Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Day of the Dead Smiling Halloween Skeleton

If you don't like the creepy darkness of traditional Halloween decor, yet like me you love the colors, then taking inspiration from Day of the Dead may be a better option. Also known as All Souls' Day, this celebration takes place throughout Mexico and Latin American countries. It is a colorful 2-day festival that honors life and death. In this project, I borrow from sugar skull designs. Allow yourself to be inventive with decorative ornamentation.

1. Freehand draw a skeleton (or print a skeleton template from the web and transfer it to a substrate. I used Saral Transfer Paper in Yellow to transfer the image to heavyweight Watercolor Paper, 9"x12")

2. Darken the skeleton image with a black China Marker. I like the rough texture of the China Marker, but anything black would work: pastel, crayon, marker, etc.

3. Choose background color; paint around the skeleton image and in between bones.*  

4. Fill in the eyes and mouth with black acrylic paint.

5. Using floral colors, stencil flowers and leaves around the crown of the skeleton's head. 

Stencils I used: Wild DaisiesMini Rose BouquetWoodland Floral Wreath, and Rose Bouquet

6. Sketch details and leaves into flower crown with a black ink pen.

7. Continue rough sketchy lines around facial details and bones.

*If desired, stencil over the background to make it look spooky. 

I used Andrew Borloz' X& O Stencil and Mary Beth Shaw's Makes a Mark Pipette stencils in another Skeleton portrait I painted. I also added more painterly details in this one.

Have fun experimenting as you make a Day of the Dead skeleton portrait that is perfectly unique to your style!


Periwinkle Art Studio

1 comment:

  1. Day of the Dead is a favorite holiday of mine. Thanks for the delightful project!


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