Drawing Skulls and Bone

Drawing a skull or any complex item requires some time in setting up. It is important to measure while you sketch the outline of the skull so as to get the proportions correct. I don’t worry about things like eye sockets, little holes, etc. until later.

With this drawing of a deer skull, we will be adding a smooth tone to the blocked out line drawing before any details or shading begins. This gives a mid-value base to start from which can be added to with pencil or taken away from with a kneaded eraser.

When the blocked out skull is ready, take your 4B graphite stick and gently, evenly apply tone to the surface of the paper, keeping inside the boundaries of your drawing. Try to find a flat spot on your stick which will leave a wide trail of graphite. I find small, circular strokes work well, applying very little pressure. Then, with some tissue or paper towel, gently rub the graphite to produce an even tone.

At this point you can erase any graphite which got rubbed outside the lines of your blocking. Then you can add detail and shading with your HB and 2B pencils and remove tone with your kneaded eraser to create highlights.

~ by amyheggieart on April 25, 2012.

25 Responses to “Drawing Skulls and Bone”

  1. Good work, great picture.

  2. Hi Amy,
    Great work !! I am truly inspired. So much so, that I decided to get this design tattooed on my arm. I really hope you don’t mind.
    Please see the link below if you’re interested.


    I have credited your work.
    Thanks for sharing it all!

  3. what are the plants in the picture? i absolutely love it. oddly enough i found this searching for a reindeer skull tattoo (as i am from Lapland, Finland). apparently i was not the only one that thought this would make an amazing tattoo. great work

  4. P.S. i am also a fellow Canadian living in Toronto 🙂

  5. Hi Amy,
    This is a truly inspiring piece. I have been looking for something to help draw my dream catcher tattoo together and I would love to use your drawing as a basis for my tattoo. I would love to show it to you once I have it drawn out.

    • Sidney, thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoy my work. Please feel free to use it in your tattoo and be sure to send me a photo of the finished piece. I really look forward to seeing it!

  6. Hi Amy, How is everything going? This is very nice, such detail.
    I had an opportunity to look at some of your other drawings, and they are just as good. Amazing!
    Take care, Mo

  7. Hi Amy,

    As above I love your image, like really honestly love it.
    My daughter saw this and asked who is the artist Mum and
    can we buy a print? Is this a possibility?

    Muchly admiring your work,
    Nat and Lucja

  8. Love this!

    Especially the contrast between the coarse, dark antlers and the softness of the white petals!

    Is there any way I can get a large copy of this to print? it would look so great on my wall!

    Props from South Africa


    • Hello Itty,
      Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Thanks for liking my work! I do have prints available. The image size is approx. 13″x17″. Cost is $60.00 plus shipping/handling.

  9. Hi Amy, Just love your work!! I was wondering if you would allow me to use this as my logo for my business? I decorate skulls 🙂

  10. I was just wondering if I could possibly get your permission to use this in one of my classes at my high school. We are printing images on shirts, pillow cases, etc. It would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Thank You!

  12. Hi, I really love this drawing, I’ve been searching for something like this for a while to use as my logo for my floristry business, would it be possible for me to use it ? Thank You, Anna

    • Hi Anna,
      Sorry, I’m not sure if I replied to you or not. A couple of other people are using this drawing as a logo. If you don’t mind that, go ahead and use it.

  13. I am opening a small tanning salon and I am in love with this picture and was wondering if I could use it as my logo.
    thank you so much.
    Kaiya Springer

  14. Hello Amy,

    I recently came across your image when finding pictures for a tattoo. I apologize for not asking permission before hand and hope you do not mind! It is truly a great piece of art and I feel privileged to have found it. I will gladly tag you and give credit to this beautiful design! Thanks!

    • Hello! Thank you for your message. This drawing has been popular. Two people are using it as logos for their small businesses and another person in the UK has had it tattooed as well. I’m glad you like it!
      Cheers, Amy

  15. Hey Amy, I really love this, it’s stunning!

    I know this was originally posted in 2012 so I don’t expect a reply (although you look like you’ve been excellent at getting back to the recent comments!) but I was wondering if I could use this as part of my blog logo/design please?

    Thank you very much 🙂

    • Hi Hannah,
      The deer skull is already being used as a logo in the UK for a florist and others are using it for various things. I don’t mind if you use it but please credit it appropriately.
      Thanks for your interest!

  16. Hey Amy, I’m not sure if my comment got through to you but if not please drop me an email/ tweet to me 🙂

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