See, this one is pencil. It's just not as dark and is more like the way I usually draw (drew? I haven't really drawn for years--except for that evil rooster). Not many dark lines--I just tried to let the shading make a line show up.
The problem I always have is with backgrounds...my pictures just seem to sit there in open space. Apparently, that is a sign of an "artist" who hasn't quite developed as much as they should (according to the teacher in the class I took, though he was a little bit nicer in how he said that). Your teacher says "darker"! Mine would always say..."pay as much attention and give as much care to the background as you do to the subject" Like in your cherry picture...it is clearly sitting there on a table, casting a shadow. I never quite understood how to do that.
So something I started doing, just for practice, was to draw my main picture, make a copy of it and then try to do "something" with the background. But there was still that fear factor of messing up if I found something that I thought worked and wanted to try it on the original.
This one is a copy of the bird on a fencepost (charcoal, that's why it's darker), with an attempt at a background. I was too scared to try anything on the original.
Maybe I should try to get back into drawing. I just hit a block
with that background thing. Watching the other people in the class, I decided I was good at "copying" something, but not at making it art. They'd talk about the selection of the part of a still life or scene they wanted to emphasize, the composition, darks, lights, technique, media, etc. to make a whole piece of art--I would draw...a bird.
Sometimes a good bird (or horse or dog or whatever), but just that, floating there on the page, all by itself.