I experimented with different ways of holding pens and pencils.
Whilst holding them at the end I was able to do long sweeping marks as they lightly touched the paper. The closer to the nib I held the pen or pencil the more control I had over the pressure on the paper which in turn allows control of shade and smaller more accurate markings.
Pencils are very adaptable and suit most mark marking. They are easily erased and can be very light, dark or shaded, used to make sharp lines, blended or cross hatched.
Pens and drawing pens make bold marking and cross hatch shading. Italic pens are difficult to keep the marks the same across the page, as was the dip pen and ink and calligraphy nib. The drawing nibs were a little easier to use but my home made dip pen made from elder was almost imposable to keep the ink marks even.
Pencils give a softer feel than most other media I used. Random cycles in both pen and pencil gave a floating feeling whilst squiggles in pen gave an erratic feeling to any mark used with them. Cross hatch with marker pen feels almost like there is a barrier between the viewer and the paper.
Colour adds drama, blue flowing water, rich flowers or growing trees and grass. Pastels and conte crayons can give the same dramatic rich colour but also can have a softer hue. They seemed to be more suitable to thicker lines or blocks of colour.
I found the most enjoyment from experimenting with charcoal but it was also the most frustrating media due to the mess it can make. The slightest touch can leave smudges.
The high contrast between bold lines and soft blended shadows makes charcoal suitable for most uses but are very effective with portrait or figure drawing.
Compressed charcoal was the easier to use whilst I enjoyed using the willow more. Both filled the page quickly with shading.
The use of a putty rubber was quite amazing giving strong highlights or bold negative shapes.