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How to draw a skull Answered

Paul Alexander Thornton shows off his skills with this lovely video of the creation of a skull drawing. He only used black and red ballpoint pens and the drawing was done over the course of two days.

Paul Alexander Thornton
via Wooster Collective



8 years ago

Wow. That is absolutely amazing. He holds his pen at a funny angle, though.

If you are not referring to the artist's particular grip, then the angle of the pen is probably more of a technique. You would have to hold the ball-point pen that way to "sketch" out a line or have it "brush" across the textured paper to get that soft pencil or shaded gray look. It also gives more control to how dark you want the line by either pressing harder or going over the same spot. Otherwise you get a line drawing or doodle similar to those found on the margins of class notes and the covers of composition books.

Years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an Artist's Survival Skills Workshop, and the instructor noted that many artists spend long hours honing their skills, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and other work-related injuries. She suggested that changing the way you grip your tools while you work teaches you to build up the lesser-used muscles in your hand, and also enhances your mastery of your chosen tools. Practice, practice, practice. Also, using different art mediums to draw with helps you to "break out of your box".

One of the keys of being an artist is to be observant. I did not find it anything out of the ordinary that the artist is holding the pen differently, maybe I have seen it done before. The person has short fingers - shorter than mine as I tried the same grip and it is up to the individual to find a comfortable or workable grip. Chinese ink-brush is the same grip with the brush held upright. And learning to do that does use different hand muscles to control and draw.

Personally, I did not find anything wrong with the way the artist held his pen...my comment was intended to further enlighten the person who brought attention to it in the first place. At times, we hold each other back when we focus on "the right way" or "the wrong way" (or "funny", as the previous post stated), and in doing so, we encourage creative people to "stay within the lines". Further, there are some spectacular artists who have no hands to hold their implements...it is all about building each other up, and not limiting ourselves to any one technique, unless we choose to. There will always be those who choose to carry on time-honored art forms...the intent of my post was to help avoid nerve damage and to promote healthy body postures and breathing practices while one concentrates.

Grip. That's the word I was looking for. I meant to say "He grips his pen funny, though."

It's about the same angle I hold a pen. Force of habit.

That will look awesome on a t-shirt! Building great things with simple tools is the mark of a true artist. :)


8 years ago

that is amazing!!! But they shouldnt mislead us by saying he only used pens cus I could see pencil markings on the paper when he got to the jaw. I dont care that he used pencil cus I couldnt draw that even if i traced it.

Wow. Bic pens, jesus.

I can draw well, and this is like 15* better than what do. Five stars for you, sir.

3D Glasses - Not Included

Okay, I quit art.


8 years ago

The picture is nice, but check out the freaky way he holds the pen.

Absolutly amazing The only thing that is bothering me is the crown on the head, somehow it sucks the life out of the picutre. I think it would have been better with only the skull and the roses... Other then that this guy has developed a great technique, I never knew you could do that with bics...

*chuckle* "sucks the life out of (a lifeless skull) the picture". :-) Maybe it was a Queen ?

I buy all permanent press clothing anymore, so I don't need to do any irony ;-)

That is impressive. I'm guessing a lot of photo references?

That was really cool, but it really was not a how to. I thank the how to draw a skull title should be changed to watch me draw a skull. I mean don't get me wrong it was really cool.

It is actually a how to, if you know how to draw. So probably needs to be labeled an advanced how to.

It's not strictly a "how to," sure. Still, if you pay attention you can pick up some tips.

This is some real skill! What artists can do with meager tools...

Wow....and i thought my skull drawings were good!