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Create a Pencil Sketch of Hogwarts Crest

Melody Howe | May 8, 2017

Learn new techniques for creating your own pencil art with this amazing Hogwarts Crest pencil sketch tutorial by Melody Howe. 




  • Canson XL Recycled Bristol paper
  • Aristo Geo-Pen PRO (0.35mm) mechanical pencil
  • Aristo 3fit (0.9mm) mechanical pencil
  • Nobby 3mm fine tip pencil
  • Reference picture
  • Eraser (preferably small/skinny for fine details)
  • Ruler
  • White gel pen (optional)
  • Tissue to help prevent smudging (optional)


Step 1 - 5: Sketching with Aristo Geo-Pen PRO

1. With a ruler, lightly draw a line down the center of the paper (both width and length-wise) to make a cross. This will be the base of your crest. Depending on how big you want your crest to be, draw additional lines (with your own desired measurements) as markers for where the edges of the borders will end.


These additional lines aren’t really necessary, you can always freehand the shape of the crest, but if you want symmetry then drawing these lines will help! (Most of the lines I drew were unnecessary, I ended up moving some around and the only ones I needed were the outermost lines). 

Measure out a small rectangular box from the center of the cross; this will be in the middle of the crest with the Hogwarts H inside. 



2. Next, draw the shape of the crest using the lines as a guideline. The baseline should be the lines inside the crest that divide the four houses. 


2. Sketch out the banner and the ornate designs that surround the coat of arms. I didn’t follow any lines for symmetry on this step, seeing as both sides are slightly different from each other, but I did try to get them as close as possible so it didn’t look too crooked (the trick is to hold your paper at arm’s length so you can see it at a bit of a distance). Don’t forget to keep a tissue under your hand at all times to prevent smudging. 


4. Draw out the Hogwarts house animals in their appropriate sections. Looking at your reference photo, the Gryffindor lion should be in the top left corner, the Slytherin serpent in the top right, the Hufflepuff badger in the bottom left quadrant, and the Ravenclaw eagle in the bottom right. 


5. Trace your entire sketch with neater, slightly darker lines (using the same pencil) so that when you do the final tracing and shading, there won’t be any careless lines visible from the sketch (make sure to erase all extra lines). If you have a light box, you can sketch out the entire drawing without worrying about neatness, then transfer it by tracing the original sketch onto your final paper, coming out with nice, precise lines.


Looking at your reference, mark and lightly shade in the parts of/around the coat of arms where the values will be darkest (this was just an easier way for me to keep track of all the different components of the crest and to be able to quickly identify which parts would require more pressure when coloring). 

Step 6: Trace with Nobby

Make sure to sharpen your Nobby pencil before you start. Since it has a very thick lead, you want the tip to be as sharp as possible to create fine lines (you can do this by unscrewing the top, it has the pencil sharpener inside). Trace over your sketch; use a lot of pressure since you want the end result to be very dark. You will have to sharpen it many times, especially before you start on the detailed portions like the house animals, because it can get dull very fast. 


Step 7: Adding Values with Nobby & Aristo

Once you are finished tracing, it’s time to add values. I began with the designs on the outside of the crest before moving onto the details inside and the banner. Fill in the darkly shaded areas using maximum pressure first (you want it to be very dark), then use medium pressure to shade the rest. You still want it to be dark but not so much that you can’t differentiate between the different values. Make sure to blend between these lines. 



Step 8: Shade Box with H

Shade in the box with the H and the border of the crest next, using maximum pressure here as well. In fact, if you can, try to make it even darker than the shadows on the design surrounding the crest. 


Step 9: Shade in Animals

Next, shade in the house animals. You want it to be dark enough so that it will contrast nicely with the background, but not so much that you lose the details in the process. For the lion, I made the mane darker than the body; the serpent is lighter on the bottom than the topside, with lines marking its underbelly; the badger has its distinguished white stripes on the head; and the eagle has a lighter beak and feet than the rest of its body, with a bit of shadowing to show off feathers on the wings. 


Step 9: Background

Once the animals are shaded, you can complete it with a background. For this step, you can set aside the Nobby pencil and pick up the Aristo 3Fit pencil. First, draw the line patterns (you want the overall background to be really light, but make sure these lines are dark enough to discern). If you look at pictures of the Hogwarts coat of arms, Gryffindor has diagonal lines, Slytherin has diamonds running diagonally, Hufflepuff has a chessboard-like pattern with small squares, and Ravenclaw has horizontal lines. 

To make the Slytherin diamond pattern, just lightly draw diagonal lines across the designated house space, then try to evenly space the diamonds along these lines. The diamonds should not align with its neighboring lines, but rather with an alternate line. 


Step 9: Shade the Banner

The final step for shading is the banner and Hogwarts motto (Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, a.k.a. Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon). I used the Nobby pencil again for this bit because I really liked the idea of making one section different and lighter than everything else. You need to use caution when shading here because you want the banner to be dark enough to differentiate between the two different pencils, but also light enough to be able to read the letters. Make sure the motto is as dark as you can possibly make it; it would probably help to thicken the letters up a bit. The folds can be shaded darkly, and it will look nicer if there is a little shading where the banner curves. 



Step 9: Touch-Up

For a final touch-up, I used a white gel pen to trace the part of the border that overlaps with the motif surrounding the crest, since it’s hard to discern the lines. You don’t have to do this part if you don’t want to; I actually debated for quite some time which one I liked better. I ended up going through with the gel pen option, but I’m still not certain if it was the right choice.



Have fun exploring more pencil art in the Nobby Inspire Section!


Topics: Illustration

Melody Howe
Melody Howe on May 8, 2017

Melody was inspired to begin drawing at a very young age by her sister and family. Over the years she developed a passion for painting and storytelling, and now spends many hours illustrating and creating stories. Her love of books recently led her to a book-making class on making Artist and Pop-Up Books and she immediately fell in love with the craft. She hopes to expand her collection of hand-made books and share it with others, and to one day inspire children with her own published stories and illustrations.