Learn To Draw a Teddy Bear With Graphite Pencil – Part 1

Sketch A Teddy

I drew this teddy bear from life, but you can draw from this reference photo. Because photos distort reality a bit, and because no two people sketch the same way, your bear won’t look like mine. That’s ok. Unique interpretation is what makes drawing endlessly creative.

This drawing is a sketch and sketching is not a completely realistic technique. It’s more like a shorthand for taking notes about what you see, and it allows you to experiment with the composition too.

Here’s how I began.


Measured line drawing.



  • I measured the width and height of the bear with my pencil and thumb, and then I drew a rectangle with those measurements.
  • Found the center of the rectangle on the paper and located that same point on the bear to use as a reference point.
  • Using the rectangle and mid point as a reference, drew the first lines lightly with an HB pencil in an overhand grip.

(You can see my beginning lines and how I searched for their angles and curves in the image below. My first lines are always “off” and need correction.)

Mid Values First

Mid Values First


Mid Values First

  • I hatched in each area in a value that was between the darkest and lightest values found there.
  • Used the HB pencil, at a low angle, in an overhand grip for the bear’s fur, but used the tip of the pencil at a higher angle to make a smoother texture for the silky bow material.

(An easy way to find mid values is to squint your eyes at the subject.)

  • Decided the bear needed a background, so hatched that in with the side of an HB pencil using the overhand grip at a low angle.



  • Canson Pure White Drawing Paper – This is the paper I used. It’s inexpensive and has a good texture for sketching, but most other smooth drawings paper will work for this texture too.
  • 2B, HB, and 2H Pencils – A good starter range of pencils.
  • Kneaded Eraser – I buy several of the small ones because I lose them all the time. (I suspect a certain cat loves them too much.)
  • Battery Powered Eraser – This one is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it. I’ve had mine for 20 years and it’s still going great. However, you can find them for around $10 is you shop around.
  • Small blending brush – Try several styles to find the kind you like best. See what kind I use in my blending how to.