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How to Draw Jack Skellington!

Artists of Any Age Can Draw This!

SPOOKY SEASON IS COMING UP! So, we thought we'd do this AWESOME tutorial on How to Draw Jack Skellington, one of Tim Burton's most beloved characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

With Halloween coming up really soon, my student Brayden (featured in this video) suggested we learn to draw Jack Skellington. This iconic character created by Tim Burton, is the subject of this video, part of our "I Can Draw That!" series. It's an easy illustration for all ages and uses supplies that you will most likely have around your house.

Follow our easy steps and feel free to pause the video anytime you want to slow down or need to catch up.

Hope you have fun drawing with Brayden and me!


P.S., If you'd like to show us how your drawing came out, please post it on Instagram and tag it with @artclassesforkids!

About the Artist: Tim Burton

Tim Burton is a contemporary American artist who's really well known for his filmmaking, animation, and art. He is best known for his gothic fantasy and horror films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows, Frankenweenie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and more! How many Tim Burton movies h

ave you seen? 🤔His style is spooky and funky, but really distinct.

What You'll Need

- Sheet of white paper (card stock or watercolor paper is ideal)

- Sharpie or black marker

- Colored pencils

First, let's use masking tape around the edges of our paper so that way, at the end of our project, we can take the tape off and our art will have a border, like a frame. Beautiful!

Step 1: Draw Jack's Face

To draw our drawing, first we're going to draw the shapes on the table, then draw the table, shading and details, and fill everything in. So first, we have to decide on the composition of your drawing, which means figuring out where everything will be on the page and how big everything is. We want our drawing to take up most of the page, so make sure you draw your objects BIG to fill in all of the space!

Let's start with drawing Jack's head. He has a BIG circular shaped head, so draw a big circle for his head toward the top of your paper. Then, draw BIG circles for Jack's eyes - like the size of an Oreo cookie! You can fill them in or cross hatch them. PRO TIP: Cross hatching is an advanced technique where you make a bunch of lines in one direction, and then fill in with lots of lines in the other direction - like drawing lots of tic-tac-toe squares.

Step 2: Add Details to Jack's Face

Next, let's draw Jack's nose. His nose is more like nostrils. Let's draw two watermelon seeds for his nostrils and fill them in black. PRO TIP: Jack Skellington is symmetrical, which means anything we do on the left side of his face, we also do to the right side. Everything is the same!

Now, let's draw Jack's mouth. This is one of his most distinct features! Draw a slightly wiggled "U" shape that follows the bottom of the face for his mouth. You can do a simple stitch by drawing lines across his smile, or you can do the advanced technique Kim shows in the video that are curved, like stitches on a baseball.

Now let's draw Jack's neck. It looks a little bit like a golf tee, or like a funnel! At the base of the head it starts wide and gets narrower as we go down. At the bottom of the neck, we're going to draw an oval that is sideways. This is going to be the knot in the middle of his bowtie - which is actually a BAT! 🦇

Step 3: Draw Jack's Bat Bowtie

Now, let's turn this bowtie into a bat! First, draw bat ears, which are like cat ears. Draw two triangles on the top of the oval, on either side of the neck. Then, let's draw the bat's eyes. These are like two more watermelon seeds, pointed down. Or, you can make two ovals. ADVANCED CHALLENGE: add fangs! You can also add fangs which is a smile and two triangles pointing down. Once you're done drawing the bat's face, fill everything in except the eyes and the fangs.

Now that the bat's face is done, let's draw its wings. Draw two horizontal lines coming out the side of the bat face that almost touch the edge of the paper. Then, draw one diagonal line going up, and one going toward the bottom of the paper. Do that on both sides.

Now, starting at the end of the top diagonal line, draw a big curve going in toward the bat face, then coming back out to touch the end of the middle line. Then, do the same thing for the middle line and connect that with a big curve on the bottom line. Follow these instructions for the other side - remember, this is a symmetrical drawing!

Step 4: Add Details to Jack's Bowtie

Let's add some fun details! You can color in the bat bowtie completely black, or do the ADVANCED CHALLENGE and add pinstripes. Jack's suit is pinstriped, which means that there are lines down the suit. To draw pinstripes, just draw lots of lines along the inside of the wings on both sides of the bat wings. Color solid black in between the lines that you drew.

Step 5: Add Shading

We are ALL DONE with our Sharpie for this project, so we can put that away. Now, we're going to use colored pencils. Find a black colored pencil for this next step. We're going to be shading, which adds dimensions by drawing shadows on Jack Skellington. First, we're going to use our black colored pencil lightly and shade along the bottom of Jack's face to draw a shadow. Do the same under both eyes and the sides of Jack's neck.

Step 6: Add a Little Color!

Jack is a skeleton, so he's not going to need a lot of extra color - skeleton bones are white with shading. Now that our shading is done, we're going to get some color on this picture! First, pick any color for your bat's eyes. Kim chose orange to color glowing eyes, but you can choose any color you want. Then you can color whatever background you want! Draw Jack in Halloweentown, with a solid or patterned background, or in a spooky forest. You decide!

The Final Product!

We hope you enjoyed this FREE class! Be sure to take a picture of your drawing and tag it so we can see all your spooky creations!

Remember... Keep Making Cool Art!

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