Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: How to Draw a Vector Pirate Skull

This tutorial was made by one of the artists at, Ioana Șopov. Check out more of her work here:, and get similar design resources created by her and the rest of our talented team here: The tutorial was created in Adobe Illustrator CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 5 and took 45 minutes in real time.

The songs used are Simple Odd Fellows – Pirates: and Monkey Island 3 – A pirate I was meant to be… by Michael Land: No copyright infringement intended.


vast chingching says:

same unable to color them,when i merge the lines and colorize square,they got stuck together

Mopiloop says:


Sara Ramos says:

Does anyone know what brush they used

ana teixeira says:

Stupid question…how do you fill the parts at 1:16 ? Is it with the regular brush or do you switch for the blob brush?

Takevektor Channel says:

nice work

Erik Del Gallo says:


Valyrian says:

How do you setup your illustrator workspace like that?

Sean Crow says:

My three point variation pen doesn’t make strokes anything like that I’m using a surface book maybe thats the difference…

BluezConcepts says:

Just got my first drawing tablet ^^ still trying to figure out the right settings for linework ! thanks for some tips haha :p

Bonita van der Merwe says:

Oh my gosh! A song from Monkey Island 3! That was so good to hear 🙂 thanks for the great tutorial.

N.M Bradford says:

How much time do u spend?

ucuz12 says:

pretty sure this is way more time efficient than using pen tool and trace it manually with mouse

Trịnh Hậu says:

thanks so much .!!
What’s the pressure of the pen which you used, please?

frothen ride says:

Hi, I am wondering is there any way to achieve a similar brush stroke to the one you are using but without the pressure setting as i don’t have a touch screen and can only use my mouse and laptop? i can’t seem to get the same thick too thin stroke as yours, thank you in advance

Michael Lee says:

Amazing, but I didn’t learn anything because you didn’t explain a thing

はんにゃドットコム says:


Sean Crow says:

How can I get that artboard?

Darrel Salvilla says:

why i cant swithc to pressure in brush?
i am using AI cc

basha graphic says:

woowww amazingg greattttt :p

Sakina Masalec says:

Great Tut! Could you advise us how to do the settings in Wacom tablet? Thanks 😀

Sly says:

im guessing this was done using some sort of drawing tablet over using a mouse?

FortheloveofLlama says:

This song!! It’s from a super old PC game called Curse of Monkey Island. I haven’t thought about that game in ages, nice nostalgia..thanks! 🙂

Irradiated44 says:

Hahaha I don’t care people in the comments say you don’t explain enough. I think you are terrific! This tutorial changed my life, I always wondered how those artworks in stickers and shirts be done, I mean its really gotta be hard, but then I found this. LOL! I gotta get a pen tablet as soon as freakin’ possible. That thing changes everything, huh

Soufiane Tahiri says:

Nice video, but you should reword the title to “Adobe Illustrator: I Draw a Vector Pirate Skull”

HASO805 says:

i need to learn Adobe Illustrator inside and out!!!

Angelo Mari Paredes says:

Why can’t i put my settings to pressure mode?

sipp1969 superdigital says:

good jop

Joyu Lin says:

So Cooooooool! Thank you for sharing!

Julien W. says:


Juntira Nitsuk says:

Hello,@designioustimes do you use some kind of pen tablet? if so what is the brand? or do you have any recommended brand for a beginner please?

thank you

Ronald Navarrete says:


Sniff Cardozo says:

im amazed

Arik Dsgn says:

Excellent tutorial.

Thor Blades says:

Aye, me enjoyed watching this tutorial, Arr!

josehernandez34 says:

thank y
ou SOOOOO much on giving an explanation on how to make a inking brush. Hardest part to learn to do.

Dm Rodrigues says:

muito bom ótimo

Ronald Navarrete says:

i love this videoo

Alexander Olsen says:

Anyone know which tool allows her to manipulate paths @1:29? I’m confused because I thought drawing a path or a brush were different actions. She’s drawing both at once.

Daniel van Flymen says:

Absolutely awesome! Thank you!

Isabella Canlas says:

ok i’m trying to learn this but sadly, i’m disappointed at how you demonstrated without showing what commands you used, what tools, how you get from one thing to another… it was all a blur to me

ACRidzky Arsal says:

are u uselly Wacom Drawing pad ? if im right, what a type is it ? thank you ^^

oh yeah, btw it very cool !!!

yuan duan says:

this tutorial is sooooooo useful to me, no need to use pen tool in photoshop for drawings like this style!thank you so much! would u please tell me the details of your brush setting ? mine is not working so well with my intuos. thanks!


I used the same settings for the calligraphy brush however my brush doesn’t have the “sharp” brush strokes at the end like yours do.

J Carson says:

Good tutorial, but looks like you skipped a part. After using merge on both design and base color, you need to UNGROUP them. *ALSO, make sure all of your PATHS are closed. Then you can remove everything outside of the design. I saw a video glitch at 6:59, so I figured it was a missed step. I’m new to AI and it took me 30+ minutes of rewatching the video to figure that out. Hope this save other people time. Thanks.

Ernesto Ibarrola says:

i just watched a 12 min video 3 times just cuz of the music …

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