First of all, there are 2 types of pencil renderings/drawings..
1. Stroked renderings
Stroked renderings have always been taught in art schools and are used for traditional figure drawing. Stroked renderings dont produce realistic results because of the rough nature of the pencils used [rough graphite or charcoal pencils] and smudging is rather less or not used at all. These drawings are done both on rough and smooth textured papers.
2. Stroke-less renderings
Stroke-less renderings are done on smooth papers generally or on skin textured [with adjustable texture] papers [called vellum papers]. In such drawings, smudging is a must and smoother pencils must be used. Hyper-realistic drawings are always strokeless, meaning you cant see clear strokes on the paper in the final outcome.
Choosing graphite pencils for realism can be tricky, since we cannot have any pencils which make rough strokes, since rough strokes can
1. Make the drawing look unrealistic,
2. Spoil the smooth texture of the paper.
So obviously we have to use the smoothest pencils most of the time.
Such smooth pencils can be either some monoliths [monolith = graphite body pencils or woodless pencils] which are very smooth or mechanical pencils.
Very good examples of monolith pencils :
1. Cretacolor monoliths
2. Koh-i-noor woodless pencils
There might be others too, but I've only used this till now..
Mechanical pencils or Clutch pencils come generally in 3 sizes : 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 2mm
The 0.5mm is very good for fine pencil drawings and i recommend it for all realistic drawings.
Grades to use : 2h,hb,2b,4b [very rare in 0.5mm]
Very good examples of mechanical leads :
1. Camlin leads
2. Cretacolor leads
Avoid using Staedler pencils and leads. they're very rough. Although staedler HB lead is great for fine light colored hair but its not that we cannot use the suggested leads in that case.
Next tutorial would be on "Which pencil to use where".
Please Note :
-The above tutorial was written by me by what I understood by experimenting with different stationery and observing many great works and trying to decipher how they've been done. I may use some self-defined terms coz they work for me. If you want to put up these tutorials elsewhere, plz give due credit to me! [:D] and link me to that site.
-My methods of drawing keep on changing, so I will try to write the methods which have consistently given me good results.
-Feedback : Please give me feedback about this and tell me if you are unable to understand anything. I'll clarify.
- Tips are provided "as is" and the author is not responsible for any damages done to your drawing or your methods :D
Thats all. All the best!!