How to draw sugar skulls

Written by sarah coennen
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How to draw sugar skulls
Sugar skulls are perfect for Halloween or DOD (Getty Thinkstock)

Sugar skulls are a popular treat during El Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday honouring dead relatives and friends. The sugar skulls are eaten during the festivities and used as decorations on graves or in the homes on altars for the purpose of honouring all those who are gone. Sugar skulls designs are used in tattoos on a regular basis. The skulls are small skulls that are decorated with sometimes intricate patterns that differ depending on the artist.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sugar skull sample or picture
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils

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  1. 1

    Draw a circle on your piece of paper and then draw out the facial guidelines that extend past the circle. Draw the shapes of the eyes. You can use shapes other than circles such as hearts, stars and/or suns.

  2. 2

    Draw an outline of the teeth and nose cavity as well. The teeth can have spaces or not, depending on your preference, and the nose cavity is generally a soft diamond shape, but you can use any shape you want. For example, you could use a spade or club shape.

  3. 3

    Finish the outline of the skull. Generally speaking, the shape of the skull is circular, but dips inward at the temples and then goes to a triangular shape at the jaw.

  4. 4

    Fill the skull with your own personal design. This can be an intricate web of lines and detail, or something simple drawn out. Accent the designs with shading.

  5. 5

    Go over the design with a pen or marker and erase the pencil lines. Colour in the design with coloured pencils. Hang up or use as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use other mediums beside coloured pencils. You can use markers, paints, oil pastels or a combination of a few of these.

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