My 7th grade 3-D class completed this project just before Dia de los Muertos. Every 6 weeks, I do one clay project with them and one project that is another material, usually plaster. I had been waning to do a Sugar Skull project for a few years and it just happened to work out well this time. We started by reading this article and this article about Sugar Skulls and Day of the Dead.
Next, the kids looked at examples of sugar skulls and used
some designs to create 4 different symmetrical designs.
Next, the kids used mask forms to apply their plaster. This made it much easier and faster than plastering faces. The kids did this step in one day. The next day, they chose their best design and drew it on with pencil. Next came outlining with black. I watered down some black acrylic paint and it worked really well. Finally, they added color to their designs, some did gradation within the colors and then if needed, they re-outlined. Some of the kids even made tissue paper flowers to add. Here is how they turned out!