How to Draw a Coffin

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What is a coffin? A coffin is a box or container in which the body of a deceased person is placed for burial or cremation. Coffins are also used to display the body at many funerals.

Is there a difference between a coffin and a casket? The word casket originally meant a box for keeping jewelry or other treasures. It became an Americanism used to refer to rectangular coffins.

Hexagonal coffins like the one in this drawing guide are still used throughout the world.

Coffins have varied much over the centuries and from place to place. Ancient Egyptian royalty were mummified and placed in coffins called sarcophagi. These were often covered in gold and bore a sculpture of the inhabitant.

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Some cultures wrapped their dead in baskets, cloth, or flowers; there are even reports of Native American peoples being buried in large turtle shells. Others used wooden or stone coffins similar to those still in use today.

In popular culture, coffins often make appearances as harbingers of the undead, such as zombies or vampires.

Other uses include museum recreations of the funerals of famous people, such as Abraham Lincoln at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Would you like to draw an eerie open coffin? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker, as well as a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Eyeball, Mummy, and Grim Reaper.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Coffin

How to Draw Coffin: Step 1

1. Begin by using straight lines to outline an irregular hexagon, or six-sided, shape. This is the lid of the coffin. Notice that the box is wider at the top to accommodate the person’s shoulders.

How to Draw Coffin: Step 2

2. Give the coffin lid a three-dimensional appearance. Extend a short straight line downward from each of the near corners of the lid. Then, connect these lines using longer straight lines.

How to Draw Coffin: Step 3

3. Use straight lines to outline another irregular hexagon shape, identical to the first, partially covered by the coffin lid. This will form the opening of the coffin itself. Then, outline another shape parallel to the coffin, slightly smaller than and within the boundaries of the previous. Connect the corners of the two shapes using straight lines.

How to Draw Coffin: Step 4

4. Extend straight lines downward from each of the near corners of the coffin. Connect these using longer straight lines. This outlines the complete coffin.

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How to Draw Coffin: Step 5

5. Draw a cross, like a lowercase letter “t,” on the lid of the coffin. Crosses have been used to decorate coffins for centuries.

How to Draw Coffin: Step 6

6. Detail the coffin so that it appears to be made of wooden boards. Draw long straight lines down the length of the coffin and its lid, as well as shorter lines in the opposite direction.

How to Draw Coffin: Step 7

7. Draw a small rectangle just above the cross on the coffin’s lid. Use curved lines to sketch two curved, wide “U” shapes on the sides of the coffin; these are the handles used to carry the coffin. These are referred to as “coffin furniture.”

How to Draw Coffin: Step 8

8. Draw another handle near the front of the coffin, using curved lines. Outline small “T” shapes on the top of the coffin. These might be used to lower the coffin into the ground on ropes. Draw more lines for texture as desired.

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How to Draw Coffin: Step 9

9. Outline small “T” shapes on the opposite side of the coffin, erasing guide lines as necessary. Write the letters “RIP” within the small rectangle. This stands for the words “Rest in peace.”

How to Draw Coffin: Step 10

Color your coffin.

Who will find their final resting place inside? Check out our people drawing guides for more sketching fun.

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The Complete Coffin Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Coffin

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