D Akey pretty much covered it all but here's a couple of other tips for you.
If you're working large, or down & dirty, you can get graphyte sticks. They're the same size as Conte crayons and work well for filling in.
"Graphite does not go all the way to black like charcoal."
But damn near. A 6B or 8B gets almost black. These are my faves. Really greasy and smeary. I've always liked the sort of metalic sheen that comes with graphyte.
"You may want to put a piece of clean paper under your hand if you're resting it on the drawing, usually an issue if you're doing close or repetative work."
Sometimes even the paper trick can smear. I've used a sturdy yard stick or piece of lath to rest my hand on. It would be long enuf that it wouldn't rest on the paper, but on your drawing board. You'd hold the opp. end with your non-drawing hand to move it. It seems cumbersome at 1st. but you hardly notice it after awhile.
Also, if you really get into it, I have a couple of Qt. cans of powdered graphyte that were given to me. If you want to get crazy let me know and I'll send you a can, absolutely free!!!:-)
Again, I agree with D A. Do have fun, it's great fun stuff.
Oh yeah, you'll want to put a sheet or 2 of paper under your drawing or you'll get like a rubbing of your drawing board when you do fills or shading.
"Up to now I've managed, but since they know I can't do any other kind of work in life except invent absurdities, they pay me badly." Rene Daumal (Trans. Roger Shattuck) from "Mount Analogue"