How to Draw a Skull: 50 How-to’s, Tutorials, Studies, Photo References, Videos, and Inspirational Skull Illustrations
38 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:
- Anatomical Studies of Skulls
- How-to’s and tutorials on drawing skulls
- Stylized Skulls
- Photo references of Skulls
- Websites devoted to 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 Drawing by Nicole Breedyk (via Flickr)
Skull Page by Steven Russell Black (via Flickr)
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
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.
Skull by hydro74 and another one by the same artist:
Skull Illustration by hydro74… siiick.
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)
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!
Tribal Skull by Ty Lombardi
Skull Tattoo by Bazaar
Human Skull by David Liittschwager on California Academy of Sciences Skulls website – great resource for all kinds of funky skulls.
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.
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: