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 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.