This is a wonderful drawing and watercolour lesson that I enjoy teaching.
These were completed by Grade 7-9 students.
I recommend using watercolour paper for best results.
Students started with 9x12" watercolour paper. They all have laptops, so were able to research and look up photos of Viking longships independently.
The Viking longship was, without a doubt, an utterly awesome vessel. In their longships, Vikings sailed to all sorts of far off places; like Greenland, Constantinople, and even as far as America. These were some mighty tough and durable ships then, each one capable of braving treacherous seas, facing terrifying storms, and overcoming deadly currents. Amazingly, the entire longship could be constructed with no other tool than an axe
We discussed the features of the ships including: a sail and a mast, but they also had oars for rowing in case the wind disappeared. To steer the boat, they just had one oar at the back of the ship. Another fantastic feature was that the longboat was symmetrical and double-ended. This meant that the Vikings could reverse without having to turn the boat around. On board were a series of small rowing boats which meant that the Vikings could get to shore and explore without risking damage to the bigger ship. They were all made from planks of timber, usually oak, overlapped and nailed together. The ships were made watertight by filling the spaces between the planks with wool, moss or animal hair, mixed with tar or tallow. The ships were all the same long narrow shape, with shallow draughts. The prow (at the front of the ship) was often decorated with a skillfully carved dragon or snake head to make people fearful. Each ship had a big, brightly coloured square sail which was woven from wool. They were dyed red and had stripes or diamond patterns.
So students spent one class drawing their ship in pencil.
The next class, they outlined their ships using ultra fine tip Sharpies. Then they painted it all using watercolour. They used the wet-on-wet technique to paint the sky and water.
Some of the finished longships: