I started using charcoal, as I find it easier than pencil, more forgiving. I used the rubber to delineate the objects. The paper was probably too smooth, but I managed. Using a shaded-in background as a starting point meant I placed less reliance on outlining. The result is a muted representation.
I tried the exercise with pencil and was frustrated by my need to outline, and not very happy with the shading and tonal values. I find it difficult to be precise and patient with cross-hatching. Tonal shading with the side of pencils of different hardness is easier for me.
I had another go using different objects placed more naturally, and using pencil. This was a rough attempt. I was quite pleased with the plastic bag of onions which is more gestural than the other objects.
Overall, the exercise highlights my lack of expertise with a pencil and my greater confidence with a looser approach. it leads me to question if it is necessary to develop more skill in the detailed approach if this is not what appeals, or if it is avoidance of hard work to continue with what is more comfortable.