no dawn, no day

Very scruffy silverpoint.
I was fully intending to draw the larger portrait precisely and shade it to an inch of its life but i put too thin a layer of gesso in my sketchbook. Stupid me.
I really do need a generous amount of gesso to get the darkest of darks, otherwise my drawings take on a monotone effect and i dislike it intensely. Tonal variation is the key!
Oh well, i've a few pre-gessoed pieces of A2 card that i can work on and hopefully get the results i'm used to.
Although if someone could inform me of how to get the gesso smooth, without those sometimes useful but mostly annoying grooves, i'd be ever so appreciative.

This was lovely:

florence and the machine - cosmic love