I've noticed over time that whenever I see blue-pencil work by other artists, it's darker than mine -- as in, you can actually see the picture! Finally after FC, I decided to check out this phenomenon, and looking around at a few artist discussions, I found somebody making the offhand comment, "I pencil with a Col-Erase Light Blue. I can't stand non-repro blue, and avoid them if I can."
I started asking around, and sure enough, it's one of those, "Duh, everybody knows this, how is it that you don't?" kind of things that I seem to encounter with such annoying regularity.
So over the weekend, I started doing my pencils with a Col-Erase Light Blue that I just happened to have around the house, and so far, I'm lovin' it. It keeps a nice, sharp point; it makes a distinct, vivid line; and it vanishes just as well as the non-repro when I do my scanner-tweak.
Honestly, I sometimes feel like the rest of the world has to be watching me stumble around in the dark, snickering. One of these days, I am going to weed out all the ways I shoot myself in the foot, and my art's finally gonna be great!