The lighter shade is a 2H pencil and the darker is a 9B. I tried to blend the 9B, but it wasn't working. You can see the tip of the wing in the right side is darker than the rest. I was rubbing it with a Q-Tip (I blended the lighter parts with one) but instead of blending, it was picking the graphite up off the page. I'll probably just go over it with the 9B in up and down strokes, rather than left to right. Thanks for the positivity! I appreciate the compliment. I'm still debating whether or not to try and do the whole nova thing around the phoenix.
Interesting! I'll have to give that a shot. I think the 9B doesn't seem so dark because I had it turned sideways and I wasn't rubbing very hard. It also loses a little something in the picture. It's darker on the actual page, but you can really see the grain of the paper. It's very dark, with lots or white speckles.