How to Draw a Cartoon Skull | Enrique Plazola | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. How to Draw a Cartoon Skull

    • 2. Parts of the Skull

    • 3. Parts to Emphasize

    • 4. Importance of Line Weight

    • 5. 5 Demonstrations

    • 6. You are Awesome!

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About This Class

This is a fast and fun lesson on how to draw a skull drawing. It's meant to be quick and easy. I really hope you enjoy this entire mini course. Its a step by step drawing course on how to draw a cartoon Skull. 

Here is whats inside:

1- Parts of the Skull

2 - What Parts to Focus on

3 - Importance of Line Weight

4- 5 Demonstrations

5 - Final Thoughts

It's a relatively short lesson. So lets start now!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Enrique Plazola

Learn to Draw the Easy Way


I help beginner artists learn to draw as fast as they can. So you can draw that family portrait, or draw any character from your mind. 

I've worked as a fine artist, professional illustrator for book covers, worked at a movie studio as a stereo artist, as a caricature artist at theme parks, and more. I've been in literally hundreds of art shows. 

I've been teaching art for 6 years and I love it. I started to draw at 19. I felt it was a late age. It took me 2 years of training in drawing to start working and making a living from art. I want to teach YOU!




Find what you need in any of these collections of classes to learn a variety of fun techniques to improve your own artwork!

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1. How to Draw a Cartoon Skull: Hey, how's it going? I'm Enrique, I'm an artist and illustrator. I've worked in the movie industry. I've worked in the t-shirt industry. I've actually worked at theme parks as a caricature artist. And I've done tons of book covers. Today, I'm gonna go over how to draw a cartoon skull. You know, it's great for Halloween. And honestly even outside of Halloween, it's, it's kinda great for everything right there. So cool in general. But this is the cartoon unified version of the skull. So there's gonna be easy for beginners. So if you're a beginner, you're going to be able to understand this the whole lesson. I'm sorry, the whole course is very, very short. So it's going to be really easy to understand. So if you're a beginner, it'll take you to the n. So what I'm gonna do is let me go over the parts and what the lessons entail. First thing I'll do is I'm gonna go over the anatomy of the skull. I'm gonna go over the anatomy basically in an easier format. There's another lesson I have write this another course on realistic goals. These are cartoon schools, so I'm going to simplify the parts and give you the essentials of what you need just in that anatomy breakdown. Then after that, I'm going to go over the parts to focus on when you are trying to cartoon defy your skull. There's certain areas of the skull that I think are incredibly important to mess with. And that's kinda what I'm going to go over in that lesson. It's really short, but it's incredibly important. And then I'm gonna go over line and kind of the importance of your line quality for just honestly all of cartooning and drawing in general. But especially for this. This is going to really separate a cartoon skull from a more traditional one. Like I said, this is also an incredibly short lesson on that one. But it's super, super important and it's really easy to understand. So you'll get it. Then. Lastly, I'm going to demonstrate, I'm gonna take, I'm gonna draw five skulls. And I'm going to draw them different ways. And I'm gonna talk exactly what I'm thinking as I'm doing them. So just kinda watching that I think is going to be the part you might learn even the most is just kind of hearing me talk my thoughts that are as I'm demoing these things. So there's five, right? I don't just demo once. I demo five times. And they all look different. That's pretty much it at the very end. I want you to do some homework. I'll talk to you about that in that last lesson. Make sure to watch them all the way through. This is one of my shortest lessons, so let me know what you think and that's it. So hopefully that makes you excited. Halloween's coming, and let's get started. Okay, let's move on to the next lesson. 2. Parts of the Skull: Okay. So let's go over the parts of the skull generally. I think when you know the general parts of the skull, you're really going to, you know, it's kind of an unbelievably important in order for you to kind of exaggerate. Okay, So when you think about the front of the skull, I was thinking about like this circle. And I just kinda put a circle there as a placeholder. But so I think of a circle with essentially kind of a boxed feature below it. If we were to think about the general construction, like a squared out box. And then I think of another box below it. And that's kind of like the general shape of skulls from the front view when I see a skull, they also break it down into very, very simplistic shape shapes. It would be kind of that shape, if that makes sense, a circle and you've got, but when you break it down, that way, he makes it lot easier to understand. And let's think about it from the side as well. So if I was to think about I usually think about it as an oval from the side because there's the number one common mistake I see with people drawing skulls is that they'll, they won't draw the back of the skull big enough because your brain is encased in there. So it's gonna be pretty big. And let's draw straight line down for the front of the job. And then we're going to pull it up here. But if you were to look at the jaw from side, the jaw generally comes halfway between the front and the back of the skull. So that's where the jaw meets right here, about halfway. That's a general rule that almost nobody will follow. And if you follow this rule, you are going to be a head of like almost everybody, like nobody, nobody get almost no. Everybody does the most common mistake. People will just kinda draw the skull like around here or something like that. They'll shorten it. So remember that and you're already going to be a head. That's, those are the general shapes that I think of when I think of skulls, right? Let's go over kind of just, you know, kinda what a general school looks like in a bit of the kind of parts of it. So when you're drawing the skull from the front or just when you look at a regular skull from the front. Let's just draw the top portion here down. We'll we'll talk about each parts of these. I'm just going to put it down in order to kind of have something to present. Drawing over here, the eye sockets here and the front. So I just put that down. So we have a basic skull to look at. So we can kind of figure it out. Let's go over the parts real quick. I'm just doing this to show that there's negative space here. So right off the bat you have the cranium right here, which is the essentially that what encases the brain and things of that sort, your forehead, all of that stuff. That's kinda the general, the general idea is that that is the cranium, right? That's the name of it. The different parts of the cranium will have different names. But you don't need to know that stuff. If you just remember cranium, it's fine. All right. I'm gonna go over here and go to it like literally I'm gonna give you the easy names. Eye socket, also called orbicularis oculi. That'll Sasaki wrong. I think it's an E. Sorry, I spelled that wrong. So the eye socket orbicularis oculi, you just remember eye sockets so that I know, you know what I'm going to be speaking about in further videos. There's a nasal cavity over here, very important, the cheekbones. But we are going to call that by the scientific name zygomatic arch. Xofigo, magnetic arch. I called the GIGO bone on, I think some lizards and stuff, but that's essentially your cheekbones. If you feel on your face right now, you can feel the cheeks. That is what? That is, the zygomatic arches. And it's a huge, huge thing we, for skulls. As far as identifying feature, we have the temple over here, which is the side of the head, which I'm not going to write that one down. And ready we have the lower jaw, or you can call it the mandible. The mandible. So these are the basic parts of the skull that I remember. This is the things I'm always thinking about. From the side. It's pretty much the exact same thing as well. Honestly, there's almost no use to draw from the side because liver, if an aside it's the same thing except to be a back of the skull, stuff like that. So these are really important because I'm going to call back to these parts in the next video. The next video I'm going to talk about some of the things to focus on when you're drawing. And so that's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to select a couple of these that I really, really focus on. So that is the parts of the skull generally. And that's all you really need to know as far as just this kind of drawing, as far as cartoon drawing, that's all you need to know. There's lots of little bones. Remember? There's lots of little bones that make up the skull. There's like the temporalis and stuff like that, but you don't need to know that stuff. I don't think it's absolutely necessary, so I'm just trying to give you the easiest, quickest thing to draw. You know, we don't need to know that stuff. I think there's like the maxilla up here, but again, you need to not just let's run through them real quick. The cranium, which is the top of the head. You have the eye sockets, right? You have the nasal cavity. You have the zygomatic arch, which is the cheekbone, and you can feel it on your face. You can even do that to your face right now. Touch your face like, yeah. The mandible, which is a lower jaw and the teeth, I guess I guess I don't know. I'm not really gonna include that, but the really need to know that TEA. Yeah. Anyways, that's it. Let's move on to the next video and I'm going to show you the parts that I focus on when I'm drawing kind of an animated version of this. 3. Parts to Emphasize: All right, so we're back and I'm gonna talk about the areas that we need to concentrate on when you're doing any form of cartooning, exaggeration, anything like that of the skull. And that's going to be as far as the change in goes, the most important thing that I think would be the zygomatic arch. So for example, if I wanted to draw a, let's draw another basic skull here. Fooling around with the zygomatic arch shape. So for example, we just changed a little bit, made a poke out. Already kinda changes the character of of the skull. Keep it as close as I can, but you know, that heads a little too high. For the most part. Right here. I'm just trying to draw the same skull with only the zygomatic arches changed. Alright, the cheekbone. So just with that alone changed. It. It changes a lot. It makes it look a little different. It looks a little. Your cheek here. So I would say focus on the zygomatic arch. Obviously the size of the eyes really matters, but like not as much as the zygomatic arch itself. And I mean, that jaw and stuff like that honestly is not that big a deal, but we're going to go through that when I go over different versions of this. But I want you to focus on zygomatic arch and also think of three things to concentrate and change the shapes of and the sizes of stuff. It would be the zygomatic arch right here, the cheekbones, the eye sockets where they'd be big or small or maybe a strange shape. And possibly that nose area, to be honest. And we're going to talk a little bit what that nose area too, and I do demonstrations, but those are, I think the areas to really focus in on and change the shape of and you can very much affect the character and the type of skull that you want if you focus on those areas, obviously can change anything else and everything. This is just a general rule. By the way, this is not a general concept, is not a rule, meaning you don't have to do it that way. You can change whatever you want. You can change the jaw, make that vary wildly large and it would completely change it as well. So, but I do think cartooning, and that's where it is roughly in the center area here, kinda be expressions of the face as well. You know, the phases at the parts of the face, the way we're doing it. So let's move on to the next one. And what I'm gonna do is I'm actually going to go over a couple of things with you that I think are really important. 4. Importance of Line Weight: Okay, so let me go over here and go over the importance of a line and line weight. Your linework is really going to affect kinda cartoonists and the animated look of the skull. And I'm going to show you that in a second. So let's draw another basic skull here. And I'm going to use a flat line. And all I'm gonna do is just do the same thing I did before. Just, let's say draw like a basic. I want to say boring, but it's not quite boring skull, but we're going to draw as normal a skull as I can. Okay. And it's gonna be real quick. Nothing too wild. So let's just say that's our normal skull, right? I'm going to try and draw that same shape, but this time with maybe some little pizzazz and the line, but it doesn't have to be everywhere. So let me do that. I'll make the line will be thicker and certain areas, I guess the shapes are a little different as well. But what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to press down more on the line and make the line a little bit kind of thick to thin, which is something we don't want that one doesn't really have. Or even just kinda generally thicker when you do that. It, it kinda gives it a more animated look and white. Now, this is just an exercise. I'm not going to really go over the shape changing like extreme until the next video. Right now, all I'm doing is pushing down on the marker and I'm changing the line like the line will affect it. See how different this one looks more cartoony than this one. And is the same shape. For the most part. As far as things, the way they're placed. Just kind of really think about that. I want to emphasize the line. And one way you could do is you can grab any marker you want any marker and go straight her here, push pressure on it, see how thick it is, and then lighten up the pressure as you pull up right here for pressure, and then pull up, go straight, put pressure and then go up. It's going to give you this kind of control over the, over the line that I think is extremely important. But this video is essentially to kind of give you this idea. And it's not, it's not really an idea because it's a concept that everyone uses with animated stuff. And I want you to kind of toy around with this concept. See how gets thinned are really thick and it goes back to thin and start incorporating it in your designs. Because it really helps as far as animated stuff goes, really, really helps. But you can also do this when it comes to normal drawing as well, that that does exist. As far as like your ability to control how thick and thin the line is. So this video is really just a short video to kind of make that point. I think it's a very big tool in your arsenal. And I'm going to show you in the next video, I draw several different types of skulls. Just how important it is. Okay, so let's move on to the next video. I'm going to start drawing a bunch of different types of skulls and talk my way exactly through what I'm doing. 5. 5 Demonstrations: Okay, so let's go over here, this first demo of what we're gonna do. So you remember the parts, right? And if you're not sure, go back to the parts of the skull. So let's start altering some parts. All right. I'm gonna go over here and I'm gonna change the eye sockets shape. That's the first thing I'm gonna do. It over here, the size of the zygomatic arch. And here curving them, maybe make it a little bit more around. And I'm going to hold down hold down into kind of the teeth area. We here, pull up and go over here and I'm going to kind of separate the teeth that are in front here. We only got like four. And let us draw it like that kind of nasal cavity shape, which was kind of a triangle to begin with. Up, up. And it pulled up here, curve down. So things you can add, right? We could add that lower mandible, which I didn't do right now. Pull out down, curve around here for an oligo load, more of a cartoony chin. I've essentially kind of a widened out his mandible there, his jaw. And I could draw the lower teeth. So as you can see, we have all the parts I mentioned. We have the cheekbone, the mandible, the teeth obviously, but nasal cavity, and the eye sockets. We can fill those in fact. Right? We have that. And it's all the same parts. It's just a little bit stretched out in certain ways. So let's take that and make a more extreme version. Let's see. Let's make the head a little bit bigger this time. Right? Let's make that a little bit bigger again with a really thick line on that one over here. And let me see the zygomatic arch. Let's make it like that this time. Maybe it really round pulling down here and we're not going to make the teeth go down as much. Pulling up here. The eyes. Let's change up the shape of the eyes again. We could even make them really small or really large. If you make them very small, you're gonna make the head look larger, which could be good for this and a cartooning aspect. But let's just make them kind of like this shape, right? There's this old school coin shape almost like Mario. Let's fill that in. Going over here for the, again, that triangle shape for the nasal cavity. And let's over here. We, sometimes you don't have to draw the mandible. You can always cut that out if you want. If you want, you don't have to draw the lower jaw. But let's let's do it just to kind of make all these makes sense. And I draw a little bit smaller, really making the top of the head look a little bit bigger. And I can actually draw, so the brow over here. And that's not necessarily the eyebrows, that's kinda the shape of the skulls. The shade on the skull itself. All right. Let's do another one over here. Let's make it a little bit more blocky. So go over here and I start with the top of the head. Make the head a little bit bigger on the top here or here. For the brow. I'm going to connect that kind of outside of the skull with, with the zygomatic arch. I'm going to make it kinda like 1 p. So you got the cheekbone along with eyeballs there. Let's go into the eyes of them to themselves. I's are more or less going to be pretty similar to the basic ones. And I'm going to fill those in. And I'm going to go over here and I want to change up the nose a little bit. Maybe I'll make the nose a very, very small, very thin out that she has something to do. Go down go down right here, the bottom, and down here with the bottom of the jaw, more or less. Go over here. I feel like I need something for this one. I think I want to draw the teeth and just like in the first girl, Am I shouldn't. I'm not, I'm going to leave the bottom teeth blank like that. And I might draw a little bit here for the kind of the forehead as well, like a line, my thinking out the line on this side, so make it look more connected. I think it was making a little, a little strange. All right, let's go over here and draw another one. So this one, I'm going to draw the more or less a normal top of the skull here. The zygomatic arch I'm really going to throw out on purpose just to make a point. I get all huge. Pulling down here, pulling down here. So you can make a skull out of any shape. And that's kinda what I'm trying to prove here. Go over here to the, I like the eye's relatively small, fill them in and go over here to get pretty big nasal cavity here. And I made the face purposefully long like an every direction. I mean, the teeth really small here. And I'm going to find that the shapes of the teeth are going to go over here, pull in, go over here and pull in. And I'm gonna go to the bottom because I've drawn them, the John, all of these. So I'm gonna draw more teeth down here high. And that is a good, that's it for that skull. See how different that looks like the cheekbones way out there. Let me draw one really wide one I haven't really drawn on a really, really wide skull. Again, just kind of stretching any shape out I can, it's a moth in here. What does that starting, stretching any shape I can out, I'm going to draw the zygomatic arches almost stuck to the sides of the skull here. Because I'm winding up the whole thing down here. And we're going to find teeth all the way across, like smaller teeth. And I'm even going to go over here into separate that part out the other one I guess I didn't separate them with none other one. Oh my gosh, it's a moth. Can't find an eval flu way. Alright, so you got the teeth are there. I'm off his back. Oh my gosh, that moth is crazy. Going on over here. Draw the bottom of the jaw like that as well. So it's got this little chin. Obviously, there's a very little teeth below this little, little teeth. There's a very square form to this, right? That's pretty much what's going on here. And I'm going to make the eye sockets is huge on this one. Really, really, really kinda toy with these shapes and how they relate to one another. And if you do this enough and I'm going to make a tiny nose for the earliest comparatively fill that in. We're going to fill these two men as well. It's a wild how many shapes and how you can cartoon defy the skull. It's fascinating and amazing. I encourage you to really, really, really experiment. That's actually what I want you to do for homework. I'll talk to you about this in the next video right now, which is my final thoughts video. But you can keep going like this. This is just five. You can keep going over and over and over. So like I said, let's go on to the final thoughts. I'm going to give you some homework that'll help you improve. And let's move on to the next video. 6. You are Awesome! : Okay, cool. This is final thoughts. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. You're amazing. You have to stay positive. Remember that you don't have to me to be a good idea to stay positive when you're gone through this stuff. Because when you're positive, you tend to do better at art. Honestly, you really do. You tend to be a, You believe in yourself a little more and improving your ability. Just something for me and I've struggled with my whole my last 20 years drawing. It is a lot better if you see this as fun and you keep it fun. And that's kinda why I did this lesson, like how to draw cartoons skulls. There's another one. How did our realistic skulls? And there's even one and how to draw a Day of the Dead skull, which is, you know, the holiday. But I drew this one because, you know, I just wanted to keep stuff fun and I think it's really, this is the easiest lesson out of all of those. But that's pretty much it. So the idea I want you to get better at is I want you remember, I just took a quick review. Concentrate on the cheekbones zygomatic arch, right? That's the zygomatic arch, the eye sockets and kinda in this area, really these areas, the cheekbones, the eyes and the nose I can area, those relations are the most important. But of course, you can really overdo it like this or change this, this one, I stretch it out. I want you to do five of these and post them. At least five. When you do five and post them, but it's okay if you have one or two, I'm down, post them as well, post them and I'm going to comment on every single one you do. Okay? I truly believe in you. I think you're amazing and thank you very much. I appreciate you being around for this entire lesson if you made it this video, I congratulate you hopefully at the beginning of a long hard journey and I hope you learned a lot. Thank you so much. I will see you in the next video.