Via the Empty Easel, I came across this helpful post on Seven Advanced Drawing Tips for Creating Photo-Realistic Drawings in Pencil and Graphite written by H. Edward Brooks.
Lots of good information here. Here are a couple of tips that I am going to try:
- "Choose your paper carefully for the amount of graphite it can hold— The artist uses Stonehenge’s print making paper. It doesn't have the sizing of a watercolor paper so it really soaks up the graphite, allowing him to get more graphite on the paper at once."
- "For graphite powder, he grinds his own using a mechanical pencil sharpener and 6B, 8B, and 9B leads. Bottled graphite powder that you can purchase is just not as rich. Find a soft cotton cloth to use when applying the powder. Use a buffing technique, much like hand buffing or waxing your car."
Check out the complete post for more drawing details.