Born in Fredrikshald, Norway, Skou was a student of Anders Zorn in Stockholm and Christian Krolig in Paris. Early in the century, he immigrated to the U.S. where he first settled in New York.
Moving on to Chicago in 1918, he found employment as an illustrator and became a participant in local exhibitions; in particular the Norwegian-American exhibitions of 1922, 1923 and 1926. He also participated in exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design. Numerous award included the gold medal at the Norse Centennial in St. Paul in 1924, the Foster prize at the Salmagundi Club in 1926 and the Allied Artists of America gold medal that same year.
He was a founding member of the Grand Central School of Art in New York as well as a member of the Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists, National Academy of Design, American Water Color Society, Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago, Boston Arts Club, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Aquarellists of America, American Federation of Arts, National Arts Club and the American Art Association of Paris.