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I've been doing some little watercolors from my hummingbird sketches. When I do the pencil sketch, I normally use a soft (3B or 4B) pencil and a light touch on Strathmore 300 Series Drawing paper in a spiral bound pad. Tip: Remember to squint! It is an extremely valuable aid in drawing and painting. It allows you to see shapes and values more easily without getting too caught up in the details.
I trace my drawing onto 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper using my light box. If you don't have one, just tape your sketch to a window and trace with a light line. When transferring the image to the cotton paper, I normally use a broken line and a hard (2H or 3H) pencil with a light touch. Don't press too hard or you'll score the paper.
I also repainted that hummingbird in flight for the third time and posted it on my web log today. There are still a few things that I'm not satisfied with, but I feel this last one is good enough so that I can move on now.