Here are a pair of pears that constitute my first two projects. They were both challenging from the rendering point of view. It takes time to really see all the subtle value changes in the form, especially in the lights. And it takes time to master the materials, both the drawing instruments and the paper being used. After a while you develop a tactile sense of how the drawing tool works upon the paper. You eventually feel how hard press to get the value you need. For graphite, I used different grades of pencils from 4H to 8B to help achieve the value I needed. The charcoal I used mostly hard and some medium sticks of high quality. I used the brand Nitram which is no longer being made as the fella in France that made it decided to retire. Bugger!
Graphite pear on Lanaquarelle hard pressed watercolor paper. The Lanaquarelle takes the graphite beautifully, but it has a bit of a patchy texture where some areas seem a bit denser than others. I'm guessing this has to do with the cotton in the paper and how it was made. As a result though it can take a while to get a pristine, smooth surface. There's a lot of filling in little white dots and pulling out dark blotches and ant poop (little black dots).
Vine charcoal pear on Zerkall Nideggen paper. This paper had a bit of a wavy texture like what you'd see in the sand after the waves pull back. It made it a bit of a challenge if your goal was to completely overcome this texture leaving a smooth surface. The paper has a light, warmish tone almost like oatmeal of about a value 3. So I used a Pitt white pastel pencil to get the lights. The white pastel needed to be brushed out a bit with a fine paint brush spreading it toward the graphite until there was a seamless, smooth transition of value of light to dark.