So I finally gave in and used charcoal. And some white pastel for the highlights. Consequently, I'm happier with my values. I would have liked it to be smoother looking. A solid reminder, too, of how frustrating it is to try to draw hands!
Maren, you put a lot of work into your drawing. I would say, however, while well detailed and capturing the right balance it looked like Grandma's hands with her arthritic knuckles and your right wrist was very skinny. Beautiful picture of an older woman's hands. (yours are much prettier) You are the only one of us with the courage to venture into the world of veins.