I would like to say that I’m a huge fan of using powdered graphite. It helps me fill in large spaces in a short time and can be applied fairly evenly. When I’m starting a portrait, it helps me determine where the darkest places are going to be. Here is an example. I usually go over the whole drawing to determine where the darker places are going to be. In this case it’s mostly half the drawing. This way I have a good reference as to what I’m going to make darker. I love using powdered graphite for drawing hair as well. Putting down a layer of Powdered graphite then using my Mono Zero eraser to pick out some of the hair and then building the hair up in this way.
I use soft nylon brushes in various shapes and sizes and I like to use a chamois, or what I really use is Shamwow (that stuff they sell on the TV). I really like it better than chamois. I also like to wad up pieces of typing paper over and over to make very tiny folds all over it and roll it into a ball and dip it into some powdered graphite early on in a drawing process to make skin textures. Here are some of the tools of the powdered graphite trade.
Powdered graphite is a great tool to put into the ol’ graphite tool box.