What I Use
I use Pierre Noire charcoal pencils from France, 3B lead.
The paper that I use is from France too, Arches Watercolor paper, cold press. You can order it from www.artpaper.com
I also use Grumbacher powdered Charcoal, made in the US.
The charcoal is mainly for background, smudging and shading purposes. I use cotton balls to help smudge and shade in areas.