I'm actually starting to get the feel for working with the pencil held backwards. Just like Jeff said in one of the videos, at first it feels like drawing with your left foot - but after a while I sort of found how to adjust my grip and make it do my bidding, and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting some control over now. It helps so much that you're allowed to lay your hand on the paper and slide it around - allows so much better precision!! I'm starting to draw extremely carefully and make all necessary corrections, the way I used to do long ago.
I'm starting to get it about the pierre noire pencils - they actually are the best pencils I've ever used. As I mentioned yesterday, you can go from the lightest feather mark to a solid dark in one stroke if you want - just by adjusting pressure. With graphite (my former favorite) you can't get a single pencil to do that - you need to use either a dark one or a light one. And to completely trump graphite - charcoal doesn't get shiny when you lay it on thick. You can scan a drawing even if it has heavy dark areas and it still comes out the way it's supposed to look! Yep - I understand now why they're the best pencils on planet earth. Now I just need to get used to holding them all backwards and upside-down..