How to Simply... draw a bird with sketching pencils

Jennie Wickings, artist and illustrator, finds all her inspiration in animals and nature. In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw an owl using graphite sketching pencils and blending sticks! 

Step 1

Prepare your sketching pencils

The graphite sketching pencils are offered in different grades. The 2B and the B are the hardest of the soft category, whereas 8B is super soft. Ideal for shading, and dark tones. Jennie recommends paper above 100gsm for this tutorial.

Step 2

Map out the areas of the bird

Start with a 4B pencil, to map out the areas of the bird.

Tip: to draw the wigs, imagine an upside-down egg shape.

Step 3

Make stronger outline

Use a 6B to make the outline stronger. And with a B, using the pencil quite hard to make even stronger lines.

Tip: draw everything that is around the eyes and the beak for more consistency!

Step 4

Draw the feathers

Draw the feathers using an 8B pencil.

Tip: always keep some white in the eyes for more realistic results.

Step 5

Use the rubber

Use the rubber to tidy a bit your drawing.

Step 6

Add the feet

Go back to the B, the hardest pencil, and start to add the details of the feet of the bird.

Step 7

Add some shadows

Add some shadows to give gravity and weight to the bird.

Step 8

Decide when it looks finished

Know when to stop, when it looks finished, do not do more. You can also use the pencils on the side for light effects.

Step 9

Use the blending stick

Finally, use the blending stick to add some gradient on the edges of your bird.

Simply Sketching Pencils

Daler-Rowney Simply offers a comprehensive range of Sketching Pencils sets. Each sets will provide professional or novice artists a variety of sketching pencils allowing them to achieve artistic depth to their sketches.