Sketch Book 50: Skull

I was actually going to draw Santa Claus on this past Saturday, but I couldn’t decide on a good pose. I’m not sure why, but I changed my mind and decided to draw a skull (seems like Halloween would have been a better holiday for this). I drew part of a skull once before when I drew “Face and Skull” over two years ago. That drawing was a bit more focused on structure whereas this one I decided to focus on light (or lack of it).

My proportions are a bit off, but overall I think it looks good. I decided to add a few rough cracks to hint at why this person is no longer living, though I suppose that if everything but your skeleton has decayed, you’ve probably been dead for quite a while. Anyway, the cracks were a good chance to play with irregular shapes and their effect on lighting.

This one clearly turned out well enough that I was willing to take the time to get out my real camera instead of just snapping a quick photo with my cell phone.

3 Responses to “Sketch Book 50: Skull”

  1. 1 Gayle McKennon

    I just happened to run across your skull drawing, and I like it! Looks kind of feminine! Is this from a real skull, photo, or out of your head? Looks like normal eyes inside the eye sockets there…
    I also happen to be an accomplished artist who has done a lot of figure drawing and portraiture. As well as color, I appreciate black and white. This interests me because once I scored a real human skull, and did a clay sculpture of it. That skull is now used for art classes for reference. I find the skull to be very oddly beautiful and surprising to try and draw- how all those shapes, angles, proportions, and values work together.
    A worthy adventure- like one that Leonardo would pursue!

  2. 2 Gayle McKennon

    Good luck on your projects!

  3. 3 Ian Clifton

    Hi Gayle,

    This is based loosely on a photo in a book (with some embellishments, of course). Skulls are absolutely fascinating. They have a great mix of shapes and angles, unlike much of the rest of the skeleton. Thanks for the praise :)

    – Ian