I love using black and white compressed charcoal at the same time. Whatever mistakes you make can be fixed and you can go really dark and really light. Chiaroscuro is my favorite; dark and light. The other side of that is sphumotu (sp) which is "like smoke". Look mom, I'm using vocab from my college education! See, that 25k a year was worth it.
But yeah, I got so into doing the face that I ignored the rest. Drawing white on black paper is an easy trick to get delicate details without much work. Just dot those eyes and the tip of the nose and you've got instant shiny.