Advanced Graphite Pencil: Proud Tiger

Advanced Graphite Pencil: Proud Tiger

Download this Project Sheet

 Recommended Materials

This project works best when using the materials shown below. Please Note: These items are found in the ArtSkills Premium Artist Case. These items can also be found at your local craft store.


Varying Degrees of Firmness

Graphite can be baked and compressed into different degrees of firmness. A pencil's mark will be lighter or darker depending on how the graphite is baked and compressed. The softer a pencil's firmness, the darker of a mark it will leave; similarly, the firmer a pencil is, the lighter its mark will be. Use the chart below as a quick guide to your pencils' levels of firmness and darkness.

Using the Tortillon

A tortillon, also known as a blending stump, is used to "smudge" or blend marks made with graphite pencils. Push lightly to gently soften your marks, and smudge harder to blend them together seamlessly. Rub a graphite-covered tortillon over a white area on your page to create a light, smooth shade. To clean a tortillon, simply peel off the outer layer of paper.

Quick Shading Techniques

Graphite can be layered in many different ways. Depending on how you lay down your marks, you can achieve different styles. Look at the examples below for some unique shading techniques that you can apply to any graphite drawing.

Step 1:

Using the side of your 2B pencil, begin by creating coverage in the areas of the tiger's fur that would be orange, as shown in the image for Step 1. Use the tortillon to blend in your areas evenly. Add in small details like hair in the ears and small stripes above the mouth.      

Step 2:

Begin creating the tiger's stripes using small strokes that go in the direction of the fur. Use your 4B pencil in areas of shadow, like the insides of the ears and the neck, and then blend with the tortillon.


Step 3:

Using the 6B pencil add in smaller stripes, and darken the existing stripes. Remember to use pencil strokes that follow the direction of the fur. Also darken around the eyes and in the nostrils, and blend with the tortillon. Finally, draw whiskers with a sharp pencil.