Pressing on with the eyes theme, i did one owls eyes from an online web instructor and the other i did for myself shortly afterwards.
On starting these pictures which are A4 in size, i decided to use Conte Pastel sticks simply because its quite an area to fill in when using just pencils. I also use Pastelmat paper which is similar to sandpaper, great for holding pastel but it can eat pencils, the Conte sticks are quite a solid stick unlike soft pastel sticks so therefore dont wear away as quickly and makes it easier to get several layers on, soft pastel fills the tooth of the paper quickly if you are not careful.
Another nice thing about the conte sticks is you can get a good sharp edge should you need to create thin lines or get into tight corners. There is also several different types of blending stumps from rubber ended to paper, but sometimes nothing is finer than ones own finger.
One of the few times i use a sharp point on my pencils is when creating the finest wisps of stray hair, fur or feather, every other time i find with this paper there is no need for it. The Eyes above are from an online tutorial, although i watched it then did it from memory.
This picture is one i created for myself but basically followed what i had learned from the previous tutorial, even though they were some months apart. The basic principle is get the under colours on first and make sure that they are dark enough to take layer on top but still remain visible, without the darks the top layers will look flat and lifeless, and by adding over layers it makes the fur or feather look thick and plush.