How to draw a penguin using pencil

  • Sketch the shape to establish a rough outline of the penguin.

Convey the mass of the figure with light and thin lines. Take note of the position and angle of the subject you are working on. Penguins have a robust body with short legs, and the flippers are long enough to cover the sides.


  • Thicken the main outline to properly establish the figure of your subject.

Establish the final outline with clean and definite line strokes. Use thick and visible, but not hard-pressed line. This outline will later on be overlapped by texture contour and shading.

  • Begin the shading starting with the black portions of the head.

It is much better to use a pencil with a softer lead to apply the shades. If you don't have one, just gradually darken the tone by applying more than one layer. Do not put too much weight on your strokes to achieve a darker tone. apply the first one, then smudge it, and apply another.

  • Complete the shade of the dark areas and then proceed to establish the texture.

Using very faint and thin short lines, make a few rows on the back of the head to convey a dense furry texture. These are implied contour hatches that should signify the surface of the area it covers.

  • Convey the texture of the body.

do the same thing on the far edges of the body (under the belly and inner sides of the legs. The trick is in the gaps of each rows of short lines to effectively convey the tone or shade of an area that is basically white.

Do the same thing the the edges of the entire body to depict its round shape. Overlap the main outline with overlapping short lines (feathering strokes) to depict the texture. Apply shading to the feet.

Add more texture to the body to finalize your drawing, particularly on the sides. You don't have to entirely fill the body with the texture because this would make the image appear darker. the depiction  should just be enough to visually imply a textured white surface.

This tutorial is one of the given examples in the book "Drawing Birds for Beginners - Step by Step Guide to Drawing Birds".

For more tutorial books about other subjects, visit


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