A Walnut Skull

Black and White Ink, My Artworks & Process of Drawing

Recently I was involved in a collaboration project with an interesting concept. It was a human skull looking like a nutshell.

previewA nut to a nut 😀

I decided to show you the working process.

Concept development and research

I find this part of the process very important because it really defines the final result. I play this the idea, try different views and variants, and explore the texture (and collect reference material, if necessary). At this step, I make a lot of sketches and miniatures.

Here are some of them for this project:


I’ve made a conclusion that the best option for this project is the skull in a frontal view. It is  almost entirely cracked but has a joint point at the bottom part, where the teeth are.

The drawing process

I’ve documented every step of the drawing process, so this post will be not just an improvised case study, but a kind of step-by-step behind the scenes ink drawing lesson 🙂

Pencil underdrawing


I use a heavy outline to make the future artwork look more accentuated, bold and even a bit aggressive. The choice of a tool – a brushpen – is not a fortuitousness too. Brushpens are great in creating varied expressive lines that look so interesting.


I mark the areas that will be the darkest places of my future artwork.


I use an ink liner of quite a sizeable width (0.8) for the same reason as a heavy contour – it will help in achieving an expressive look of the drawing.


It is important to leave spots of untouched paper to keep the light and the contrast of the drawing.


Looks nice 🙂

6-ink-final-touchesThen I scanned it and edited in Adobe Photoshop a bit.

And this is how the artwork looks on a black background:

skull-previewThis artwork is digital, it has a white additional layer and a new white contour.

By the way, if you are interested how I managed to transform an ink art to something that is suitable for printing on dark surfaces like t-shirts, please check out this blog post.

That’s the end! Hope you liked the artwork and the process of its creation.

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