Jonas Lau Markussen
Urnes Style Fundamentals

How to Create Viking Age Art

Ringerike Style Essentials

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Master the Ringerike Style Quickly!

The Ringerike style (c. 1000-1075 CE) is one of the quintessential styles of the Viking Age. Its abundant and elegant knotwork patterns are demonstrably appealing to a modern audience.

But how do you recreate the style in accordance with its original historical principles? For the contemporary artist, the concepts of the intricate interlacing patterns can seem incomprehensible and daunting to understand and replicate.

The Ringerike Style Essentials unlocks the secrets of the enigmatic craft of knotwork creation and makes it approachable for you to create your own unique designs.


All the Elements You Need to Create Your Knotwork Design

The Ringerike style employs a very particular selection of simple visual and graphic elements and concepts like, for example, acanthus leaves and pretzel knots to compose the intricate knotwork compositions.

This handful of simple compositional elements is combined, repeated and reconfigured over and over throughout a composition. Knowing these components allows you to create any Ringerike-style composition imaginably.

Reconfigure and Combine Elements to Create Your Own Unique Designs

All the essential principles and concepts you need are broken down through clear illustrations and graphics in an easy-to-understand manner to help you quickly acquire a good grasp of the individual building blocks composing the style.

Furthermore, you'll learn how to create variety and personal touches by reconfiguring and combining the ornamental elements to create your own unique designs.


A Step-by-step Process for Creating Your Knotwork Design

The iconic great beast motif comprises a lion or wolf-like creature engaging in combat with a serpent or vine wrapped around its body. The motif is known primarily from the Greater Jelling stone. It is a stable design throughout the late Viking Age, featured on numerous runestones throughout Scandinavia and the surrounding Norse-influenced regions.

You'll learn how to assemble all the ornamental knotwork components and principles into a fully-fledged Ringerike-style great beast design.

A Manageable and Straightforward Approach to Creating Complex Compositions

Step-by-step, I'll walk you through the process of constructing an intricate knotwork-based composition. From analysing the references to laying out the composition's main lines and shaping the ornament's details.

You'll acquire a manageable approach to the otherwise complex and daunting task of composing intricate knotwork patterns. This straightforward process can be applied to any of your next Viking Age-inspired designs to reduce the difficulty of wrangling the knotwork ribbons, giving you more capacity to focus on crafting the design you have envisioned.



Ringerike Style Essentials is divided into two main parts:

Part 1

The Building Blocks

The first part will introduce you to all the necessary building blocks you need to create your Ringerike-style design.

Core Features

Ribbons and ornamental motifs are the two most essential types of building blocks composing everything from knotwork patterns to animal limbs.

  • — Ribbons
  • — Ornamental Motifs
  • — Serpents
  • — Beast Heads
  • — Beast Bodies


A select range of loops and knots are used on several compositional levels to create everything from the overarching main lines down to distinct details of the ornament.

  • — Figure-of-eight & curly loops
  • — Pretzel and Triquetra knots
  • — Double pretzel-knot
  • — Offshoots
  • — Knotwork-based Compositions

Motif Variations

An abundant and varied design is created by reconfiguring the fundamental ornamental motifs and knotwork patterns.

  • — Acanthus leaves
  • — Union-knots
  • — Fleur-de-lis
  • — Feathering
  • — Palmettes
  • — Beast Head Variations
  • — Beast Feet
Part 2

The Design Process

The second part will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your Ringerike-style design.


Researching the trends and typical characteristics of historical designs of great beast motifs to inspire your design.

  • — Analysing the References
  • — Breaking down the Composition


Creating the foundational structure by arranging the ribbons will let you plan out the entire composition swiftly.

  • — Arranging the Primary Ribbons
  • — Arranging the Secondary Ribbons
  • — Arranging the Tertiary Ribbons


Giving shape to the composition by fleshing out the ribbons and sculpting the silhouettes and details of the ornaments.

  • — Adding Ribbon Widths
  • — Sculpting the Ornamental Motifs
  • — Carving out the Contours


Sanding off the kinks and giving the design a nice coat of paint and polish.

  • — Weaving the Ribbons
  • — Inking and Colouring

The Anatomy of Viking Art

The Book

All the Ringerike Style Essentials lessons are compiled into a handy 108-page book.

Includes eight pages with useful illustrations of Ringerike-style historical artworks for inspiration and reference.

The book also serves as an excellent compendium for revisiting and referencing long after you’ve created your first design.


Download the handy PDF e-book today.




Print Book

The book measures 8.25×10.75" or 210×273 mm, with a glossy black & white cover and 108 pages printed in colour on 70 lb paper.

It’s available everywhere books are sold. You can get it through the retailers listed below, find it by searching for it on your favourite online store, or by asking for it at your local bookstore.


Denmark: Saxo

Norway: Adlibris | Akademika

Sweden: Bokus | Adlibris

Germany: Hugendubel

UK: Waterstones | Hive

USA: | Barnes&Noble

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The Course

All the Ringerike Style Essentials lessons turned into 33 bite-sized videos of around 2-5 minutes each.

Includes the 108-page PDF e-book.

Bonus material: Three extra lessons to get you going after you've completed the course, breaking down how to draw a raven, a tree and a mask in the Ringerike style.

You’ll get access to the course month by month, and you can cancel anytime you like. The membership (on Patreon) includes other lessons and tutorials, hi-res graphics sets and early access to regularly scheduled content.

  • — Month-by-month access.
  • — Monthly recurring billing.
  • — Access to additional content.
  • — Cancel any time.



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