How to Draw a Skeleton

How to draw a skeleton cartoon

Hands down, learning how to draw a skeleton can be difficult - right up there with drawing cars.

And it's no wonder... there are tons of little parts and details to account for. Here though, I'd like to show you an easier way to go about it...

In the picture above, you've got a basic-looking - yet still cartoonish! - set of human bones.

From skull to sternum to fibula... *just about* every part is accounted for, simplified to make the whole process a bit easier.

And so, let's get going... let's draw a skeleton!


First Step - A Simple Framework for Your Skeleton

When learning how to draw a skeleton, having 'structure for your structure' is definitely helpful. Proportion is quite important with respect to drawing and when it comes to something like this... a little planning ahead of time goes a long way.

Here's how the framework pans out...

How to draw skeleton framework How to draw skeleton stick person How to draw skeleton framework with details

In the third example above - we've got something that's beginning to look a little bit more like 'Tron' than an actual skeleton. But actually, each of these simple lines and shapes acts as an indicator of those parts that REALLY STAND OUT from the rest. These are key parts that I feel you should ensure show up in your final drawing.

In short, these lines and shapes aid in providing a quick visual of things to come - those parts that every human skeleton should have.

OK. Got your framework all ready? Great! On to the actual lesson now - how to draw a skeleton...

Second Step - How to Draw the Central, Core Parts of Your Skeleton

OK then. Before you begin, here's a brief overview of the order by which I suggest you tackle the various parts of your drawing. And sure - while it does seem logical to me... if you've got another idea for how to go about it, feel free to switch things up.

Order: Skull > Sternum (chest) > Humerus (upper arms) > Ribs > Sacrum (groin) > Pelvis (waist) > Vertebrae > Femur > Patella (knees) > Tibia > Ulna & Radius (lower arms) > Fibula > Hands & Feet.

Alright... use the following examples to help you move on through...

How to draw skeleton's skull and arm bones How to draw skeleton's ribcage How to draw skeleton's completed ribcage

...and keep on going with the sacrum, pelvis and vertebrae...

How to draw skeleton pelvis How to draw skeleton's completed pelvis

As you're working through the lesson, you might notice that a few parts are slightly 'off' with respect to how they'd actually look in real life. For example - the humerus bones (upper arms) look more like dog bones! And well... it's really OK. Keep in mind - this is my own 'cartoony' version. If you want to make things more realistic - by all means do. It'll be easier as you know exactly where everything's supposed to go.

Alright - let's move on to the next (and final) step...

Final Step - How to Draw the Arms and Legs of Your Skeleton

With the core central part of your skeleton in place, it now makes sense to move on out to the limbs. Beginning with the femurs (upper legs), go ahead and finish your drawing off, similar to how I've done so with mine.

Here's how it looks...

How to draw skeleton's arm and leg bones How to draw skeleton's full arm and leg bones How to draw skeleton's hands and feet

Here, the green 'extra' lines are helpful as they indicate the parts of the arms and legs where there are more then one bone per section. With the lower legs it's the fibula and with the lower arms - the ulna. After that, drawing the hands and feet of your skeleton is much easier without the skin. A series of simple, interlocking shapes get the job done quite nicely.

And when all is said and drawn -- you're done! Good job on this one... you now know how to draw a skeleton. :-)