Day of the Dead artwork is not meant to be scary. Just the opposite - this artwork is meant to celebrate the spirit and honor the memory of those who have passed. Day of the Dead is known as "Dia de los Muertos" in Spanish. It is a Latin American holiday falling on November 1 and 2 of every year (similar to the Catholic All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day). On these two special days, Latin American families and friends gather to celebrate, honor, remember and pray for their departed loved ones. November 1 honors departed children and November 2 honors adults.
If you like Day of the Dead art,
check out these
Sugar Skull Coloring Pages
featuring 21 skulls that you can print
and color as many times as you like!
To celebrate the deceased is to accept that death is an inevitable part of life. Life and death are two sides of the same coin - life cannot exist without death, and vice versa.As Day of the Dead approaches, in Mexico and other Latin American countries they build altars in their homes and in public places to honor their loved ones. These altars are decorated using sugar skulls, marigolds, candles, Christian crosses, images or statues of the Virgin Mary, and photos of the departed, as well as their favorite foods and beverages.
Skulls (known as calaveras) are ubiquitous in Day of the Dead celebrations. They are the ultimate symbol of mortality. Underneath our fleshy exterior, our very earthly existence depends upon this skeletal foundation. Therefore Day of the Dead art revolves around imagery of skulls and skeletons in many states and forms: dancing, cooking, smiling, and playing banjo, for example. The belief is that our personalities and identities carry on into the afterlife. So when a person buys an image or statue of a skeleton baking bread and places it on an altar in honor of their aunt who was a baker, the image is said to help the dead soul find her way back to the altar where she can commune with her relatives. This is why there are numerous depictions of skeletons engaged in various specific activities.
In Latin America, there is the belief that on the Day of the Dead, the portals between this world and the world of the dead are more open, allowing for easier contact between the living and the dead. This makes it the opportune time to try to communicate with those who have passed. As such, Day of the Dead is also a reflective time.
Death can be a touchy subject. To many people it's a scary prospect, because no one knows what happens after death. We all have our own personal beliefs, based on our culture, society, and family upbringings, as well as our own personal intellectual, emotional and spiritual inclinations. Some schools of thought invoke a fear of death, while other cultures and philosophies accept death as an inevitable part of the cycle of life. Nothing and no one is free from the fingers of death. It will, throughout our lives, affect us all in intimate ways... until we ultimately meet our own end.
Learn how to
make sugar skulls!
Day of the Dead art counteracts any feelings of doom and gloom relating to mortality. Such artwork is often colorful and lively, sometimes whimsically macabre. Day of the Dead art is ironically full of life. To those of us who did not grow up in Latin American culture, Day of the Dead art rejuvenates our common Western perception of death by presenting a view of the afterlife that is full of energy and spirit, one worthy of joy and celebration. It brings with it the hope that after death, there will still be another tomorrow.
All of the Day of the Dead art on this page were created by me. You can see more of my Day of the Dead art below.
Most of these Day of the Dead images are available for sale as prints, and in some cases, the original may still be available as well. If you are interested in purchasing an original or print, click on the image to find more information. If you are interested in specific size, send me a message and let me know!
These Day of the Dead skulls are also available for sale on a number of items, such as t-shirts, ties, stickers, mugs, and more at my funky Day of the Dead store!
To learn more about Dia de los Muertos, please visit my Day of the Dead website.
If these sugar skulls tickle your fancy, check out my printable sugar skull coloring pages!
Thaneeya's newest sugar skull art is now available in a 2015 wall calendar by Andrews McMeel Publishing, so you can enjoy her sugar skull art every month (and every day) of the year! The calendar features high-quality reproductions of 13 of her Day of the Dead sugar skull designs; plus a page for September, October, November and Decemeber, 2014 — so you can start using it this year!
The 2014 calendar sold out, so order now to secure a copy!
Learn how to draw skulls! There are 9 different fun and freaky skull designs to choose from. These skulls can be the outline for your own unique Day of the Dead art!
Click on each skull to be taken to simple step-by-step instructions for drawing each one.
If you like my sugar skull art, you might like to try making real sugar skulls. Visit my website dedicated to the Day of the Dead where you can learn How to Make Sugar Skulls and How to Decorate Sugar Skulls.
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If you like my abstract art, check out my printable Abstract Coloring Book with 20 pages of intricate abstract line art to fill in with COLOR!