How to Draw Pirate Ships

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Whether it is their excessive rum consumption or their life on the sea that fascinates you, you may find yourself wanting to know how to draw a pirate ship so you can feel just a little bit closer to these mysterious characters. Here's a simple, step-by-step guide on how to create your own pirate ship on paper.

  • Draw the bottom of your pirate ship by drawing a straight horizontal line that curves up and slightly out at both ends. Make the back end of your pirate ship slightly taller than the front end.

  • Extend the front of your pirate ship out with two closely placed curved parallel lines that would make the ship more aerodynamic (see picture).

  • Give your pirate ship's deck different levels to make your drawing more detailed. Make the front and back decks higher than the middle deck, as illustrated in the picture.

  • Add dimension to your pirate ship by drawing it as if you were viewing it from an angle. Draw a 3D view of the back of the ship that slowly tapers off as you move toward the front of the ship, as illustrated in the picture.

  • Add sails to your ship by drawing slightly imperfect and curved squares on long sets of closely places vertical parallel lines. Draw your parallel vertical lines first--a set in the back, middle and front--then draw your sails on these sets. Use your eraser to remove the parallel lines from inside your squares. Also erase any lines from your sails that don't fit: decide what sail is in front and which is in the back, and erase lines accordingly.

  • Add detail to your ship however you wish. You can add a flag, crow's nest, a plank, cannons, lines on the deck to indicate wood planks, or nets for the pirates to climb up and down on. Color in your pirate ship however you desire to bring it to life.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't worry about everything being perfect in your pirate ship drawing. Pirates are rough characters, so a less than perfect drawing is actually more fitting.
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