This is not intended to become a tutorial on how to work pencils, it is more like something I wanted to share to everybody and specially to rICH (thank you in advance amigo, at this point I do not know it this will be worthless or worthy so just bare with me pal). In the past I used to work mostly 99 percent of my work on a desk and now I work only about 20 percent on a desk, mainly because I discovered some tips on how not to screw with charcoal the pieces of work.
Firstable the basics, many people say that the right way to work a piece of work done in pencil is from Top to Bottom and from left to right, what it means that when you attack a piece of paper the first would be your Top Left part and the last one will be your Bottom Right (I agree totally to this method because it is the most effective and if you are methodical this is your best way to work) but in my case knowing I get desperate and I like to work different parts of the page at the same time I found out that the best for me was to buy a tablet a bit bigger than my area of work and I found out that I can rotate the piece so I can work without screwing the piece.
The other classical tip is to use a white or blank piece of paper so when you are using the pencil you do not destroy your previous work, this so effective and this is the way I normally work, I am a mess honestly and I always start from Right to Left and from Bottom to Top, Why? ...Search me? maybe because in my case I was lefty but because in my country there were not good conditions or facilities for lefties, My mother forced me to use my right hand what it meant that I am for some things Ambidextrous, so for me the piece of paper has been so effective over the years.
Maybe your question is...Even if I use a piece of paper to protect the piece I screw the piece with the force of my hand and the piece of paper itself?
Right here is my risky tip and advice (here is my warning because for many this tip will be a blasphemy but for me it is really good).
As knowing I work from Bottom to Left I try to work the pencil work as tight as possible and then when I am satisfied with the area of work I spray a light layer of polymer (the cheapest is to use your house hair spray that works to prevent that the contact with your hand and the pencil work destroy your art). Why it is a blasphemy simple because as soon as you sprayed the piece with hair spray there is not any chance anymore to change anything what it means that If you screw the page you need to rework everything from scratch.
When I was in Architecture I bought some dust pad (some pads with eraser made into dust) so what you do is to spread and dust the piece with the pad and work. This is very effective when you are using rulers, I have never applied the eraser pad for the purpose of freehand work so If someone has the experience let me know...t be honest I did not like the dirt to clean for every architectonical work done with the eraser pad...but who knows maybe this is the thing for you!!!
I hope that my terrible manners in terms on how I work are effective for some at least in this way you can learn about the incorrect way to work, it works for me!!
Have a great day!!