1. Design & Illustration
  2. Human Anatomy

How to Draw a Skull in Profile, Step by Step

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a human skull from scratch, step by step. I will explain every little detail of the drawing, and the perspective will be really basic, so you don't need any previous drawing experience to try this. 

To make it even easier, try to make the drawing small—this will let you use the same movements you use for writing, so you will be more precise.

1. How to Draw the Brain Case

Step 1

Draw a line. Its length is up to you—the longer it is, the bigger the drawing will be. Feel free to use a ruler if necessary.

drawing skull first line

Step 2

Find the center of the line and mark it.

how to find the center of the line

Step 3

Draw a line perpendicular to the previous line. Make it slightly longer than a half of that first line.

perpendicular line

Step 4

Draw a mirrored copy of the line to create a rotated cross.

foundation of an ellipse

Step 5

We're going to create an ellipse out of it. If you have problems with it, here's how you can do it: lightly draw some curves between the ends of the two lines, as if you wanted to draw in the air and on the paper at the same time.

how to draw a perfect ellipse

Then draw over these light lines to create a final curve.

how to draw curves

Use the same trick to finish the ellipse.

how to draw an oval

Step 6

Find the center of this quarter...

oval guide lines

... and use it to create six sections.

six sections ellipse

Step 7

Connect two section markers with a curve.

skull eye where

Step 8

Cross this curve with a loop.

how to draw skull eye

2. How to Draw the Jaw

Step 1

Elongate the shorter line of the ellipse down.

how to draw jaws

Step 2

Mark the length of half of that shorter line.

skull proportions

Step 3

Draw a horizontal line across this point.

skull jaw proportions

Step 4

Divide the other quarter of the ellipse into four sections.

skull cranium proportions

Step 5

Draw a line from the first of these sections, creating a parallel line.

skull back of the jaws

Step 6

Draw another parallel line, this time starting below the eye socket.

skull drawing jaw width

Step 7

Divide this line into four sections.

drawing jaws proportions

Step 8

Cross it with a perpendicular line. Make it as long as a half of the line it's crossing, and parallel to the longer line of the ellipse.

skull mouth proportions

Step 9

Draw a circle around this symmetrical cross. Use that trick from drawing the ellipse to keep it round.

skull mouth drawing

Step 10

Close the shape of the front of the jaw with two more lines.

drawing front of the jaws

3. How to Draw the Nose and Teeth

Step 1

Draw a little circle in the back of the skull.

drawing back of the skull

Step 2

Divide the lower half of the jaw circle into three sections.

drawing lower jaw proportions

Step 3

Draw a curve through these points.

drawing jaw curve

Step 4

Draw a circle above the eye socket to create the brow.

drawing skull brow

Step 5

Draw a guide line between the brow and the jaw.

skull nose proportions

Step 6

Draw a gentle curve between the brow and the eye socket.

drawing skull eye socket

Step 7

Draw a line under the ellipse, parallel to the longer line of it.

drawing skull where to place the eye

Step 8

Draw a curve under the brow. This will be the nasal bridge.

drawing skull how to draw the nose

Step 9

Draw a line between the tip of the nasal bridge and the center of the jaw circle.

drawing skull nose shape

Step 10

Divide a quarter of that circle into three sections.

drawing skull upper jaw proportions

Step 11

Draw a short line coming from the last point towards the lower jaw.

drawing skull back of the teeth

Step 12

Draw the curvy line for the rows of teeth.

drawing skull teeth rows

4. How to Draw the Details of the Skull

Step 1

Divide a quarter of the jaw circle into halves this time.

drawing skull details

Step 2

Draw an oval through it, under the eye socket.

drawing skull zygomatic bone

Step 3

Mark a half of it.

drawing skull cheek bone

Step 4

Draw a line between the point and the end of the lower jaw.

drawing skull side detail

Step 5

Draw another line between these two areas, this time going below the oval.

drawing skull cheek bone shape

Step 6

Draw a small oval stuck to the jaw joint.

drawing jaw joint details

Step 7

Draw a circle beside the big oval on the cheek.

drawing skull details of cheek bone

Step 8

Draw two curves from this point. This will create the shape of the lower jaw.

drawing skull shape of the lower jaw

Step 9

Add more curves to close the ridges of the eye socket.

drawing skull eye socket details
drawing skull eye socket ridge
drawing skull eye socket brow

Step 10

Mark the side of the brain case.

drawing skull temple

Step 11

Draw an oval under the brain case, right behind the lower jaw.

drawing skull back of the skull

Step 12

Draw a big circle on the lower jaw to make its shape more realistic. It should be slightly above that horizontal guide line.

drawing skull lower jaw details

Step 13

Finish the shape of the nose with a few more guide lines.

drawing skull nose
drawing skull nose lower part
drawing skull nose shape

Step 14

Draw the guide lines for the teeth.

drawing skull teeth
drawing skull front teeth
drawing skull nose back teeth

5. How to Finish the Drawing of a Skull

Step 1

The sketch is finished! To create the final lines now, you can use a darker tool, or put a new sheet of paper over the sketch to see the subtle guide lines under it.

First, outline the shape of the skull.

drawing skull outline

Step 2

Outline the eye socket.

drawing skull eye socket outline

Step 3

Outline the ridges around the eye socket and the cheekbone.

drawing skull side details

Step 4

Outline the teeth. Give them slightly rounded tops.

drawing skull teeth details

Step 5

Outline the jaw.

drawing skull jaws outline

Step 6

Press more lightly now and sketch some details on the surface of the skull. Nothing fancy, just some seams here and there.

drawing skull seams

Step 7

Let's shade it with cross-hatching to give it the fancy look of an old book figure.

drawing skull cross hatching
drawing skull shading
drawing skull finished

Good Job!

You've learned how to draw a skull step by step! If you want to keep learning, check out more of my tutorials:

How to draw a skull step by step simple
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