I'm working on the background/foreground surface to create slight tone and shadow and tie the elements together. I am laying down Prismacolor Beige Sienna, Putty Beige and Clay Rose one at a time and burnishing them into the surface. I when I add the first layers of pencil on the surface, I prefer Polychromos pencils because I can burnish and blend them into the surface with a bristle brush or even my finger. Prismacolor pencils have a waxy consistency and are more difficult to burnish into the surface, but I just didn't. have the colors/light values I needed in Polychromos. I am also working my strokes horizontally along with the grain of the paper which also helps lay the pencil down smoother.
What I really like about the UArt sanded paper is that it will take lots of layers of pencil and burnishing and works really well for applying light colors over dark colors allowing under layers to show through.
I have also lightened the shadows even more when I added in the surface, I thought they were too dark. I continued to add Polychromos Sky Blue over the darker areas and Cinnamon and Burnt Ochre towards the edges. I am continuing to mold the ball with values and blend it into the composition trying to get the lighting correct as I am working from two different reference photos.