Up till now, my main shading technique with traditional media was to use graphite and charcoal pencils and smudge it a lot.
It works fine on charcoal-heavy drawings, but charcoal has its own pros and cons - it's messy, it needs a "preservative" sprayed over it, I cant really carry it around for quick sketches, while a pencil is always handy.
Graphite pencils alone don't look too good when I smudge them though – the drawing loses all texture and sharpness, the tones get unified – bright parts get a bit darker and dark parts get a bit lighter.
That's why I wanted to learn hatching shading techniques. I saw some amazing works done that way, but mine didn't even come close to looking good. I saw some people recommending different, often contradictory techniques, but I can't seem to get the desired effects.
My question is what are the rules I should follow when hatching and crosshatching using pencils? How to shade big format pictures (say A3 portrait)? While hatching small drawings, it's easy to cover the whole shaded area of a single shadow in a single stroke, but not quite so on big formats...