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Lesson 4 b

Ship Bowl Worksheets

Gael Stirler


The basic designs used on this bowl are a vine pattern for the seaweed, a modification of the vine to make the waves, harbor buildings pattern, Palmetto (covered in lesson 3) a sailing ship and 6 fanciful ocean creatures. Here are step by step instructions for the seaweed, waves and harbor buildings and line drawings of the ship and the creatures. If you prefer not to paint creatures you can repeat the seaweed or waves in the bottom section. If your bowl is not very deep you can get by with only two layers of decoration. I've used these designs in different combinations to make matching plates, chargers, saucers and tiles.

Seaweed Pattern

  1. Step 1: With a pencil, divide the the border into an even number of spaces that are nearly square or wider than they are high. Pencil a dot lightly in the center between each line.
  2. Step 2: With a soft pencil draw half circles to the right of each straight line like this.
  3. Step 3: Draw a slanted line centered on the dot. Alternate slanting right and left all the way around the bowl.
  4. Step 4: Using a pencil, draw a curving line from the bottom of a half circle through the slanting line to the open top of the next half circle. Next draw a line from the top of the circle through the next slanting line to the bottom of the next open circle. Keep doing this all the way around the bowl. Check your work and make sure that all the lines are graceful.
  5. Step 5: In pencil put a dot in the center of each half circle. Draw a small half circle from the dot to the open end of the bigger half circle to form a curl. Paint all of the vines with cobalt oxide and a small brush.
  6. Step 6: Paint a simple flower at the end of each curl with cobalt oxide. Color part of the flower yellow.
  7. Step 7: Paint simple leaves like those in the last lesson on the vine. The leaves should start out wide and round and taper to a point as they get close to the stem. As always, be careful to match the direction of the leaves to the direction of the vine. Vary the color of the leaves by using Carribean and Jade or by putting two coats of glaze on some leaves and only one on others.
  8. Step 8: Add some thin lines wherever the leaves look sparse. You can put little seed pods on some of them. Don't over do this or it will look messy. If you like, you can outline the leaves at this point or leave them plain as in this example.

Waves Pattern

  1. Step 1:This pattern starts the same as the seaweed pattern. With a pencil divide the the border into an even number of spaces that are nearly square or wider than they are high. Pencil a dot lightly in the center between each line.
  2. Step 2: With a pencil draw half circles to the right of each pencil line like this.
  3. Step 3: Draw a slanted line centered on the dot. Make all the lines slant the same way all the way around the bowl. If they slant to the right, your waves will be big and fat and roll to the right. If they slant to the left, they will be narrow, peaked and roll to the left. This is nice if you want to paint the waves a different color.
  4. Step 4: Starting at the bottom of a half circle, paint a curving line through the slant to the top of the next open circle. Repeat all the way around.
  5. Step 5: Put a dot in the center of each half circle. In pencil connect the dot to the bottom of its half circle with a smaller half circle to form a curl. Repeat until done. Paint over the pencil lines with Jade on a no. 4 round brush. If you prefer you can paint it with cobalt oxide on a smaller brush and fill in the wave with Jade or Carribean.

Harbor Building Pattern

  1. Step 1: With a pencil divide the the border into an even number of spaces that are about twice as tall as they are wide. Pencil a dot lightly on each line about 1/3 down from the top. Paint a line from the dot to the bottom with cobalt oxide and a small round brush.
  2. Step 2: Paint another line to the right of each cobalt line to create pillars. Repeat all the way around.
  3. Step 3: Add arches to each pair of pillars.
  4. Step 4: Connect the arches with two horizontal lines to form a smaller building between the arches. Add a cornice to the top of the smaller building with a bump in the middle. Repeat all the way around.
  5. Step 5: With the same brush but using a heavier hand paint the windows and doors on the buildings like this.
  6. Step 6: Using a watered down version of cobalt oxide, paint the shadows on the buildings like this. Fill in the sky with two coats of Cobalt glaze, Carribean blue or Bright Butternut yellow.

Line Drawings

Here are line drawings of a ship and a large mermaid that can be used as an alternative image. These drawing should print out about the right size. Cut out the circle of the ship or the large mermaid. Carbon the back of the design with a pencil then position it in the bottom of the bowl. The ship is drawn a little too high of center and the top mast touches the border, so make an adjustment. Trace over the main lines in the ship. Don't try to draw over every line or it will get confusing. Take the pattern out of the bowl and redraw the lines and add the ones that you didn't trace. Paint the ship with cobalt oxide and a small round brush. It is best to hold the bowl on your thigh for this work.

It is difficult to use this tracing technique on the sides of the bowl. It is better if you can freehand the sea creatures in pencil. Here are line drawings for the creatures. You can also use them on mugs, small plates, tiles, etc.


small mermaid
and seahorses

sea life

octopus and dolphin

NEXT to Lesson 5: Geometric Borders | Return to Lesson 4: Ship bowl part A | Go to Gallery


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© 2002-2004Gael Stirler, Inc. 1-520-721-8346
Unless otherwise noted all art is the work of Gael Stirler.
AKA Mistress Dairine mor o' hUigin, OL

This page was last updated Monday, 16-Mar-2009 15:37:45 CDT