The skill on which I have tried to focus, is to look at how the light falls on the object. It seems fairly obvious really but I haven't always found it easy to void areas and then work around them. When I first began the City and Guilds course (quite a while ago) we did lots of mark making exercises using different media and I found it a lot easier when the marks didn't have to resemble anything. Now I am expected to recreate nature's bounty in two dimensions.
As you can see from the pictures below, a rose and a shoe made it to the sketchbook as did a hollyhock and a dried poppy seed head.
This close-up of an acorn has yet to find a home.