How to Draw a Skull and Rose

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The human skull has long served as a symbol of death and mortality in art. This is no more plainly seen than in the danse macabre or dance of death, an allegorical concept that arose in Europe during the Middle Ages.

The danse macabre presents death as the great equalizer - no matter one's station in life, death awaits them. Danse macabre artwork often features skulls and dancing skeletons. This artistic style arose during the late 1300s and early 1400s, when the bubonic plague had killed nearly half of Europe's population.

Macabre themes still exist in art today. One example is the tattoo artist Ed Hardy's design featuring images similar to our illustration, along with phrases like "Love kills." It can be found on clothing, car accessories, and other products. The Ed Hardy brand even sells a cologne called Skulls and Roses - the perfume bottle is shaped like a skull holding a rose stem between its teeth.

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Would you like to draw a cartoon of a skull with roses? This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Skull in 3/4 view, Sugar Skull, and Cross with a Rose.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Skull and Rose

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 1

1. Begin by sketching the braincase and face of the skull. Use a long curved line. Draw another, shorter line overlapping the end of the first. Note the bulges of the zygomatic area beneath the eyes.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 2

2. Draw the area around the eyes, the orbital plate. For each orbit or eye socket, enclose an irregular rounded shape. Draw a curved line along the left side. Then, draw an eyebrow-like curved line above each eye.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 3

3. Next, draw the nose - the perpendicular plate, the anterior nasal spine, the vomer, and the inferior nasal concha. Use a pair of curved lines to outline the bulge of the nose. Then, enclose two triangular shapes beneath it.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 4

4. Draw two curved lines beneath the skull, and connect them with a long curved line. This forms the maxilla or upper jaw. Draw inverted “U” shaped lines to indicate the teeth.

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How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 5

5. Use a series of curved lines to enclose the lower jaw or mental foramen. Use “U” shaped lines to form the teeth, and a curved line to indicate the space between the bones.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 6

6. Draw the first of the roses. Enclose a double teardrop shape, and draw a curved line across it. From this, draw two curved lines that meet at a point. Continue to draw these pairs of lines in a circular or spiral pattern around the center. The lines should become longer as you go, enclosing a wider space. Each set of lines is one petal of the rose.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 7

7. Draw the second rose. Again, use pairs of lines that meet at curved triangular points to create the petals.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 8

8. Draw the final flower, partially hidden behind the jawbones of the skull.

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How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 9

9. Draw pairs of parallel curved lines between two of the roses and the skull. This forms the stem or vine. Use straight lines to enclose triangular thorns along the stem. Draw a leaf here and there, using two curved lines that meet at a point. Draw a curved line down the middle of each leaf to indicate the vein.

How to Draw Skull and Rose: Step 10

Color your macabre cartoon. What color will your roses be? Various colors of roses have symbolic meanings. Red roses are for love. Pink symbolizes joy, admiration, and gratitude. Orange roses mean passion, yellow mean friendship, and white mean purity and innocence.

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The Complete Skull and Rose Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Skull and Rose

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