Hello and welcome to “How to draw a cartoon skull” (the foozle way).

My name is Foozle, and i will guide you through the following steps of creating a cartoon skull. i never read Gray’s Anatomy, so excuse my floppy anatomical descriptions. have fun.


1. Draw an eggshaped ball. the egg should point downwards. put in some ecliptical guides to get a feeling for it’s third dimension. those will help you place the eyes and all the other cool stuff we will add.

2. place the eyesockets. try to imagine that you would project them on the surface of that egg we built in step 1.

3. add a tapered cylinder to form the baseshape of the maxilla (upper jaw)

4. oh wow, complex stuff to describe, but it’s essentially a bended cuboid that is placed behind the jaw, to form the exaggerated cheekbones. also don’t miss the eyesockets.

5. place a little cube on the jaw zylinder, it’s floor should lie on the jaw and the backsite should connect to the angle of the forehead.

6. the cube we just made is our guid for the complex shape of the nasal bone, and the inner nasal parts. best is you make an imagesearch for skull anatomy and check it out. I essentially project a triangle on the front of the cube, which i split in the middle.

Actually the perspective of the head is a bit unlucky to show the plasticity of this part, so check out these other sketches to get a better look at it http://juicefoozle.tumblr.com/post/42532361204/skull-sketching-part-2-further-refinement-and and http://juicefoozle.tumblr.com/post/42528004602/skull-sketching )

Hey, time for a break. you finished laying out all guides.

7. draw over your guides, try to get some loose lines and nice curves to break the mechanical feel of the layout. this is the part where you can go into many many directions and put your own stamp and style all over it.

8. add some sexy line weighting. if you’re into that kind of stuff.

9. adding details.

You finished the drawing part.

i know, some steps have been a bit like “how to draw an owl” ( http://yannesposito.com/Scratch/img/blog/Yesod-tutorial-for-newbies/owl_draw.png ) but after all you shouldnt just copy, because discovering your own way will enrich you way more.


first of all, i’m not a scientist nor a hyperrealist, so leave me some artistic freedom in placing the shadows, they might not be 100% accurate ;)

A. get a nice color set and block in the colors. dont use any soft airbrush shit yet.

when you followed the first steps you got an excellent feel for the plasticity of the shapes. that is a huge help now to figure out where to place the shadows. i decided to shade with a quite boring but easy to do light from the upper left.

dont forget to paint the shadows on a seperate layer.

B. masking the shadows. put a mask on your shadow layer. now it’s time to use a soft brush, and brush into the mask to fade (soften) the shadows out where you want to.

what i also did in this step was adding small white lights in the downfacing shadow areas (a kind of “backlight” from below). you can see it pretty good on the cheekbones. it’s a tiny change with a big effect when it comes to plasticity of your shapes.

C. GRADING TIME! (oh, and i put the eyeballs in before grading).

i only grade with adjustment layers. why that? 2 big reasons, first it’s a non-destructive workflow (means the adjustments dont get baked into my pixels), second i can add masks to the adjustments and get some nice fading effects.

let’s get to the main changes:

first adjustment layer “hue and saturation”, i tweaked it to get a red shiny look, afterwards i used a very soft brush at it’s mask to get that red shine from below.

second adjustment layer “hue and saturation”, set to brighten and desaturate everything. masked it so that only the back parts of the head are affected, that will give them a tiny bit more depth.

third adjustment layer “levels”, is used levels to get some crispier contrasts.

last but not least i added some noise and some textures to the whole thing by using a mix of different layer effects (multiply, linear burn and whatnot) which you can see better at a bigger resolution.


that’s all folks.

hope you enjoyed this little workshop.

catch y’all later,




  1. ofuga reblogged this from juicefoozle
  2. grilloramos reblogged this from juicefoozle
  3. amp-wrks reblogged this from juicefoozle
  4. gabho reblogged this from juicefoozle
  5. juicefoozle posted this