For my first sketches, I used a pulpy sketch pad and ordinary pencils. That lasted for about 10 years.
It was not until my daughter and I attempted to scan the drawings to the computer, that we discovered the difficulty of scanning that paper. It makes it difficult to get a clean look. Scanning picks up the imperfections on a pulpy piece of paper.
I still use the ordinary pencils, but we have moved into using 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch copying paper for the sketches. There is much less to attempt to erase when making a copy of these originals. We have found it to be far superior.
Some of my drawings come by sight; for instance, the Day Lily, the Wildflower Bouquet and the Dahlia. Others, such as the Iris, the farm buildings, and machinery come via the aid of photographs.
Photos are scanned and displayed on the computer monitor. I tape a piece of my drawing paper onto the monitor screen and mark the main points of the subjects that I wish to draw. That bit of tracing speeds up my drawing process. It eliminates the mistakes of improper proportions as I work.
Then I use a ruler, as needed, and my pencil to darken lines and add the shading that brings the sketch to life. I keep an eraser handy, too.
The drawings are then scanned and put in a “card” format on the computer. That electronic image is then printed on card stock and made ready for the customer.