How do you draw a sugar skull easy?

Sugar skulls are a very popular symbol of the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that honors deceased loved ones. These colorful skulls are made from sugar or candy and decorated with icing, feathers, flowers, and more. While sugar skulls can be quite elaborate, there are easy ways to draw simple sugar skull designs for Day of the Dead crafts, face painting, and more. In this guide, we’ll cover some basic techniques and patterns to help you easily draw sugar skull art.

Gather Your Materials

To start drawing sugar skulls, you’ll need just a few simple art supplies:

  • Paper – Construction paper, drawing paper, or cardstock all work well.
  • Pencil – Any basic pencil is fine.
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons, or paint – Pick vivid colors like purple, pink, yellow, orange, red, etc.
  • Black pen or marker
  • Eraser

You don’t need fancy art materials to make fun sugar skull drawings. Basic school or craft supplies in bold colors are perfect. It’s also easy to draw digitally on a tablet or computer.

Draw the Basic Skull Shape

Let’s start by drawing the simple skull face shape. Follow these steps:

  1. Lightly sketch a circle or oval for the skull shape.
  2. Add a rounded upside down triangle below for the nose area.
  3. Draw oval or round shapes for the eyes.
  4. Below each eye, draw a small half circle for the cheekbone.
  5. Add a basic oval or cube shape for the jaw.

At this stage, you should have a basic skull face outline. Don’t worry about perfection yet. Lightly sketching the shapes allows you to erase and adjust the features as needed.

Refine the Features

Once you have the basic skull face, you can start refining the features:

  • Eyes – Draw in pupils and outline the eyes with black pen or marker.
  • Nose – Turn the triangle into two half circles for nostril holes.
  • Mouth – Draw or paint teeth along the jaw. Add curlicue shapes on the sides for a playful smile.
  • Decorations – Color in circles, dots, hearts, starbursts, etc. around the eyes, forehead, cheeks, etc.

Customize the features to create different expressions. Add flowers, swirls, leaves, spiderwebs, and other embellishments. Play around and make it your own!

Add Color

Sugar skulls come in vibrant, bold colors. While traditional hues used include:

  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Green

Feel free to use any colors you like! Mix bright neons, pastels, metallics, and glitters too. Outline the eyes and other sections with black pen or marker to make them pop. Add polka dots, stripes, and floral designs as desired.

Draw Facial Features

Sugar skull faces often have:

  • Heart-shaped noses
  • Round cheeks
  • Flowery eyebrows
  • Bow lips
  • Star eyes
  • Spiral and swirl motifs

But feel free to customize your sugar skull drawing however you like! Here are some facial features to try:


  • Heart
  • Circle
  • Square
  • Triangle
  • Star
  • Flower
  • Butterfly
  • Skull


  • Circles
  • Stars
  • Hearts
  • Flowers
  • Squares
  • Triangle
  • Skulls
  • Spirals


  • Circles
  • Hearts
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Swirls
  • Skulls
  • Butterflies
  • Vines


  • Dotted line
  • Zig-zag
  • Heart
  • Star
  • Square
  • Triangle
  • Upside down U
  • Spiderweb

Mix and match different nose, eye, cheek, and mouth shapes for unique styles!

Add a Forehead Decoration

Many sugar skull drawings feature a central forehead decoration. Here are some ideas:

  • Bow
  • Heart
  • Star
  • Flower
  • Butterfly
  • Skull
  • Spiderweb
  • Feathers

This is a good spot to use glitter, metallic pens, rhinestones, or other embellishments too. Let your creativity shine!

Incorporate Flowers

Flowers are an essential part of Dia de los Muertos and look wonderful on sugar skull designs. Try adding:

  • Marigolds – Traditional yellow flowers for Day of the Dead
  • Roses
  • Lilies
  • Vines
  • Leaves
  • Petals
  • Cempasúchitl – Yellow Mexican flower associated with Day of the Dead

Place flowers around the eyes, forehead, cheeks, chin, or as background decorations. Draw vines, leaves, and petals sprouting from the skull too.

Add Decorations

Some fun finishing touches for your sugar skull art include:

  • Dots
  • Hearts
  • Swirls
  • Spirals
  • Webs
  • Crossbones
  • Bow ties
  • Butterflies
  • Stars

Dot patterns, spiderwebs, bows, and swirled motifs make great decorative flourishes. Place them creatively around the skull face to finish the design.

Use Reference Photos

Looking at pictures of Day of the Dead sugar skulls can provide helpful inspiration. Study the patterns, shapes, and designs. Gather ideas for facial features, flowers, and colors to use. Look up Mexican skull tattoos and make-up as well for stylized examples. Then add your own personal spin!

Make a Sugar Skull Mask

Once you’ve mastered drawing sugar skull faces, consider making a 3D mask! You’ll need:

  • Mask base – Cardboard, craft foam, plastic, etc.
  • Craft glue
  • Masking tape
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter
  • Glue-on gems
  • Feathers
  • Markers

Follow these steps:

  1. Cut the mask shape from your chosen material.
  2. Lightly sketch the sugar skull face.
  3. Paint the base colors.
  4. Draw on facial features with markers.
  5. Add decorations like glitter, gems, and feathers.
  6. Attach a stick or elastic band for wearing.

Let the paint fully dry before wearing your colorful sugar skull mask!

Make Sugar Skull Makeup Looks

For Day of the Dead festivities, use face paints or makeup to create stunning sugar skull looks. Here are some tips:

  • Outline the eyes with black liner. Extend it to a skull eye shape.
  • Fill in the eyes with bright shadows – pink, purple, blue, yellow.
  • Add heart, star, or flower motifs to the cheeks.
  • Paint or draw patterns like swirls, dots, leaves, and vines around the eyes and forehead.
  • Use a flower or bow rhinestone sticker as a forehead decoration.
  • Paint the nose area as a skull or heart.
  • Finish with bold lipstick or draw teeth around the mouth.

Take inspiration from Mexican culture, Sugar Skull Catrina makeup, and Dia de los Muertos imagery. Celebrate the holiday in gorgeous style!

Make Paper Sugar Skull Decorations

Cut paper sugar skull shapes to decorate for Day of the Dead:

  • Fold paper in half. Draw half a skull shape on the fold.
  • Cut out the shape.
  • Unfold for a symmetrical skull.
  • Glue on sequins, beads, and glitter for decoration.
  • Draw or paint patterns and designs.
  • Attach a string to hang as ornaments.

Make mini paper sugar skulls for altar decor, or giant skulls for hanging mobiles and backdrops. Add an LED tealight for a cute display.

Sugar Skull Coloring Pages

Printable sugar skull coloring pages provide hours of Dia de los Muertos crafting fun. Provide colored pencils, markers, glitter pens, and embellishments like stickers, beads, feathers, and flowers. Let kids customize their own skull art and decorations!


We hope this tutorial inspires you to make your own easy sugar skull art! Honor lost loved ones and celebrate the Day of the Dead with these festive decorations. Customize traditional motifs with your own creative style. Drawing and decorating sugar skulls is a wonderfully symbolic way to observe this important Mexican holiday. Grab some colorful art supplies and enjoy bringing these vibrant skulls to life!

Leave a Comment