I thought it might be helpful to do a visual step by step of how I've approached my recent large digital drawings. (The aim at this stage is to make is as close as possible to how I approach executing a traditional drawing). I use Corel Painter 11 and an A5 Wacom intuos 4 tablet/ pen which has 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. The experience of drawing with the wacom pen is pretty similar to traditional drawing. It doesn't feel exactly the same as drawing with graphite pencil but I would say it is in between using a graphite pencil and ballpoint pen so definitely within my tolerance levels.Activity (Year 2). This makes no difference to using the tablet - and in fact gives it a bit of 'tooth' - more of a 'real paper' feel when drawing.
I always work on a single layer and I use the 'real pencil' tools (the name always makes me smile), default 2H, 4H, 2B & 6B. I use the smallest size setting - size 1 - the size remains the same throughout the drawing and all variations are done via pressure or 'tilting' the pen (a similar effect to using the side of a traditional pencil as opposed to the point). This is a little different to my 'real, real pencil' drawings where I rarely use a pencil softer than 3B.
When I've finished the drawing I export it as a tiff and send the file to be printed 1:1 scale. To date I haven't proofed so as not to alter the final result. (i.e didn't want to subconsciously try to make it look more like a graphite drawing). At the moment I've only printed on paper and aluminium panel - but I intend to explore other outcomes in the future.