In all kinds of drawing, be it still-life, landscapes or portraits it’s a really useful exercise to look at elements of your composition in relation to each other.
By observing the objects you draw and looking at their relationships to each other you start to think about the accuracy of your picture as a whole.
Is one of your objects taller, wider, in-front or behind another?
Where does the light come from? Where are your shadows falling?
Here’s a few step-by-step photos of a still-life study of lemons and limes. I used my Moleskine sketchbook, a 2B pencil for roughing out the shapes, a 4B pencil for adding shadows and definition, a blending stump and rubber.
I blocked in the shapes with my 2B pencil.
I also roughed in the shadow shapes and thought about what was ‘in-front’ and ‘behind’.
I started with the darkest areas first and then applied my lighter shading (mid-tone). The lightest areas either have no pencil on at all, or I rubbed areas out so you can see the paper underneath.
Finally I used the blending stump to smooth some of the harder edges and blend some of the darker shadow areas.