Saturday, October 1, 2011

Magical Skeleton

Whimsical Gentleman and Lady Skeletons are popular subjects in Mexican art.  This week we're making Mexican skeletons and sharing what we know about the Day of the Dead Celebration.  It's fun painting skeleton portraits and you can leave them as they are, as in the painting above or you can turn up the heat by adding glitter, shiny papers, sequins, foam or tissue paper flowers, feathers and clothing.
Adding the "bling" really gives these guys a magical quality.

To make you skeleton choose a piece of colored paper (bright colors are nice, too, don't limit yourself to  black).  Hold your paper the tall way.  Start drawing lightly with chalk.

It's easy if you start with a squashed oval for the mouth.
Add an upside down heart for the nose and two big eye sockets.
Draw the top of the skull and then add the jaw.
You don't have to be too particular here.  It's whimsical, remember.  It's okay if it's a little wonky.

Paint your skull with white tempera (two thin coats) and let it dry a little.
Make a tint of your favorite color and add some accents to give your skeleton character.  Let dry overnight.

When your skeleton is dry, carefully cut it out leaving a little bit of edge.

Trace the outline of the shoulders to make the clothing.

Glue your skeleton onto another sheet of paper.

Add clothing.  Embellish with sequins and flowers.  We used sticky foam flowers here.

Stand back and enjoy the magic.

Here's the photo we used as reference.


  1. These skeletons are very creative.
    I love the colors and textures.

  2. Too cool! You need to look up "Skeleton Dance" on YouTube and play it during class. The kids love it.