Someone actually requested me to do a tutorial for a sugar skull. I had never heard of that before so I gave it a shot. She asked me for the tutorial to be easy. Hopefully it is not too hard to follow.
I always try to use some guide lines, a circle and some straight horizontal and vertical lines, it helps me structure the skull. You need more guide lines, draw them.
Two circles for the eyes, usually it would some kind of parallelogram but I will try circle to be able to put more decorations. An upside down heart for the nose is not too hard to draw. Then comes the tricky parts, I know the teeth should be between the middle of each eye so I imagined two straight lines and drew the top part. The cheek bones too are tricky but with the guide lines it's easier than taking a guess. Then I drew the jaw and completed it with the head shape.
10 teeth on the top part; 5teeth on the left and the right. 10 teeth on the bottom; 5teeth on the left and the right. I try to make the teeth in the middle bigger than the teeth on each side, just to give the illusion of the teeth being further back and smaller. Then I filled the rest black and redefined the whole skull.
Let's start decorating this skull with some petals around the eyes. Sketching bigger circles around the eyes to draw nice curves could help.
Now it's getting harder, I started by drawing two curves on each side of the nose, following the the nose without making the lines touch each other. Then I attached a swirl to each curved lines going on the opposite direction. Then I drew a swirl in each cheek bones following the outline and leaving a gap. I drew a curved line under each eye and completed it with some dots, drops, circles and two weird shaped triangles. Always making sure to leave gaps between everything.
For no particular reason I drew a third eye between the eyes. Then as usual I followed the curves of the third eye and split the line in two to make two hooks close to the nose. Then I drew some circles to give it more decorations.
For fun I gave the skull some eyebrows and then I drew a swirl on each side. I have to admit that if I wasn't drawing it in photoshop with my wacom tablet I would have folded a paper in two, drew half the skull, drew all the decorations on one side and then traced the other half two make the whole drawing more symmetrical.
I like pentagrams, so I drew one pentagram in the right eye, pointing up for positive meaning in the right eye, maybe for righteousness. And the inverted pentagram, pointing down in the left eye. Having good and bad in the same drawing. Maybe one side could be light and the other side could dark when it will be time to color it.
3 Half circle on the top of the head. 2 short and big swirls on each side followed by longer and smaller swirls going on the opposite side. I put 2 curved lines giving the illusion the there are more decoration on the skull going to the back of the head. Then I drew some horizontal drops and diagonal drops going on the opposite side. To complete the forehead I put some more drops, circles, and swirls where I had space. Then I drew the weird pentagonal shape in the forehead, I had no clue what to put there so I followed with curvy lines and that's what it did.
For the the jaw I started by drawing the big swirls in the chin and finished them with a smaller swirl behind the teeth, on the bone. Behind the smaller swirls I draw 2 curved lines and 3circles in between. Then I drew the 3 curved scratches, giving the illusion they continue in the back of the jaw. Since I had space left, I drew circles and lines behind the big swirls and that's it. All is left to do is to color it, something I might do later and put it in my artworks.
I'm pretty sure that by drawing big decorations first and then completing it with smaller ones, you could easily draw sugar skulls completely different and still be pretty cool to look at.
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