How to Draw a Skull

In various times and places, the skull and crossbones symbol has had a number of different meanings.

In history and popular culture, this symbol placed on a black flag meant the vessel flying the flag was a pirate ship. The image has been used by certain military groups, university fraternities and sororities, and secret societies. In Spanish speaking cultures, it is sometimes used to mark the entrance to a cemetery. On product packaging, the skull and crossbones indicates that the contents are poisonous in nature and should be handled with caution.

If you would like to learn to draw a skull and crossbones, follow this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial. You will need a piece of paper and something with which to draw, such as a pencil, marker, or ink pen. An eraser is also recommended.

As you follow this drawing guide, you will notice that each step is accompanied by an illustration. In each picture, new lines drawn during that step are highlighted in blue, while previous lines appear in black. Sketch lightly at first, as you will need to erase some of the early lines, called guide lines, as you complete your picture.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Jack O Lantern, Ghost, and Skeleton.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Skull

How to Draw Skull: Step 1

Begin by drawing a circle.

How to Draw Skull: Step 2

Next, draw a curved line, beginning within the circle and extending downward.

How to Draw Skull: Step 3

Draw another line on the opposite side, creating a mirror image of the first line.

How to Draw Skull: Step 4

Erase the portion of the circle that is between the two curved lines.

How to Draw Skull: Step 5

Draw another curved line extending downward from the middle of the first curved line.

How to Draw Skull: Step 6

Draw another line on the opposite side, mirroring the previous line.

How to Draw Skull: Step 7

Draw a curved line connecting the previous two lines.

How to Draw Skull: Step 8

Draw a horizontal curve in the middle of the image. This line should resemble a smile.

How to Draw Skull: Step 9

Draw teeth above the curved line. For each tooth, draw a curved, upside down “U” shaped line. Repeat to create eleven teeth. The two front teeth should be the largest, decreasing in size toward the sides.

How to Draw Skull: Step 10

Using eleven “U” shaped lines, draw a mirror image of the teeth below the curved line.

How to Draw Skull: Step 11

Draw the left eye by sketching a circle.

How to Draw Skull: Step 12

Draw a second circle to form the right eye.

How to Draw Skull: Step 13

Below the eyes, draw an irregular, egg shaped oval. This forms the nasal cavity.

How to Draw Skull: Step 14

Within the oval, draw two curved lines, beginning at the top of the shape and extending to each side.

How to Draw Skull: Step 15

Draw the bone extending from the upper right side. To begin, draw a large, upside down “U” shaped line. Connected to this, draw another “U” shaped line, open to the left. Connect this line to the skull using a slightly curved line.

How to Draw Skull: Step 16

Draw the other end of this bone extending from the bottom left. Use two curved lines to form the bone. Each line should be shaped roughly like the upper portion of a question mark.

How to Draw Skull: Step 17

Draw the bone extending from the bottom right using two curved lines.

How to Draw Skull: Step 18

Draw the bone on the upper left side. It should be a mirror image of the bone on the right side, consisting of three curved lines.

How to Draw Skull: Step 19

Shade each of the eyes and the upper portions of the nasal cavity.

How to Draw Skull: Step 20

Erase the curve from the bottom of the nasal cavity. The skull is now complete.

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