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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.
Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.
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.
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- Sharpie marker to draw clean, black lines.
- Good, cheap paper to draw on or a sketch pad to take with you on your travels.
- Bright, easy to blend colored pencils or cheaper oil pastels.
- Pencil set to practice drawing and shading together with a vinyl or kneaded eraser, and a sharpener. If you draw a lot with pencils, you could even get yourself an electric sharpener.
- Faber-Castell’s Amazon store has all the above, plus great art sets for kids.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Skull
Begin by drawing a circle.
Next, draw a curved line, beginning within the circle and extending downward.
Draw another line on the opposite side, creating a mirror image of the first line.
Erase the portion of the circle that is between the two curved lines.
Draw another curved line extending downward from the middle of the first curved line.
Draw another line on the opposite side, mirroring the previous line.
Draw a curved line connecting the previous two lines.
Draw a horizontal curve in the middle of the image. This line should resemble a smile.
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.
Using eleven “U” shaped lines, draw a mirror image of the teeth below the curved line.
Draw the left eye by sketching a circle.
Draw a second circle to form the right eye.
Below the eyes, draw an irregular, egg shaped oval. This forms the nasal cavity.
Within the oval, draw two curved lines, beginning at the top of the shape and extending to each side.
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.
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.
Draw the bone extending from the bottom right using two curved lines.
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.
Shade each of the eyes and the upper portions of the nasal cavity.
Erase the curve from the bottom of the nasal cavity. The skull is now complete.
Printable PDF of the Drawing Guide
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