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How To Draw A Pirate Skull

Updated on June 1, 2012

Drawing A Pirate Skull

 Drawing a pirate skull has always been a fascination of mine, probably because I watched The Goonies a little too much as a kid with good old one eyed Willy the pirate and so I thought it fitting that I do a quick drawing tutorial featuring a pirate skull that brings back memories of me watching The Goonies for the 1000th time on my summer holidays away from school.

A pirate skull can wear anything that a real human pirate wears, because it makes the skull look the part and so in the following drawing I opted for a bandana wearing pirate with a patch over one eye (even though it's a skull and the eyes have rotted away lol!) and in the skulls teeth is an old pirate dagger for fun.

Now on with the pirate drawing tutorial.

How To Draw A Pirate Skull

Drawing a pirate skull. Pirate skull art Copyright Wayne Tully 2010.
Drawing a pirate skull. Pirate skull art Copyright Wayne Tully 2010.

Draw A Pirate Skull - The Basic Skull

How to draw a pirate skull. step one - Skull basics.
How to draw a pirate skull. step one - Skull basics.

Drawing A Pirate Skull

The very first sketch is the important one as I always have to get the head shape out of the way first before I can move on to draw the other important features later and so here I've drawn an oval shape which is fairly basic, but it does the job and then I draw a cross mark which the vertical line going down helps to separate the eyes and so I can place the eye sockets directly underneath and the horizontal line helps balance out most of the connecting features like the cheek bones, the skull nose and the teeth and jawline.

The idea is to draw simple and then attack with detail after the second stage.

How To Draw A Pirate Skull Step 2 - Work On The Skull Shape

Drawing a pirate skull step two - Skull shaping.
Drawing a pirate skull step two - Skull shaping.

Learn To Draw A Pirate Skull

 Here you can see that I've opted for another basic sketch with me roughly marking in the eyes, the cheek and jaw bones with the teeth. This is the second most important stage, because if the drawing doesn't look right here, it's time to change it.

I want the bandana on the skulls head to be a distinguishing feature as will the dagger in it's mouth and so I've really left the out at this stage as the main part of the creative drawing comes in the next stage, filling in the details.

A lot of other artists may try to blind you with the reasoning that a massive multi part step by step drawing tutorial will help you draw something, but really if I simplified the steps and drew something that could inspire instead of sending you to sleep,then my job has been done.

Side note: try to get some reference photos of pirates and other useful pictures, the Internet is full of them. You may find this useful to draw some pirate skulls.

Draw A Pirate Skull Step 3 - Massive Detail Makes A Difference

How to draw a pirate skull for Halloween.  Setp three - Adding more details brings out the character of this pirate skull.
How to draw a pirate skull for Halloween. Setp three - Adding more details brings out the character of this pirate skull.

How To Draw A Pirate Skull

 The pencil drawing below, I just came in with my 2B pencil and filled the lot in with details, because I knew firmly what I wanted, the eye patch, the dagger and the bandana.

Of course some of these details may be cut back when it comes to the inking stage or some lines may disappear, because I find when it comes to the inking part, that I just tend to get carried away as I either draw too much detail or less and in this case I drew a bit more.

See how your pirate skull will turn out. Try drawing one based on this tutorial and then maybe go through the steps to draw another one and compare them both, practice makes perfect.

Draw Pirate Skulls Step 4 - Adding Ink

Learn how to draw a pirate skull step four - applying ink with some gel ink pens or whatever you want.    Pirate skull art Copyright Wayne Tully 2010.
Learn how to draw a pirate skull step four - applying ink with some gel ink pens or whatever you want. Pirate skull art Copyright Wayne Tully 2010.

Inking A Pirate Skull

Inking a pirate skull drawing is more about improving the original pencil lines than anything else and if you can recognize where there are areas to improve on in your drawing, then add them now.

I use a lot of pens to ink and some are better for different things, the Sharpie markers can add large black areas and any other ink pens can just be good for lots of fine line work.

In the case of the final pirate skull drawing here, less is more, but I do think that to experiment with thicker and thin lines now and again is a good idea as it can turn a flat drawing into a stylized one.

Have fun drawing yourself a pirate skull. And don't forget to check out the art of Wayne Tully and more drawing tutorials at Draw Fantasy Art

Also See How To Draw Skull And Crossbones

See A More In Depth Pirate Skull Drawing Up Close

How to draw a Pirate skull can now be seen in more detail and more steps here in these thumbnails which you can click on to see each step as you follow along. Breaking these steps up you can practice and learn to draw these skulls better. So click on each step to see a larger image and draw yourself a Pirate skull!

Draw A Pirate Skull Step By Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sketch out the initial skull shapeDraw the eye sockets and temple lineMark in the cheek bones, nose holesLoosely sketch in top teeth linesThen draw the bottom jaw and draft lines for the rest of the teethIt's bandana timeAnd the eye patch Arrrrrr!Define those top teethDefine the bottom teeth and shade under the cheek boneAdd lines on the skull for more detailPencil shade the eye and mouth areaDefine and darken other pencil linesAdding my signature
Sketch out the initial skull shape
Sketch out the initial skull shape
Draw the eye sockets and temple line
Draw the eye sockets and temple line
Mark in the cheek bones, nose holes
Mark in the cheek bones, nose holes
Loosely sketch in top teeth lines
Loosely sketch in top teeth lines
Then draw the bottom jaw and draft lines for the rest of the teeth
Then draw the bottom jaw and draft lines for the rest of the teeth
It's bandana time
It's bandana time
And the eye patch Arrrrrr!
And the eye patch Arrrrrr!
Define those top teeth
Define those top teeth
Define the bottom teeth and shade under the cheek bone
Define the bottom teeth and shade under the cheek bone
Add lines on the skull for more detail
Add lines on the skull for more detail
Pencil shade the eye and mouth area
Pencil shade the eye and mouth area
Define and darken other pencil lines
Define and darken other pencil lines
Adding my signature
Adding my signature

Draw Pirate Skulls

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    • profile image

      muna 

      7 years ago

      it's tough '' do not want you to know my name

    • profile image

      do not want you to know my name 

      7 years ago

      i do not like the skull it is gross

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now, I draw with a Sharpie marker, one of the fine markers!

    • JuliaKins profile image

      JuliaKins 

      7 years ago from At Home

      That was great drawing. What type of marker do you for drawing skeletons?

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers there Kalto!

      I am trying to put in place a vlog were I post a drawing video every single day....so watch this space!!

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Cool drawing! Waynet, throughout this 60 day challenge you're really giving me quite a lot to do in my spare time... :)

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yeah me too....hey you guys!!! and Ru ru ru baby ru just seem to stick in my head!! what a classic!!

      Cheers now!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Loved The Goonies growing up!!! I still love to watch that movie every now and then. Great drawing advice!

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cool....!

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 

      8 years ago from At the Gemba

      My son will be trying this one later.

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers there!

      Only got 2 more hubpages to do for this 60 day challenge and then the fun begins of promoting them and adding everything that I should to boost promotions with feeds and stuff!!!! can't wait!

    • Amphibitile profile image

      Amphibitile 

      8 years ago from London

      Nice, I like the knife in the mouth as well, nice touch :)

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now Viking!

      I've got a feeling I will be continuing the pirate theme

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      I really do like all your hubs on how to draw. This one is also very good. The step by step guide on how to draw a Pirate Scull is excellent thanks

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