On the left side is a 2006 portrait on 150 g/m² paper with graphite pencils. On the right side is a 2015 portrait (unfinished) on 160 g/m² paper with graphite pencils. Although I don't think that the paper's weight is thàt much of a difference, I have trouble with shading, graininess and building up tones.
Earlier, I remember wanting to draw life like but didn't like creating a very smooth way of shading by smoothing out your graphite or by smudging to get shadows etc. (Cross)hatching and not smudging felt more natural to me then just whiping a piece of cloth/tissue/... over some graphite to get an even tone (but this sounding very simple to do, this technique isn't easy either, I think I've never mastered it and that's probably why I don't like it). I also tried the blended circulism method for shading once, that takes a lot of time! So I guess I'm still in a bit of an impasse on that matter.