"The lesson repeats until the lesson is learned" - I don't know who originally said it, but it is one of Kirk Nugent's favorite phrases to quote.
So, when working digitally, you have to confront the translation from traditional mediums...for me, particularly pencil/graphite.
I have never liked to draw on paper with a tooth. I would do pencil drawings on very smooth paper or on Bristol board. As a result I rarely use a digital pencil tool, because I can't blend to my liking (not a fault of the tool, I'm certain - the fault of a lack of patience and/or creative evolution). I know that I CAN do it, because I created a photorealistic digital drawing of Michaela DePrince that came out beautifully.
For blending in Procreate, the program I work in, you have the smudge tool....which moves things around moreso than creating a fusion of contrasting shades.
Now I am using a 6b shading pencil tool in Procreate, that translates to the paper monitor as a drawing on toothy paper. After years of fighting against it, I've decided to flow WITH it, and see what happens and I'm excited about the piece I'm working on now. Will likely become a series if I can finesse it EXACTLY the way I want to.
Wish me luck.