How to Draw a Skull

What You’ll Learn in This Skull Drawing Tutorial

  • How to draw a human skull sketch
  • How to draw human skull details
  • How to finish and shade skull drawings

1. How to Draw the Base for a Human Skull Drawing

Step 1

Let’s begin this skull drawing step-by-step tutorial by drawing a circle. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and feel free to draw it with many lines. Find its center, too. You’ll be able to refine your skull sketch later on.

human skull cranium circle

Step 2

Draw a line under the circle, using the length of its radius.

human skull lower jaw distance

Step 3

Divide this line into three sections. Skull drawing is easy once you mark the placement of the different features.

human skull lower jaw proportions

Step 4

Create a skull outline for the jaw by drawing a square “bucket” under the circle. 

human skull lower jaw shape

Step 5

Draw two ovals in the bottom third of the skull outline. This will be the chin.

human skull chin shape

Step 6

Connect the ovals with the rest of the lines.

human skull chin detailed

Step 7

Draw two huge leaning ovals in the lower half of the circle.

human skull eye sockets general

Step 8

These ovals are not eye sockets yet—their shape is too simple for this. Let’s fix it. Draw a curve crossing both ovals, leaving some space for the eyebrow area.

human skull eyebrow

Step 9

Connect this curve with the sides of the skull outline.

human skull cheekbones

Step 10

Draw another curve on the bottom, leaving a similar amount of space below.

human skull eye ridges

Step 11

You can outline the eye sockets now by giving them some space on the sides.

human skull eye sockets shape

Step 12

Draw a curve from the corner of the eye socket towards the other socket, going through the chin. This will be the mouth area.

human skull mouth shape

2. How to Draw Human Skull Details

Step 1

Now we’re ready to take this simple skull drawing to the next level. Draw a teardrop shape between the eye sockets, at the bottom of the circle. This will be the nose.

human skull nose basic shape

Step 2

Make the nose more detailed. 

human skull nose detailed shape

Step 3

Draw a curve across the mouth, through the mark between the first two thirds.

human skull smile curve

Step 4

We need to add more details to the mouth. First, define the front of the upper jaw with two curves.

human skull upper mouth area

Step 5

Draw the border of the lower teeth.

human skull lower mouth area

Step 6

Connect the teeth area to the chin.

human skull chin details

Step 7

Draw the border of the upper teeth now.

human skull upper teeth

Step 8

Finish the borders of the teeth area with these curves.

human skull jaws line

Step 9

We need to add the details to the lower jaw, too.

human skull lower jaw detail
human skull lower jaw bottom

Step 10

Add the final curves to the skull.

human skull side detail

Step 11

Divide the teeth area into separate teeth. Now it looks more like a sketch of a skull.

human skull teeth

3. How to Finish and Shade a Skull

Step 1

Let’s finish our human skull drawing. If you’re drawing traditionally, you can put a new sheet of paper over it, or simply draw with a darker medium now.

Outline the eye sockets.

human skull eye socket outline

Step 2

Outline the nose. Don’t forget about the nasal bridge on top.

human skull nose outline

Step 3

Add more detail to the edges of the eye sockets.

human skull eyes outline

Step 4

Outline the teeth. They’re slightly tapered towards the bone.

human skull teeth outline

Step 5

Add some details under and over the teeth.

human skull teeth detail

Step 6

Outline the lower jaw.

human skull lower jaw outline

Step 7

Outline the upper part of the skull.

human skull cranium outline

Step 8

This is already going from a simple skull drawing to something more detailed! Add more fancy details, if you want to be even more accurate.

human skull details outline

Step 9

You can shade the drawing if you want. Start by darkening the darkest parts…

human skull nose shaded
human skull eyes shaded

… then cross-hatch the shadow areas.

human skull shaded

Finally, thicken some of the lines to make the effect more striking. And that’s it—your drawing is done!

Good Job! You Finished Drawing a Human Skull!

Skull drawing can be a breeze if you have the right knowledge to do it. I hope this tutorial gives you all the tools you need to create successful drawings of your own.

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