How to Draw a Skull: 50 How-to’s, Tutorials, Studies, Photo References, Videos, and Inspirational Skull Illustrations

37 Comments | November 20, 2008

Ah, the skull. Universal and visceral, fascinating and beautiful. Symbolic of those most basic themes: life and death. We find it in pop culture, occult ritual, on shoulders worldwide; most importantly, we find it in ourselves. No wonder we see it over and over in the world of art. It is mystical… perhaps we look for answers about the life after death in the bony visage of the skull.

Whatever the case, at the end of day, skulls are pretty cool! Which is exactly why I set out to put together of a haphazard list of drawings, photos, tutorials & how-tos, videos, and illustrations dealing with the human skull.

I hope it proves useful to you and inspires you as it has me. So without further ado, categorized by what seemed to make sense, skulls:

Enjoy!

New!

Skull on Tattooport

Drawn and Tattoo Skulls on TattooPort


Anatomical Studies of Skulls

Update: See also Skull Anatomy for Artists

Skull Left Lateral Index from Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body

Skull Plate by Dr. Bock

Human Skull Engraving by William Miller

Human Skull Side from David Darling’s Internet Encyclopedia of Science. Great resource for the anatomy of the human skull.

Skull Drawings by Paul Doeman

Skull Drawing by Ha Young Lee

Skull Sketches by Nadine Gorham

Idealized Proportion Human Figure, The Human Skull, Plate VII by Michael M. Hensley. You’ve got to check this guy’s website out, Human Anatomicae: he’s got fantastic reference drawings of the human bodies. Especially useful is the section on hands and feet – but that’s another post ;)

Skull – Front and Side View by krisheding

Skull Drawing by Nicole Breedyk (via Flickr)

Skull Page by Steven Russell Black (via Flickr)


How-to’s and tutorials on how to draw skulls

How to Draw a Skull on 2d-Digital-Art-Guide

How To Draw A Skull And Crossbones on Drago-Art

Discover Easy Steps To Have Your Pencil Drawing Of A Skull on Pencil-Drawing-Idea.com

How to Draw a Skull on ExpertVillage.com

Drawing the Human Skull on draw23.com

Draw a Skull with a Wacom Tablet from Go Media on Vimeo.


Stylized Skulls

Skull Reference by Matthew Amey. The image above is one of 151 drawings of the human skull Matthew Amey did in 2003. Those along with skull drawings by 150 artists can be found on the website: this is definitely for all the skull lovers out there. Here’s another one from the book (which you can buy here):

Skull by Ron Domstead

La Coka Nostra by Brian Morris. This guy has some real dope drawings and illustrations. You can get the above image on a T-Shirt over at shopbenchmark.com. One of his tees is also featured on Threadless Select.

Pinstripe Skull by Rob Schwager. Above available as print Schwager’s online store.

Skull by hydro74 and another one by the same artist:

Skull Illustration by hydro74… siiick.

Machine Skull by Eliot Flores – When I first stumbled upon this picture I thought it’d be from hydro74, they look somewhat similar… can’t decided which one is sicker!

Scaphocephaly by R. E. Wolf (via Flickr)

Trophy Skull by Danny PiG (via Flickr)

Snake and Skull by Joe_13 (via Flickr)

Pumpkin Pattern – Skulls by Chris Rushing (via Flickr)

Skull by b.media (via Flickr)

Skull Head72 by ceroakb1 (via Flickr)

Metal Skull by Marcus Tegtmeier (via Flickr)

Skull & Lotus by Usugrow – this guy is incredible, and he loves skulls. You can also check out this bit on an Usugrow art opening on Fecal Face.

Alien Biker Skull by Von R. Glitschka

Grunge Skull Illustration by Chad Lonius. Chad’s got some sick illustrations and gives away free vector illustrations from time to time, including the one shown above!

Another Skull by Shane from ShanesArt.com – dude’s got some sick skills.

Tribal Skull by Ty Lombardi

Skull Tattoo by Bazaar


Photo references of skulls

Human Skull by David Liittschwager on California Academy of Sciences Skulls website – great resource for all kinds of funky skulls.

Human Skull by DeLoy Roberts – Granted this picture is kind of crappy, but his website has tons of animal skulls as well.

Azibaza has some crazy items for sale – unfortunately this Tibetan carved human skull is sold out. Definitely check out some of their other items, including their kapalas (skull caps).

More crazy skulls can be found over at tribalartasia.com, including this Naga Headhunting Human Trophy Skull.

Cradleboard Skull from bmezine.com. Although retired, you can still look at the pictures of skulls – this one in particular from the “Deformation and other Unique Defects” category.

You can find skull replicas of all kinds of hominids over Skulls Unlimited (in the Fossil Hominids section), including this Homo neanderthalensis skull.

More ostheological reproductions are available from Bone Clones, including this skull with brain… cool :)

Human Skull with Horns from subversiveelement.com. According to this most entertaining site, this skull was found in 1880’s in Pennsylvania, USA, but was subsequently stolen. Sitting on top of male skeletons 7 ft. tall, these would have made for some scary fellows.

For more bizarre skulls check out this skull of a supposed fishman; apparently quite a few of them have been found according to dominorus’ site.


Websites Devoted to Skulls

For those of you who haven’t gotten their fill, here are more websites devoted to skulls exclusively:

Skull-A-Day – the blog of artist Noah Scalin. Not too long ago he decided to make a one skull a day for a year, and so he did. Recently completed, the blog lives on with user contributed skulls and spawned a book that you can find through IndieBound.

I Want Your Skull – great site that also publishes its own little sweet zine. Great skull art and plenty of inspiration here.

Sweet Skulls.com – Examines the skull in pop culture. You’ll find a lot of old b-movie posters and other assorted trash art.

Stuff to buy

The End, almost

No post on skulls would be complete without a nod to Skullface himself, Ghost Rider:

Ghost Rider cover by Marc Silvestri

… but the last laugh goes to the ultimate bonehead:

Comments

  • Hey man!.
    I really apreciate your comments about my work!
    Im flattered! :D

    Best!

  • its awesome :) :D:D

    Tina
  • No problem Eliot – your drawings are nice!

  • these r heaps good skulls better than my skulls keep up the good work

    josh masling
  • oMG i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I love drawing skulls!!!!

    princess
  • i llove skull but they are hard to draw..

    ana
  • Nice collection of skulls, I like the free hand drawings very much. You should check out my website as well… look under book cover!

  • @David: Nice one!

  • nice skulls. I can draw skulls but never anything like this

    Nathaniel
  • You are fantastic, I admire your style. You’re talent is way out there.

    Mona
  • I LOVE SKULLS!! IF YOU HAVE ANY UNUSUALL SKULLS, WOULD YOU PLEASE EMAIL ME THE PHOTO

    THANK YOU,
    SMP

    Stacy Phelps
  • Duuuuude I was just looking at LikeMindedStudio’s Flickr album within this past week!!! Sick shit. Weird coincidence.

  • […] Videos […]

  • good i like your skill
    nice to see your skull drawing dont break your speed.

    tika
  • This looks so cool! Can I use some ideas to complete my bandlogo?? I wont look the same at all, just the ideas!;)

    ACX

    Anne-Claire
  • Hi!Friend,I like this site,you are great!

    Jie
  • Tyler Vo has a really good how to draw a skull or skeleton step by step tutorial on youtube, visit this link to see the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g4qZ-fdlAM

  • they are awsome but most of them i have seen still cool

  • go to my website at how to draw.com

  • […] cómo están “construidos", debemos conocer su “esqueleto”, en esta página podrás encontrar referencias y tutoriales para dibujar cráneos en […]

  • I think that skulls are so cool I can draw some good ones but they need to be on vidoe so I can follow the person’s hand but this is wicked awesome!

    Sam
  • dude your drawings are so sick man i would love to see your best work

    bre
  • Hey man! Awesome stuff you have here.

    I think that you got exactly what people want when they look for skull drawings. I get around five people every day on my blog just for term “skull drawings” and I can’t even find that I rank for this term. I have only one article that has something in common but it is reference material not drawings.

    Sick stuff!

  • YOUR ART IS OUTSTANDING. I AM A COSTOM PINSTRIPER SINCE 1955 MOST OF MY WORK IN ON CUSTOM CARS AND BIKES SINCE MY WORK NOW IS ON HARLEYS, SKULLS ON EVERYTHING SO YOU ARE A GREAT RESORSE FOR ME THANKS FOR YOUR TALENT LYLE FISK

  • Cool man or woman this site is osaaamm .

    SanjidaTasnim
  • its soooo cool i love that alott i can drow but not like that ofcors<3 and gd lock with every thing

    fofo
  • Hey man, this is amazing!!!! Incredible work!
    What a compilation of skulls.

    Congratulations!

  • i thought this page was very help full since i am now doing my portfolio at this very moment and also the drawings of the skulls om here are quite amazing.

  • Good Job !

    Very Usefull…

    LV

    Lutin_x_Vert
  • Thanks for amassing these sources all together. I have spent the last week trying to find resources like this and you have made my life way simpler! :)

    Susie
  • […] first Jolly Roger. A cool place on the net for some quick help guidelines for skull drawing is at drawninblack.com. They have some terrific links to different art sources that can give you a hand getting […]

  • […] Ah, the skull. Universal and visceral, fascinating and beautiful. Symbolic of those most basic themes: life and death. We find it in pop culture, occult ritual, on shoulders worldwide; most importantly, we find it in ourselves. No wonder we see it over and over in the world of art. It is mystical… perhaps we look for answers about the life after death in the bony visage of the skull. How to Draw a Skull: 50 Tutorials | Drawn in Black […]

  • Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiicccccccccceeeeeeeeej!!!!!111,

    mathew montes
  • […] How to Draw a Skull: 50 Tutorials | Drawn in BlackNov 20, 2008 … 50 resources about skulls, including tutorials, photo references, illustrations and videos. […]

  • I was trying to make a still model of human skull.So i just wanted some images of skull from all angles.I got all of them & I am ready to make it.
    Thanks

    Arun Sathyan
  • Fuck you all

Thoughts?