I want to practice value, just the basic white to black. My tool for setting values is the Gray Scale & Value Finder from The Color Wheel Company. I'm using Faber-Castells from 4H to 4B. It's so cool to be back where I started, with a pencil that is. I remember at when might have been the first botanical exhibit I ever attended, this absolutely beautiful rhododendron, 16 x 20 or so, done up so finely with graphite. I'd never realized the possibilities of the humble pencil.