Learn how to draw a lighthouse with an easy step by step tutorial. This one is located on a tiny island, full of story-telling possibilities.
When children learn how to draw a lighthouse, it can be the starting point for imagining what life could be like by the sea. This composition includes a house on the side, a small island setting, and lots of room to add boats or stormy seas all around.
For a very short history lesson, the first lighthouse in America was at Boston on Little Brewster Island, way back in 1716. The original was destroyed but later reconstructed in 1784. The oldest existing lighthouse is in Sandy Hook, NJ (1764) and is still in operation today.
This lighthouse is made from some simple shapes, but it does still include an important lesson about dimension. If students want their lighthouse to look like it is cone shaped, and not flat, those stripes need to be curved. It’s a small detail in some ways, but it really does make a big difference.
Getting Started with Drawing Guides
The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing lesson is to show them how to use guides as a reference point.
You may have noticed that all of the tutorials on this site have a dashed line running through the center of each step, both in the horizontal and vertical direction. If students make their own centered lines on their own paper, before drawing, they will have an easy reference to follow.
For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, the lighthouse cone shape needs to be to the right of the center vertical line, and centered on the horizontal line. It’s important to sketch that shape in place so that there’s room for the house on the left. When beginners get their drawing off to a good start, there’s a better chance of them feeling successful by the time they are done.
So does that mean students need to get out a ruler to draw a big fat line down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the sheet of paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.
And now, on to the lighthouse drawing project.
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Materials for How to Draw a Lighthouse
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tip erasers, especially when erasing leftover pencil lines after tracing.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
- Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
- Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.
Directions for How to Draw a Lighthouse Step by Step
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Draw a Lighthouse in 9 Easy Steps
- Start the building.
- Add the top and curved lines.
- Add windows and details.
- Draw building behind lighthouse.
- Add windows and island.
- Add horizon line.
- Draw waves, larger ones in front.
- Add light ray lines.
- Trace with a marker and color with crayons.