Joan T, wonderful sketch!!
Scatty, WOW!! Superb!!
Joe, a huge disclaimer is in order here. I am in no position to give advise to anyone, I am a beginner and have very little experience. The tips were just things to try just in case someone hadn't thought or heard of them (I even tried a wet on wet for a light wash that worked). Having said so:
-I have used 180gsm drawing paper without issues and currently use mixed media paper, mainly Canson Imagine, because it is cheap and I have no problems with it.
-I have tried Canson XXL watercolor paper and of course works well, but Canson Imagine is cheaper.
-I have to say as well that I "work" small and use exclusively a Pentel AquaBrush, so I don't put much water on the paper at the same time. My preferred way of using it is loading the brush on the pencil lead and sketch directly with the brush (although the tree wasn't done like that, I just used the pencil roughly on the paper and then used the brush because it is much faster this way)
-About Canson Imagine paper, I use it with watercolors too, but it is terrible there, very difficult and unforgiving. In fact those 180gsm drawing papers were better. But that is only with watercolors, I like it a lot with water soluble graphite.
Well, in summary, you were better off watching youtube videos than reading my post.
I am looking forward to seeing your projects or just experiments with it. Have fun.
Pine Cone, you have no problem, just lack of experience with the medium. I like those stripes. So yes, please, keep trying and have fun, play, experiment and don't worry at first for the results.
The following picture is for your benefit.
I could call it 'burning souls in hell' but it is actually an attempt to sketching a hazel tree, which wasn't burning or anything.
By the way, nice collection. Book me a ticket for that Universe of yours.