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I have modelled a tombstone from a reference image. Pretty happy with the general model, but would like to also model the skull and the wavey lines as you can see in the reference image. But how would you do it? I tried to do so by creating vertices one by one but it didn't workout.

I also did some seaming work, but stopped for now.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I would go for either bump mapping or sculpting. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Aug 11 '14 at 23:37
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There are several ways to about getting the detail or illusion of depth on a simple or flat model. The fastest IMO for a use case like this is to use the Displace Modifier. Simply Unwrap your object or the face you want the detail on or in this instance, it might be better to do a Project from View and then scale the UVs to match the image.

Next add a texture and set the Mapping coordinates to UV and use that texture in the displace modifier. After that, just tweak the settings until you are satisfied, the Strength value is the one you will primarily use.

Two things that can improve the final result.

  1. Convert the image to grayscale (black and white) as the displace modifier works best with explicit black and white values
  2. Use a flat surface and subdivide it several times rather than modeling extrusions etc, the modifier will handle all of that

Here is a quick test using the same image as yours with the steps I outlined above on a flat plane.

enter image description here

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