Monet's Boats Watercolor Art Lesson for Kids

Watercolor and pastel boats

An art lesson for kids with mixed media!

Background Info:

Growing up outside the port of Le Havre, France, Monet was familiar with boats. His father earned his living servicing larger ships at his small shop. Monet never owned his own boat until the age of thirty-three, but as  a youth he had painted them in all shapes and sizes. 

Fishing Boats, Calm Sea by Monet

Monet took great care in painting various types of boats, especially sail boats. His fascination with the sails and how they reflected on the water can be seen in a variety of his works. The town of Argenteuil was a popular destination for spectators to watch boats race down the Seine River. Monet painted over 170 pieces while living in Argenteuil including many of the Seine River. 

Vocabulary: Horizon Line, Texture

National Visual Arts Standards:

Creating: #1, #2, #3

Presenting/Producing: #5, #6

Responding: #8

Connecting: #10

Painting the Sky & Water

Art supplies: water cup, Connector Paints, glue, scissors, Oil Pastels, Construction Paper, and Watercolor Pad


Connector paint with blue watercolor on paper

Step 1:

Paint the sky on the top half of a piece of watercolor paper. Start in the middle of the paper and work upwards. Use a lighter shade of blue paint and make your brushstrokes go from side to side. 

Connector Paint with blue shades of watercolor

Step 2:

Paint the water on the bottom half of the paper. Start at the horizon line where the sky meets the water and work downwards, painting side to side. Use greens and darker blues to create a contrast. Let dry. 

Creating the Boats

Construction paper, oil pastels, scissors, and glue


  • Faber-Castell Oil Pastels
  • Faber-Castell Construction Paper in dark colors
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Construction paper boats

Step 3:

Create boats out of construction paper. Draw triangular shapes for the sails, a skinny piece for the mast, and a banana shape for the hull. I like to curve the edges of the sails to look like their billowing in the wind. You can suggest more basic shapes for younger artists. Cut out the pieces. 

Construction paper boat with oil pastels

Step 4:

Shade in the sails using various colors of oil pastels. 

Construction paper boats and watercolor background

Step 5:

Glue down the boat pieces on the water portion of the paper. 

Construction paper boats and oil pastels

Step 6:

Use oil pastels to make additional lines on the water representing ripples. This creates texture. 

Monet's Boats

Art lesson created by Painted Paper Art

Download the entire lesson plan, here!


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