Below is my first finished still life. There are an assortment of problems, but I'm going to call this one complete. It took around three and a half hours - one hour trying to create accurate shapes, one and a half for shading, half an hour for adding flowers and other details and some final touch ups. I learned a ton:
-about needing to keep the shadows in certain ranges
-keep the details in the light, but the shadows less so
-focus on details on where you want the viewer's attention and let the other details fade away
-about watch for highlights
-separating the shadows into ranged segments
-blocking in shapes
-that I need to study basic shapes and how light plays on them a helluva lot more
Problems I've noticed:
-I'm still having some issues with perspective, and noticed that the base of the objects don't quite fit with the box.
-I also found that trying to create a dark shade with 2B was harder than expected, especially when trying to keep it uniform. I tried to use a blending stump on the lower right of the cigar box, but that turned into an epic fail.
-The paper hanging off the right of the whiskey bottle also failed to come out right, so that's something to look at studying in the future.
-The shadows are not well formed. They were subtle in the light, but I didn't capture the slight curves well enough.
-Creating the proper reflection of the 'glowing' whiskey off the cigar box and wall as highlights didn't turn out so well.
Any comments, suggestions for the future, and criticisms are more than welcome and appreciated.