How to Draw a Skull: A Step by Step Guide

Learn to Draw a Skull

In this post, we will describe how to draw a skull. The skull is a ubiquitous symbol, for many people, it is a reminder of imminent death.

So, if you are wondering how to draw a skull by in graphite in this post, we will outline and describe in detail several alternative methods.

How to Draw a Skull Step by Step
How to Draw a Skull Step by Step

How to draw a skull with flowers in pencil?

To draw a skull with flowers in pencil, you will need to break down the process of drawing the skull into several primary stages:

  • Draw Simple Basic Forms
  • Illustrate the Basic Outline of the Skull
  • Model the Nose Cavity and Jawline
  • Outline of the Eye Sockets
  • Faintly Draw the Roses

Let's figure out how to draw a skull. I am sure that many will like the image of a skull with roses. This is a powerful symbolic image -which evokes feelings of black romance or love unto the grave.

  • Let's learn and break down the process of how to draw the skull into simple stages.
  • Let's get down to business.
  • Draw Simple Basic Forms
  • To begin let us start with the simplest underlying forms and shapes, depicting the configuration of the skull – a kind of sketch of the head. In the future, we will reproduce our skull with roses.  Using a simple method that everyone can learn.

Outline the Basic Shape of the Skull

  • Now we outline the lines of the future of the skull, draw a sharp bend of the eyebrow. Yes, by the way, we portray it in the front profile view.

Picture the Nose Cavity and Jawline

  • Now, we denote the line of the nose in front profile. Finish the drawing the chin on the auxiliary lines, reaching the temporal part.
  • When drawing the jaws, use wavy lines to portray the mouth.
  • Apply a  little shading over parts of the nose and jaws, then go to the fourth step.

Outline of the Eye Sockets

  • The next step is to draw the outline of the eye socket and shade the eye. In the temporal region, we draw an indentation and apply tone.
  • To draw the mouth, and add the details of the teeth. We will draw a series of sharp teeth in the form of small arches.
  • We outline the temporal part, the forehead and the jaws with a fat line.

Faintly Draw the Roses

  • We can say that most of the work we have already done – the skull is almost ready.
  • We start to depict roses, and it is best to do this from the top of the head.
  • The easiest way is to start drawing flowers with a cup shape, the image of which is later supplemented with bent petals.
  • If you are not satisfied with roses, you can draw any other flower.

Add Detail to the Rose

  • We continue to sketch out roses. Add the petals, superimposing them on each other.

Draw the Stem of the Rose

  • Now go to the image of a long stem of a flower. Scheduled branches to portray a few leaves on a thin stalk.

Apply Tone or Color to the Rose

  • Our drawing is almost ready. We finished painting one rose, let's draw one more side, because, according to belief, it is two roses that are carried to the cemetery. Now you can erase all the auxiliary lines and circle the resulting image.

Eraser Auxiliary Construction Lines if Need Be

  • We erased all the auxiliary lines, and now our drawing is ready. It turned out a real masterpiece! It remains only to paint it. But this is up to you.

In this part of the tutorial, I will show you how to draw a skull from scratch in stages. In this section of the article, I will explain all the details of the drawing process, with a focus on beginners. To make your task easier, draw a small skull. This will allow your hand to use the same movements as when writing, therefore, it will be easier to work. If you are wondering which are the best artist grade pencils please read my post, Best Pencils: For Drawing, Shading, and Sketching.

Use This Approach to Draw the Base of the Skull

  • To begin with, we draw a simple line. The length of the line depends on your preferences – the longer, the larger the drawing will be. If necessary, do not be afraid to use the ruler.
  • Find the center of the line and draw a mark.
  • Draw a separate line perpendicular to the previous one. Let it be a little longer than the first.
  • We draw a copy of the first line on the opposite side, a cruciform shape is formed.
  • Outside of this cross, we will now draw an oval. If you have difficulty drawing such shapes, proceed as follows: Start with light strokes between the two ends of the perpendicular lines. Then we draw a clear line along these lines. We can use this technique and draw an oval.
  •  Find the center of the left quarter and divide this side into six equal segments.
  • Using a curve, we connect two points through one.
  • We divide the previous line of another curve, forming a loop.

Practice this 10 Step Approach to Draw the Jaw

  • We draw a short line down the center of the oval.
  • Put a mark on this line.
  • Draw a horizontal line crossing the bottom point.
  • Next, we divide the right quarter of the oval into four segments.
  • From the first point, we draw a line down.
  • From the loop draw another line down parallel to the previous one.
  • We divide the last line into four segments.
  • The center point is intersected by a perpendicular line. Its length should be the same as the length of the segment that this line crosses. Note that this line is parallel to the longest line that divides the center of the oval.
  • We circle the resulting symmetrical cross with a circle. To simplify the task, we use the circle drawing method we used for the oval.
  • Close the jaw shape with two additional lines.

Try this 12  Step Approach to Draw Nose and Teeth

  • Draw a small circle.
  • The lower part of the circle from the previous section is divided into three segments.
  • Through four points we draw a curve.
  • Draw a circle above the loop. In this place, we will draw a brow.
  • From eyebrow to jaw draw a line.
  • Between the loop and the eyebrow draw a neat curve.
  • Below the oval draw a line parallel to the long line crossing the oval.
  • Under the eyebrow draw another curve. It will be the bridge of your nose.
  • From the tip of the nose, we draw a line to the center of the circle on the jaw.
  • The upper right part of the circle on the jaw is divided into three segments.
  • From the extreme point on the circle draw a line to the lower curve.
  • We draw three curved lines for the teeth.

Detail the skull

  • Before you begin to add detail and shading to your drawing of the skull make sure that you have drawn the general outline of the skull, which includes the eye sockets, nose, and teeth.
  • To begin adding further detail it is a good idea at this stage to look at and refer to pictures of the skull to give you some idea of how to apply the features.
  • Continue to faintly sketch the details until you are sure that you have drawn all the main features.
  • At this stage in your drawing begin to refine the areas around the eye socket and the side of the skull to reproduce the right shape.
  • Erase any lines which interfere with the overall effect of your drawing.
  • Continue to add further details and refine the shapes of the main features such as the eye sockets and the nasal cavity.

Progress onto drawing more detail

  • As you progress through your drawing begin to become aware of the strength of a line that you are drawing with. Create space by drawing darker marks in the front areas and lighter lines in the rear.
  • Begin now to add some of the fine linear details to the areas around the eyes and nasal cavity, such as fine cracks and breaks in the bone.
  • As you begin to draw and apply more and more detail to the main features, do try to become aware of the relative proportions of the different parts of the skull. For example the teeth concerning the size of the eyes for example.
  • Next use a 4B pencil to begin to apply board areas of shadow onto areas such as the side of the skull, the nasal cavity, and the eye sockets. These areas can be refined at a later stage.

How to Draw a Pirate Skull and Crossbones

Continue to Add Detail to the Skull

  • We now need to begin to schematically depict the mouth and the lower jaw.  This is done by drawing a wavey line below the nasal cavity. Next, you need to add some fine details, such as cracking, cavities in and around the mouth.
  • Draw the teeth as shown underneath this line and apply more fine detail.
  • Draw cracks on the forehead and begin to draw an approximate location of the intersecting bones below the skull. If you draw with a pencil, then you always have a chance to erase the lines or shapes that did not turn out.
  • We finish with the bones of our skull and proceed to the next step.
  • Let's go over the details of the skull and bones. Add some curved lines along the edges of the bones.
  • Our skull head is almost ready. All we have to do is erase any unnecessary lines. Do not forget to add a bullet hole to the skull.
  • Here is the final result of our work with you. I hope this lesson will be useful for beginners who want to learn how to draw.

Why Draw the Skull

It is associated with death or lack of fear of it. This character has actually been used for a long time and not only denote death, vital energy and concentrated intelligence.

The image of the deadhead is used in Orthodoxy, the so-called “Adam's head,” and also decorated with such a pattern on the Halloween room.

How to Sketch the Skull in Stages

  • Stage 1 Begin your drawing with a sketch. Outline the silhouette of the head in a turn. Draw a semicircle, then draw the outlines of the lower jaw and highlight the temporal lobe. The front part is divided into two horizontal lines.
  • Stage 2  To maintain symmetry, separate the face with a vertical stripe. Make outlines of the orbits and nasal bones. Make a sketch of the cheekbones and jaws. Draw the details of the temporal lobe.
  • Stage 3  At this stage, it is necessary to depict the teeth and other parts of the jaws. Erase the auxiliary lines and add additional contours to the main plan in the eye sockets, the nasal bone and the upper plane of the cheekbones. With the help of such a trick, you will achieve volume in your drawing.
  • Step 4 Dim the eye sockets and the rest of the internal parts. Draw small pieces.
  • Stage 5  At the final step you should not hurry, shade, playing with tones, achieve the correct transmission of light and shadow. You can use a piece of white paper, and smooth strokes with circular motions.



Draw a Skull with a Pencil

  • Images drawn with a 4B pencil on a white background create a contrast, they are saturated, immediately attract the interest of the audience.
  • With a solid pencil, make a sketch of the main features. Draw a frontal bone in the form of a circle, then draw the cheekbones and the lower jaw. Approximately mark the eye sockets and nasal gap, and also draw a strip where the teeth will be. Do not press on the pencil, because it is a sketch.
  • Draw the temporal lobes. For the image of the eye sockets, draw quadrilaterals with rounded corners, and the nose can be compared to an inverted triangle. Draw small parts.
  • Use a dark pencil to draw all the inner planes and begin shading.
  • Add details, for example, breaks in the bones. Armed with different pencils, put light and shadow and shadow on a horizontal surface.

Related Questions

Skull with Bones

  • We already mentioned Jolly Roger in the previous paragraph. It has different variations in its design. The skeleton itself may be full-face or in profile, and the bones may be located below the head, or behind it.
  • Outline the silhouette and line up the bones. Draw one vertical and two horizontal lines, then raw the palpebral fissure, nose, and jaw.
  • Circle the contour of Roger and the bones. Next gently shade, use different tones of the blackout. We offer to watch a video lesson.

Skull with a Snake

  • Conduct various experiments. For example, to depict Adam's head with a snake coming out of the sockets, by the way, this is a favorite tattoo design.
  • The basic principles remain the same. First, make a sketch. Then, in the usual way, draw all the details of the head and draw a snake. Pay attention to the correct location of the head of the snake.

Skull with Flowers

  • Another famous tattoo art is the image of a skeleton with a rose or other colors.
  • You already know how to draw a skeleton of a head from different angles so it will not be too difficult for you. Pay attention to the image of roses. They need to be conveyed most plausibly, drawing each petal and adding volume with the help of proper shading.

Skull Tattoo – Pencil Drawing

  • Most importantly when drawing or designing tattoos, images of flowers, skulls, and interesting inscriptions most often come to mind.
  • Of course, the variations are endless, and the number of possible images for tattoos is limited only by your imagination.
  • As a result, not everyone is ready to change his own body – for example, some people change their preferences almost every day and are not sure that the drawing that I liked today will seem pretty tomorrow.
  • But there is a great way out – just draw a tattoo yourself, even if not on your own skin, you can do with a piece of paper.
  • So, in this lesson we will try to draw a simple tattoo with a skull and arrows – it looks succinctly, but it is not too difficult to realize the intended image.
  • If you are interested in real tattoos more than just drawings, then you just need to get acquainted with the most exciting and relevant information about symbols – there you will find a lot of useful information.
  • The very first stage of drawing a tattoo with a skull is a simple circle of the base. It is not necessary to make it too neat – it will be enough that is just like a circle.

Focus on Drawing Guidelines

  • The sketch is divided by a pair of guidelines, which should be relatively light and then – later they will have to be erased.
  • Next, we need to sketch the shape of the skull. This tutorial described in detail the process of drawing the skull, so that you can easily cope.
  • The upper part is rounded, followed by protruding sides of the cheekbones and jaw outline.
  • The next stage is drawing the “features of the face” of our skull.
  • Despite all the closeness to the principles of drawing an ordinary human face, it all looks very ominous.
  • The eye sockets are illustrated on the horizontal guideline, just below – the hole in which the nose is usually located.
  • At this step we will deal with the details – we will add relief and additional lines that will make the “look” of our skull expressive and frightening, and also draw our teeth.
  • Behind our skull, we draw a graphic pattern in the form of an arrow consisting of several lines.
  • At the last stage, it remains only to paint over the holes in the skull.
  • If you want to add a little color, you can use almost any shades, just make sure that the picture looks volumetric.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses. I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here. Use my link.

Sketching and Collage. Take a look at this sketching resource I have created. Use this link.

Proko. Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of Anatomy and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this, I really like Proko.

Art Easels. One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The H frame easel is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I made for you.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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