I've seen quite a few people complain they are not getting an ember with drill firelighting (bow or hand) when in reality they are expecting a much brighter ember than usually happens. At the sake of teaching you to suck eggs, but just in case you're not aware, if the pile of powder carries on smoking when you stop, you've probably got an ember - leave it a few seconds to grow, carefully transfer the whole powder pile to some tinder with a small piece of charcloth in the centre and carefully, slowly, encourage it. Again, sorry if you know all this; it's hard to tell how much experience people have with just a few posts on a subject.
I use elder on ash - both bone dry (I know some people say ash can be too dry, that's not my experience). However, I am no expert, and haven't used a hand drill for some time; bow drill I demo reasonably frequently.