Thanks to my art teacher Calven for teaching me this technique.
For quite a while now I have been using a interesting technique to do the backgrounds of my sketches. This technique creates a nice smooth effect. This is good, because it allows for you to go over it with an eraser and add in details that would be impossible with a pencil, such as wind, light leaves, and faded trees. I have not been able to get a video of this until now.
This technique involves 2 steps - application and distribution. For the application step, you take a stick of charcoal or graphite and use a knife to shave of fine grains of charcoal/graphite.
For distribution, you can use a tissue to distribute the fine charcoal/graphite grains so that they blend into the paper. By doing this, you will have achieved the smooth effect.
Anyway, I think that this technique is very useful, and it really makes my sketches pop. One thing I like to do is make a jagged eraser outline on my sketches to make them pop even more.
This sketch, is an old one I did of Makkhan the cocker spaniel puppy - where you can see that effect.