On this portrait I emphasized the toned paper as the middle tone value as it should be. That's what they're made for. The next value to that is the "hard"pencil (General pencil), so I was extra careful on hatching. I hardly used a stump for blending. I also used white General to articulate the highlights even at an early stage to help me see the related values (see the early stages of the drawing below).
On my previous works I use the "medium" and "soft" pencils for my values. I never realized the importance of the "hard" pencil. And because of the light impression of the drawing as a whole I was careful on rendering shadows to avoid mistakes of redoing it - it would look messy.