I use HB and B! I guess it's a little surprising maybe that i don't use softer lead than that. I kinda hate the mess of it though... same for charcoal. I have enough trouble with smudging already (though i admit i don't worry about it as much as i used to ...smudges add natural texture when i go to colour it digitally later.)
that was an interesting livestream - my first in a very long while I *do* hope someone cached that conversation, particularly where you, that other person (name escapes me) and I discussed reproduction cycles. that really cries out to be fully fleshed out, and perhaps used in a story.