I use Staedtler Pencils from 4h-8B. In order for shades to come out smoother use gentle strokes. For pencils from 4h-2B you don't have to been too gentle because the graphite lead doesn't make too much mess and it is easier to clean up if there is a mistake. But for pencils 3B-8B should be handle really carefully as those pencils are really dark and harder to erase. So i shade regularly with pencils 4h-2B and 3B and higher I shade gently. I use a tissue to blend the graphite together. Always blend from light to dark. Hope that helps
I just look at your gallery. Your artwork is nice! Advice I can give you is work with more value. That means have a more longer range of grays. For example, like your piece Souless you can add more highlights to make it even more realistic. You might want to look up reference to see which areas where you can put highlights.