Hyper Real Skull Study in Pencil – Getting Started

This 5 part series will teach you how to draw a hyper realistic skull in pencil. You will be introduced to a range of concepts and techniques that will help you to draw more convincing representational drawings.

The materials you will need for this course are:

  • Paper
  • Range of pencils (H, HB, B, 2B) – ideally a few mechanical pencils as well as regular ones.
  • Kneadable eraser

You can download the source image for the series here:


  1. Start by loosely sketching a general oval shape for the whole skull using a soft pencil (2B or B).
  1. Then use a few simple lines to place the major forms within the skull; browline, jawbone and nose.
  1. Once the general proportions are correct, you can begin finding the shadow shapes (parts of the skull that aren’t being hit by direct light) and shade them in.
  2. Make sure you pay attention to the foreshortening in the skull as the main part of the head appears quite large because it is closer to use than the lower portion (jawbone etc.).
  1. Finally, once all the shadow shapes are in place and you’re happy with them, you can put in a darker shadow behind the skull. This will start to make it pop off the surface of the paper.

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