"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
- Scott Adams

This tutorial is for the beginner and low intermediate. Basically a quick run through on using different pencils for shading.
If you are looking for a more detailed description of how to shade please check out this tutorial here.
The pencils I am using (from light to dark: F, HB, 4B, 6B, 7B and 8B.

Once again lets start with the completed sketch. It took about 20 minutes using this refrence pic: [link]

We have the basic outline of the bird, colored areas and mass feathered areas.

  1. Now we want to add in all the details so that the shading will be easy. You want to draw in the large feathers and patterns and add small detaisl around features such as the talons and the eye.


      • Now the main features are easy to see. We know where the eye, the brow and all the feathers are going. we know the direction of the feather growth and where the shadows will need to occur. we can now start to shade in the mass areas/block in the different shades.




    • Now we have the main areas blocked in with the different shades we are using.
      I've used the 8B for the dark under feather on the wing and on the eye
    • The 6B was used for most of the body which would be blue. I've still pressed a bit harder where the shadows would fall and lighter in other areas. the 6B was also used for the talons and beak
    • For the red on his head I've used the 4B pencil.
    • finally the lightest part (white) was colored with the F pencil.
    • The next part is the really fun one! Now that all the colors are blocked in we will start to add all teh little details of the feathers and the light.




      • So using the same pencil in each area as the last step I've gone ahead and added in all teh smaller details. Small circular strokes to create the small feathers on his body/head and larger u shapes for the beginning of the wings. dont forget to add a small shadow under each feather both large and small. This gives the image more of a real texture and feel.
      • Tiny strokes in the direction of the feather growth were used on the head and the white parts of the body. try to keep the direction of growth in mind wen drawing and coloring feathers and fur, it looks more natural.
      • Dont forget tha tthe talons have texture they are lumpy and have joints in them so give each one a little shadow and bring out the texture. In some area's I chose to use a darker pencil for the smaller details ( i used the 7B in the main 6B area to add depth to the feathers, I also used it for some of the shadows on the talons).
      • when your done that add any additional shadows and perhaps darken the outline (which I've done with my original HB mechanical pencil) I really like to re-outline my pictures after I shade them, I feel it makes them pop!







    I have used only the pencil texture, no smudges!

    -Samantha Lim


    Always Drawing...
    Good, but never great...
    Finished, yet never complete...
    Corrected, yet never flawless...
    Striving for perfection is a long hard road
    And when you get there...
    you still have yourself, to compete with....
    ~Samantha Lim