I looked for some still life reference photos on Paint My Photo, and I quite liked this one of the onions. This time around I took a couple of step by step pictures. The whole thing took me around 1.5 hr. I am still not sure how to make some good shadows without using black :-/
I blocked in some basic shapes with NuPastels.
Then I switched to Rembrandt pastels for further blocking in. I like to work on the whole picture at once, so here is the next stage of the drawing about an hour in.
I spent the next half hour clarifying the edges, deepening the shadows and adding a bit of color to the background.
I am not unhappy with this but I really would like to not use black! I need to figure this out.