How to Draw a Flaming Skull Step-by-Step

Written by neal litherland
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How to Draw a Flaming Skull Step-by-Step
Flaming skulls can be added to a variety of things, from clothing to cars. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

The flaming skull is a major pop culture symbol, often associated with all things tough. Seen on bandannas, tattoos and even in comic books with characters such as Ghost Rider, the flaming skull is a popular image. If you want to learn to draw a flaming skull, it can take a couple of tries, but if you have a pencil and a piece of paper, you can work on drawing it properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Skull and fire references

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  1. 1

    Draw a circle. This circle represents the upper portion of the head, disconnected from the jaw. Draw a vertical line to represent where the nose hole is going to be. If you're looking straight, it will be a straight line; and if you're looking from an angle, the line will be curved. Profile views don't have this line, as it's the edge of the circle depending on which way the skull is looking. Add a second, vertical line roughly 2/3 up on the circle to represent where the eyes will be. The angle and curve of the line will show if the eyes are looking straight, or if the head is tilted.

  2. 2

    Draw in a rough outline of the jaw next. If the skull is seen in profile, then add a curve to the circle that's roughly like a gas mask; and if you're seeing the jaw from a head on perspective, you need to draw an angled line from the lower left and right sides of the circle that are equal, and then decide where the bottom of the jaw rests so that you have a rough outline of the jaw.

  3. 3

    Add the rough outlines of the skull's features. Add in the eye sockets and the nose cavity in the rough centre of the skull. Use references to skulls to get the proportions and dimensions right.

  4. 4

    Add the outlines of the flames once you've marked out the eye sockets, nose cavity and teeth on the skull. Decide if the fire is just sitting on top of the head such as hair; if it's spilling from the eyes and mouth; and what direction that the fire is going. Look at references of fire and draw the outline of the larger body of fire, and overlay it with the outlines of individual flames on the skull.

  5. 5

    Add in details to the skull. Licks of flame that are lifting off of the main body, shadows cast by the fire between the teeth or deep in the eye sockets and things like cracks in the skull or rough edges of bone along the jaw and the ridge line of the forehead. Add pattern to the fire, making it blow in a certain direction such as if there was a wind, or have jets of smoke blowing from the mouth or nostrils. Put all of the finishing touches on and erase all the unneeded outlines and lighter guidelines that you drew to get to the final skull.

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