Day of the Dead Skull


Step #1  Paint the whole face white, but skip the eyes and the nose if you can resist!

Step #2 Outline the eyes, making a raised arch at the outer eyebrow will increase the scary level.

Step#3 Blacken in the nose kind of like an upside down heart or triangle. You can make it a little raggedy and chipped at the top if that is the way you like your nose-less noses.

Step#4 Check out those scowling eyebrow creases, have your client of death scowl and follow their natural furrows!

Step #5  Frame the forehead with ( ) lines starting at the eyebrow furrows and angling to the upper spot on the temples.  Blend in the line work with a almost dry brush or your finger. (You have to do the blending fast while the paint is a little moist on either the face or the brush)

Step #6 Think of the cheek bone as a gentle v stroke that starts a little above the nostril but on the cheek, and that fades off to a parallel line heading towards the ear.  Blend  downwards,  really darkening the shadow under the side of the jaw bone.

Step #7 Darken in the temples leaving a thin piece of bone framing the outside of the eye and creating a ridge between the temple and that ) forehead shadow.

Step #7 Shade the lower jaw bone, following the line or creating a new shape to the jaw.

Step #8 For fast teeth load one side of the chisel or round brush  with white   ( a round brush will make long pointy teeth) and then flip it over and rub the edges in black. Stamp the white side along the lips forming these cute individually outlined teeth.

Step #9 Add a funky black mustache to simulate a day of the dead male skull. I am not sure how much I like this addition, but it is funny.

Step #10 Darken the cracks between the teeth if needed and create root ridges by dragging down thin lines towards the point of the chin from between each tooth.  Don’t go all the way down.

Step #11 Make black ovals on the side of the teeth that should actually go all the way up and under the” v” of the cheekbone, this splits the lower jaw from the bones of the upper skull. What was I thinking, it was 9am when I did this!

Step # 12  I experimented with following sections of my line work with mimicking lines slightly inside the white area.  I added cracks to texturize old skully and patted faint amounts of black around the white to dirty it up and add more texture.

Step #13 I blent down the inside of the cheekbone lines with a dryish black brush to add more depth.

Step #12 Make the fiery floral design with a double or triple loaded pointy round brush of warm colors and black on the outer edge. I outlined each one on the top again with black so I could add a flaming tip.

Step # 13 For an added bonus of delight, throw in a spine. I just winged this messy old spine.Thanks to Eric Dexter, or the band Saraph, for sacrificing his good looks for this step by step of madness!

The picture below shows what a skull really looks like. Oh I have a long way to go!

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6 comments on “Day of the Dead Skull

  1. ANNA YOUR THE BEST!!!! I love my new book even though I have only been able to flip though it because since Living Canvas I have been so busy. However, now I am able to sit down and relax and I was reading your e-mail and come and look at your blog and your You-Tube. So cool so supercalifragalistic !!!!! (hmmm….. however you spell it) Just wanted to say you are an amazing artist and your spirit is so nice and helpful, thank you again!!!!! Cant wait to take another class from you someday!!!

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