During the age of piracy, buccaneers would sail the oceans in their wooden pirate ships to find other vessels and fortresses to pillage.
These ships would become something every sailor feared, and the skull and crossbones flags they flew would send a shiver down the spine of the hardiest of pirates.
These ships are well represented in films, video games and more, and learning how to draw a pirate ship is a great way to relive the glory days of piracy.
Drawing ships isn’t always easy though, making a guide like this one essential!
Our step-by-step guide on how to draw a pirate ship will send you on your own artistic pirate adventure.
How to Draw A Pirate Ship – Let’s get Started!
For the first step of our guide on how to draw a pirate ship, we will start from the top, literally! We will be drawing the top of the front mast and sails for the ship in this part, and you can start with a thin horizontal shape for the top of the mast.
Then, the sail will be drawn using some curved lines coming down from that mast, and then you can draw a small flag on top of the mast.
Then, we will be drawing some lines coming down from the masts which will form the rope rigging for the ship. Try to position these lines as they
Step 2 – Next, draw some more of the sails of the ship
We will be adding some more sails to your pirate ship drawing in this step. You can draw these by using three triangular shapes with some curved edges for these sails.
The sails will attach to the mast at the top, whereas the bottom of the sails will connect to the rigging line that you drew in the previous step.
We will also add some details to the sails by drawing some rips and tears in the fabric. Pirate ships didn’t always have the luxury to make port for repairs, so they often had to make do with what they had!
Once you have drawn these, you can add a few more lines for some further rigging on the ship. Then you’re ready for step 3!
Step 3 – Now, draw more sails and start the front of the ship
It’s time to add more sails and the front of the ship in this step of our guide on how to draw a pirate ship. First, we will start with the front of the ship (or the bow as it’s known in nautical terms.)
You can use some straight lines for the pointy front of the ship, and these will turn into some curved lines heading towards the water.
Then, we will be adding a sail that is much larger and more square than the previous ones you drew, and will then finish off this step by drawing the central mast.
This mast will also have a smaller sail on it, and the larger one will have more of that tearing detail.
Step 4 – Next, draw another large sail and the crow’s nest
The crow’s nest was a small basket-like structure on top of the ship’s mast that a lookout could sit in.
We will be adding that to your pirate ship drawing now, and above it you can then add a small flowing flag.
Then, you can add another large and square mast near the center of the ship. This will also have a straight mast on top of it.
You can finish off this step by adding a horizontal, slightly curved line for the deck of the ship.
Once you have added all of these elements, you will be ready to add the final details in the next step before you add some color to the picture.
Step 5 – Now, finish off your pirate ship drawing
Step 5 of this guide on how to draw a pirate ship will be all about finishing off the final details and elements of the ship.
First, you can start by drawing a big skull and crossbones on the biggest sail on the ship. That way no one will mistake who is in charge of this vessel!
Then you can use some curved lines to create the rest of the body of the ship.
This body can then be finished off by drawing some small circular shapes and line details onto it to really make it look great.
Once these have all been drawn, you could also draw a background to show the seas that this ship is sailing through or maybe even draw some rough weather for it to navigate. We can’t wait to see what you choose to draw!
Step 6 – Finish off your pirate ship drawing with some color
In our reference image, we used some browns for the ship while giving it some black and white sails.
This is one set of colors you could go for, but you should feel free to use any colors you want for your own pirate ship drawing!
This is a step where you can really get creative with it to see what you come up with. You could also experiment with various art mediums and color combinations and variations to really make the colors pop off the page.
What colors and mediums will you use to bring this to life?
3 More tips to make your pirate ship drawing easy!
Set sail for smooth waters as we make this pirate ship sketch even easier!
This drawing of a pirate ship that we created in this guide is cartoony yet rather detailed at the same time. This level of detail helps to bring it to life, but you may find it trickier to draw this level of detail.
If that is the case, then you could make the design a bit less detailed by changing the style. One way you could do this would be by making the design of the pirate ship even more cartoony.
Doing this would allow you to use fewer details while still creating a cool design for the ship. What are some other art styles you could use for this pirate ship?
Next, you could make your pirate ship drawing a bit easier by showing it from a different angle. Having it viewed from the side shows many more aspects and details of the ship.
While this is great for providing more to look at, it means that there is a lot more to account for when making the drawing. That is why you may want to consider a different angle!
For example, drawing the ship from a head-on perspective could make it easier.
The ship will appear much smaller from this angle, and the sails will be much simpler than from the side perspective.
Finally, whether you went with previous tips or not, your next method for making this pirate ship sketch easier would be to look at pictures of real ships.
These pictures don’t have to be identical to the pirate ship in our guide, but you would be best off looking at pictures of ships from the same era.
Looking up ships from the 18th century would be a good place to start!
Using these photos and drawings, you can not only make portraying these details much easier, but you could also add additional details.
Also, these photos could help you if you want to take our second tip of portraying the ship at a different angle.
Your Pirate Ship Drawing is Complete!
Drawing a ship isn’t always an easy task, so we hope that this guide on how to draw a pirate ship made it much easier and even more fun for you to do than expected!
Taking on a new drawing challenge is always made easier when you can break it down into smaller steps, so that’s what we aimed to do for you in this guide.
You can also add your own touches and extra elements to really finish this image off, and we look forward to seeing what details, colors and mediums you choose for it!
There’s a lot more drawing fun to be had on our website, so be sure to visit us there for more guides! We upload new ones frequently as well, so be sure to visit us often.
Once you have completed your pirate ship drawing, we would really like to see it! Please remember to share it on our Facebook and Pinterest pages for us to enjoy.