The Comprehensive Guide to Drawing a Skull: Tips and Tutorials

When it comes to drawing skulls, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around. People seem to think that skulls are difficult to draw, or that they require special skills. But that’s not true! Anyone can learn how to draw skulls with a little bit of practice. In this article, we will dispel the myths and give you step-by-step instructions on how to draw an accurate skull every time. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, read on for some helpful tips and tutorials!

Why Learn How to Draw the Skull?

Skulls have been used as symbols throughout history for a variety of reasons. They can represent death, mortality, and the transitory nature of life. They can also be seen as symbols of strength, power, and fearlessness. In some cultures, skulls are considered to be sacred objects that possess mystical powers.

There are many reasons why you should learn how to draw the skull. First off, it is a great way of improving your drawing skills and practice. Secondly, if you want to start painting skulls or other anatomy-related stuff like bones for example then learning about its structure will be very helpful. And finally, because we all love skulls!

If you’re new to drawing skulls, it may seem intimidating at first. After all, there’s a lot of detail in the human skull! But don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Learning how to draw a realistic skull doesn’t have to be difficult or scary; just follow our detailed step-by-step instructions below and you’ll soon find skull drawing easy!

The Benefits Of Drawing Skulls: Why You Should Learn This Skill Today

There are many benefits associated with learning how to draw skulls, including but not limited to: improving hand-eye coordination; strengthening fine motor skills; increasing confidence when working on other art projects (because now they won’t feel as complicated anymore); gaining an appreciation for anatomy/the human form; and much more!

But perhaps the most important benefit of all is that learning how to draw skulls can help improve your overall observational skills. When you’re able to accurately observe and recreate an object in a drawing, it means you’ve mastered that object – and that’s a valuable skill for any artist to possess.

So if you’re looking for a new art challenge, or just want to improve your observational skills, then why not try learning how to draw skulls? It’s definitely a skill worth mastering!

Basics Of Drawing Skulls

When it comes to drawing skulls, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, remember that each skull is unique – no two skulls are exactly alike. So don’t try to copy someone else’s skull drawing; instead, focus on capturing the essence of the skull and its individual features.

Second, pay attention to the proportions of the skull. The width of the cranium should be about equal to the width of the jaw, and the length of the cranium should be about equal to its height (including teeth). The only exception is that in children under five years old, this ratio may not hold true because their heads grow faster than their bodies do at this stage; so take care if using these proportions with young people!

Finally, take note of the textures and details on the skull. These can add a lot of character to your drawing.

Skull Proportions You Should Know

Drawing a skull is easier than you think. We’ll start with an overview of the anatomy before going into details about each individual part. So let’s get started!

The Anatomy Of a Skull: The Basics

There are two main types: cranial (brain) bones and facial (face) bones. The cranium has eight major facial features that make it look like we humans have faces; however, much more goes on behind those cheekbones or above our eyebrows than meets your eye!

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at each part of the skull. Here’s what you need to know about its major bones in order to draw realistic skulls with ease:

The Cranium: Frontal Bone, Parietal Bones, Occipital Bone

The frontal bone is the largest and most anterior (forward-most) cranial bone. It makes up most of the forehead and forms the roof and sides of the orbits. The parietal bones are two small triangular-shaped bones that form the top and back of the skull (including part of the occipital bone). They meet at the sagittal suture, which is a line down the middle of the head that marks where they join together.

The occipital bone is located at the back of the skull and is formed by four parts: The basilar part, two condylar parts, and an external occipital protuberance (also known as an EOP). It forms the base of the cranium and supports most weight-bearing structures.

It also helps to protect your brain from damage if someone hits their head hard enough. The best way to draw this part of a skull is by focusing on its shape first before adding any detail or texture later on in the process!

The Orbits: Lacrimal Bone, Ethmoid Bone, Sphenoid Bone

Located underneath each eye socket are three bones that form what we call “the orbits”. These include two small bones called lacrimals (which house tear ducts) and sphenoids at either side along with one larger bone right in between them called ethmoids which help to form part of the nasal cavity.

The orbits are one of our favorite things about drawing skulls because they give off such an eerie stare when looking at them for long periods of time!

The Nasal Bones: The Bridge Of the Nose

Two small bones called “nasals” make up what we call a nose bridge or nasal septum, which is located between our eyes and helps us breath through our noses.

These tiny triangular-shaped structures sit right next to each other on either side of your face and connect with their opposite number via cartilage tissue (and sometimes even muscles). They’re important because without this connection there’d be no way air could get into our sinuses!

The Cheekbones: Malar Bone, Zygomatic Bone

The malar bones are two small plates that make up the upper part of your face and connect with each other at a point called “cheekbone”.

These structures help us chew food by acting as levers that push food into our mouths when we bite down on it. They also anchor muscles responsible for facial expressions like smiling or laughing.”

The Lower Jaw: The Mandible, Mental Foramen, Temporal Bones

The mandible is another name for the lower jaw bone in humans and sits just below your skull’s temporal bones (which house hearing organs). It has many important functions including chewing food as well as helping to speak!

It connects to these two parts via ligaments and is held in place by two muscles: the medial pterygoid muscle and the masseter muscle.

The mental foramen is a small hole located on the underside of your jaw which allows nerves and blood vessels to pass through from your lower jaw into your skull. It’s named after the “mental nerve” which branches off from it and provides sensation to the chin and lower lip.


These are held in place by dental alveoli, which are sockets in the maxilla and mandible.

Now that you know a little bit about the anatomy of a skull, let’s take a look at each individual part in more detail!

Materials For Skull Drawing

In order to draw a skull accurately, you’ll need some basic materials:

  • A pencil: HB or harder is best for skull drawing.
  • A piece of paper: Something with a medium to heavyweight thickness will be ideal, like sketching paper or bristol board.
  • Ruler or measuring tape: For measuring and drawing straight lines.
  • An eraser: To remove mistakes and unwanted marks.
  • A sharpie or other dark pen for outlining your drawing.

To add textures and details, you may also want to use:

The best way to learn how to draw skulls is by practicing. So grab a piece of paper and get started!

Tutorial – How to Draw a Skull Step by Step

Step One: Draw a Circle

Begin by drawing a circle for the cranium. This will be your guide for the rest of the skull. Try to keep your lines light and sketchy at this point so that you can easily erase them if needed.

Step Two: Divide Into Halves

Once you have a rough outline of the skull drawn, divide it in half using a horizontal line down the center. This will help you to accurately measure and position each individual part later on.

Step Three: Get the Right Proportions

Use your ruler or measuring tape to draw straight lines extending from the top of the head to mark out where each bone sits in relation to one another. Again, these lines should be light and easy to erase if needed.

Step Four: Eye Sockets And Nasal Cavity

Now it’s time to add in some of those important details! Start by drawing two circles for the eyes and then sketch in the nose. Don’t worry about making these sketches too perfect – you can always refine them later on.

Step Five: Cheek Bones

Now move on to the cheekbones. Draw two curved lines on either side of the face, angling them inwards towards the nose.

Step Six: Upper Jaw

Now use curved lines to draw the upper jaw, starting at the tips of the cheekbones. Make sure that you angle it inwards slightly so that it will fit neatly over the top of the lower jaw later on.

Step Seven: Upper Teeth

Draw in the upper teeth using short, straight lines. Again, these don’t need to be perfect – you can always adjust them later on.

Step Eight: Lower Teeth

Draw the lower teeth using similar lines, angling them downwards towards the chin.

Step Nine: Lower Jaw

Now draw the lower jaw using a simple curved line. This should attach to cheekbones. Make sure that it’s wider than the upper jaw and tapers off towards the chin.

Step Ten: Refine the Fundamental Shapes With Contour Lines

Use a dark pen or marker to outline the entire skull. This will help to give it more contrast and make it easier to see.

You can add some details to the nasal bones using a light stroke. These are very small and delicate so take your time and be careful not to press too hard on your paper.

Step Eleven: Erase Any Unnecessary Lines

Once you’re happy with your final sketch, erase any of the initial guide lines that you don’t need anymore.

Step Twelve: Shade Inside the Nose And Eye Holes

Shade in the area in the orbits (eye sockets) and nose. You can use any type of pencil for this but charcoal or graphite powder gives a nice texture.

Step Thirteen: Final Touches

Now that you have your skull drawn, it’s time to add some depth and realism. Add some more definition to the cheekbones and lower jaw using light pencil strokes. These should be thin and delicate and shouldn’t cover up any of the previous work that you’ve done.

There you have it! Your very own skull sketch, accurate to the real thing.

How to Draw a Skull: Side View

You may also find it helpful to draw the skull from a side view. This will give you a better understanding of what it looks like when viewed from different angles and can help with shading techniques too! Drawing a skull from the side can be tricky, but with this tutorial, it will become much easier.

Step One: Draw a Circle

Use a compass or draw freehand to draw a circle. This will be the basic shape of your skull.

Step Two: Put In Some More Guide Lines

These lines will help you place the features of your skull accurately.

Draw a line through the middle of your circle horizontally and another one vertically. Add a straight line that extends downwards from the middle of the circle. Connect this line to the bottom of the circle. This will be the guide for the jawbone.

Step Three: Add In the Eye Socket, the Nose, And the Forehead

Draw a curved line under the horizontal guideline for the eye socket. This is where your eyeball will go. Next, draw a curved line above the horizontal guideline for the forehead. Add two straight lines to form a triangle on the side of your skull’s head just below where you drew in the eye socket. This will be the nose.

Step Four: Add In the Jaw And Chin

For the jaw, start by drawing a curved line under the nose that extends downwards. Then connect it to the bottom of your skull by drawing another curved line.

Step Five: Draw the Cheek Bone

Draw two curved lines below and above the eye socket to form the cheekbone.

Step Six: Draw In the Temples And Jawbone

Draw a small oval under the cheekbone. Add detail lines of the lower jaw. These will help you later when you start adding shading and color.

Step Seven: Draw the Cranium

The cranium is the top part of the skull. It’s basically a big, curved dome. Draw it using curved lines.

Step Eight: Add In the Teeth

You can draw a variety of teeth depending on what kind you want. For example, to make your skull look like it has vampire fangs, draw two curved lines coming off the top and bottom jawbones. Add some straight lines across them to indicate where they meet at the back of each tooth. For regular human-like teeth, just draw a few curved lines in the upper and lower jawbones.

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to draw a skull profile. So go ahead and give it a try!

Texturing Your Skull: Adding Depth And Realism

In this section, we’re going to discuss how you can use shading techniques, highlights, and colors to make your drawing really come alive.

The first thing we need to do is create a light source for our image. This will help us determine where the shadows are cast from so that we know where they should go on our paper or canvas board.

Now that we have our light sources set, let’s start adding some shading to our skull! We can use a variety of techniques for this step: hatching, crosshatching, stippling, and blending.

You can also check out our article about Pencil Drawing Techniques if you’re interested!

Start by shading in the forehead and temples. Then move down to the jawbone and chin. Finally, shade in the eye sockets, nose, and mouth. Be sure to use different shades of gray or black to create depth and realism. You can also use different colors for different parts of the skull. Don’t forget about the teeth! You can either leave them white or add a bit of color to them.

After you have finished shading all the areas of your skull that need it with one or more techniques, use a kneaded eraser to pull out some highlights on the parts which are closest to the light source(s). This will give us more contrast between dark areas and lighter ones.

And there we have it – our finished skull drawing with realistic shading and highlights! Be sure to experiment with different techniques and colors until you find what works best for your style.

Tips For Drawing Skulls

Now that you’ve learned to draw a skull and create some shading, here are some extra tips that will help make your drawings even better:

  • Always start by drawing the outline of the object first. This way, you have something to work with later on when it comes time for adding details like eyes or ears. You can always erase lines if they aren’t working out as planned but having them there gives us an idea of where everything should go before we get into specifics.
  • Always use reference photos. It’s important that your image looks realistic when finished so don’t try drawing something from memory unless there is no other option available.
  • Remember that practice makes perfect! Keep trying different angles and lighting situations until it feels natural to you. If at first, your drawings don’t turn out exactly how you want them to then keep trying until they do – because eventually, they will look better than what was originally in mind (and that goes for any type of art).
  • And finally, have fun with it! Skulls can be a bit morbid but they can also be quite interesting and unique. So experiment with different designs and colors to see what you come up with – you may surprise yourself.

People Also Ask

What should I use for shading?
Is it okay to use color when drawing skulls?
Can I use a reference photo with a skeleton?
What type of paper should I use?
How do I make my drawing look three-dimensional?

Final Words

So, as you can see there are a lot of ways to draw skulls. We’ve tried to cover the important ones here and give you some good tips that will help your drawings.

If you followed this tutorial correctly, you should now have a beautifully drawn skull staring back at you! Be sure to practice often so that your skills improve over time. And don’t forget to experiment with different shading techniques – this can help make your drawings even more realistic looking. We hope this guide has been helpful for you!



Leave a Comment