To start, I loosely block in the shapes with pencil and powdered graphite.
Here is a step-by step demo showing how I develop a portrait graphite/charcoal drawing.
Here, I start to develop the face of the portrait, working toward getting the likeness.
Once I feel comfortable with the face, I move down to the hand, arms and shoulders toning in form and capturing the shadow play of lights and darks from the sunlit window. I am using graphite pencils as well as powdered graphite.
Here the fabric layers of tulle of the ballerina's dress are developed.
For the contrasting darks in the eyes and hair, I am using charcoal pencil.
At this stage I am refining and tweaking everything making fine adjustments. To help with the highlights of the skirt I sharpen up the edges of the fabric with an eraser.
Here is the finished drawing!