video! How did you do that sketch in fast forward? Do you have an app or a good tech person who knows how?

    • Patty Palmer

      Hi Karen,
      The magic of video! I use iMovie to edit all of my videos. It’s super easy and free! Check it out.

  • wharris124

    Great lesson. Of course, all your lessons are great! Suggestion….This would be a good one for your Art School for Kids and the Picasso ones also!

  • Kimberly Davidson

    Every time I open your page, there is always something new and exciting for me to teach my students. Thank you for your inspiration!

  • Lacey Yerian

    Love it

  • dtanner

    I traveled on a ferry boat too, when I was a girl. I lived on a small island in Japan, and the only way to the mainland was to take the ferry boat! There is a bridge now, but riding on the ferry took about an hour, and we enjoyed the ride!!

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