This class was perfect. I rarely work in pencil. Sometimes I sketch something out, but lately I have been using just pen to keep myself from working too detailed. I don't think I ever really understood how to use pencils to create smooth gradations. After doing the practice sheet of marks it just clicked in my brain.
I did two sketches from two of the images you provided.
I loved the picture of the apples in the bowl. I liked the way the shadows seemed like they were slowly swallowing the apples. I didn't get to finish--it got late and I was tired. :)
Working from the shadows out was really helpful. And I tried to work from left to right, top to bottom (I'm a righty). It worked out okay. I think my brain needs a little more training to be able to keep things in perspective without working on the entire piece at once. I also found it a little easier to draw the bowl of apples by doing the entire bowl shadow first, that way I could determine the rest of the values. Unfortunately, it was a lot of graphite on the paper, and despite being careful, smudges happened.
I enjoyed the class and the project. I think I'll be making pencil drawings more often. :)