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This is a short tutorial on how I paint skulls on R/C car bodies. I hope that you find it useful.

Click the image for a larger picture.

skullstep1 STEP 1.  I draw the basic shape of the skull on some tracing paper. If you haven't drawn a lot of skulls you may want to find a good reference photo of a skull and work from that. rather than just making something up.

STEP 1. I draw the basic shape of the skull on some tracing paper. If you haven't drawn a lot of skulls you may want to find a good reference photo of a skull and work from that. rather than just making something up.

skullstep2 STEP 2.  I traced my original drawing on another piece of tracing paper and sketched in the basic shapes and shadows to establish my light source.

STEP 2. I traced my original drawing on another piece of tracing paper and sketched in the basic shapes and shadows to establish my light source.

skullstep3 STEP 3.  I placed my original drawing on the inside of th body and trace the outside of the skull and the teeth with a Sharpie marker. I also drew the cross bones on the outside.

STEP 3. I placed my original drawing on the inside of th body and trace the outside of the skull and the teeth with a Sharpie marker. I also drew the cross bones on the outside.

skullstep4 STEP 4.  Using Gerber mask vinyl mask and green 3M automotive grade masking tape, I cut out the shape of the skull and the teeth. I used the Gerber mask over the chains that I had previously masked so that the tape did not pull up the chain mask when removing it.

STEP 4. Using Gerber mask vinyl mask and green 3M automotive grade masking tape, I cut out the shape of the skull and the teeth. I used the Gerber mask over the chains that I had previously masked so that the tape did not pull up the chain mask when removing it.

skullstep5 STEP 5.  I masked and cut out the cross bones using the same green 3M tape. I then cleaned of the Sharpie marker with alcohol so that I can see what I'm doing in the subsequent steps.

STEP 5. I masked and cut out the cross bones using the same green 3M tape. I then cleaned of the Sharpie marker with alcohol so that I can see what I'm doing in the subsequent steps.

skullstep6 STEP 6.  I put in some shadows and highlights for the cross bones. I used Pactra laquer paints to create some browns in several different shades.

STEP 6. I put in some shadows and highlights for the cross bones. I used Pactra laquer paints to create some browns in several different shades.

skullstep7 STEP 7.  The cross bones after backing with a light tan color.

STEP 7. The cross bones after backing with a light tan color.

skullstep8 STEP 8.  I made a copy of my original drawing on some card stock and cut it out to make a template. I lightly misted a medium brown around the openings to define the shape of the eye sockets and the nasal opening.

STEP 8. I made a copy of my original drawing on some card stock and cut it out to make a template. I lightly misted a medium brown around the openings to define the shape of the eye sockets and the nasal opening.

skullstep9 STEP 9.  What it should look like whne you remove the template.

STEP 9. What it should look like whne you remove the template.

skullstep10 STEP 10.  I begin defining the shapes using a medium brown, this is all freehand work.

STEP 10. I begin defining the shapes using a medium brown, this is all freehand work.

skullstep11 STEP 11.   I put some eyes in using a royal blue backed with white prior to putting in more detail with the medium brown. I also add some highlights.

STEP 11. I put some eyes in using a royal blue backed with white prior to putting in more detail with the medium brown. I also add some highlights.

skullstep12 STEP 12.  I darken up a few areas with a darker shade of brown.

STEP 12. I darken up a few areas with a darker shade of brown.

skullstep13 STEP 13.  Done! I backed it with a slightly darker  shade than the cross bones to help the highlights come out a little more.

STEP 13. Done! I backed it with a slightly darker shade than the cross bones to help the highlights come out a little more.