Here you see my original pencil sketch followed by scanning it in and working it over with the tablet. It's actually kind of scary how much better I am with digital aid.. if only I could use the transform tools and liquify filter on paper! Though I know if I stick with it I can improve my pencil work drastically -- it's just been a long time since I was really in practice. One thing I notice though - working on the tablet is a lot more like painting, using wide swaths and patches of value rather than lines. I suppose drawing with charcoal and chalk would be similar. But eventually I'd really like to improve my spacial awareness and eye/hand coordination to the point that I can draw it right the first time, without needing all the modification. And you do that by drawing - probably without the safety net the tablet affords.
For now I think I'll keep working like this - sometimes starting with pencil, sometimes doing it on the tablet right from the get-go. Then I'll project the drawing up on canvas and paint it up. I've just ordered a drafting table and chair plus some scrubs and a lab coat to save my clothes. I'll be setting up shop upstairs in a spare bedroom with 2 windows so I can get some ventilation going and hopefully avoid the strokes Frazetta suffered.