I love the look of a southwest style painted steer skull. And I thought it would be fun to paint one myself.

When we were in Baja last Spring I got the chance.

A man stopped by our place one day with a pick up truck full of plain, white steer skulls. All of them were beautiful. It’s often hard to find ones that are so complete and not deteriorated. I chose one to paint and purchased it.

We cleaned it up and set it out to dry. But guess who got into it? Our little snoopy dog Belle. Here she is smiling at what she did.

smiling border collie

She chewed the end off it. You can see the ragged edge of the nose.

Plain Steer Skull

I ended up rebuilding that part with papier-mâché. In the end, one can’t tell at all so I was pleased.

Now, what to paint on it? There are so many ideas for painted steer skulls on Pinterest.

I didn’t want to be too influenced by others although it’s hard not to be.

I eventually came up with an idea and sketched it onto the steer skull with pencil.

I first put down a layer of white gesso in the area I wanted to paint. This will make the paint last longer.

And then I painted it using my acrylics.

 

Steer skull art beginning painting

I didn’t worry about going outside the lines as I knew the background color would paint over it.

I think it came out nice.

It went through changes along the way though.

Notice the design has changed by adding orange flowers instead of the fanned graphic below.

original painted steer skull

I made it with a yellow background at first but I didn’t like how it fought with the turquoise top portion.

Painted Steer Skull by Lindy Gaskill

 

Painted steer skull by Lindy Gaskill

I liked the turquoise so I decided to paint more of what I liked which is always a good idea.

I like it much better now.

steer skull art

original steer skull painting

I’m not sure if I’ll ever do another painted steer skull but this one was fun for my very first one.

What do you think?