Here is a picture of what the painting looked like after my first 2 hours session:
I felt that the fruit looked flat. I also abandoned the background cloth due to frustration. I just could not seem to make it work. During my second session (which took about an hour), I went back in and added some dark to the fruit to make them turn more. I also played around with the cloth quite a bit to bring out some of the folds. My problem is that I am having to do it all from memory, since the pear rotted and had to be thrown away.
The main difference in the second session was that I did not use ivory black. A friend of mine is constantly telling me to throw away my tube of black paint. I took his advice (well, not literally), and instead of ivory black I used a mixture of burnt umber and prussian blue for my darks on the second pass. I have to admit. I seem to be able to control the chroma of the paint much better with that mixture than I could with the straight black.
I still have a bit of work to do. I am not happy with the cloth. To me it looks stiff and unnatural. I plan to go back in and try to rework it some more. I also need to touch up a few places on the fruit to make it stand out some (such as around the green stem on the first orange).
I am thinking of trying to use mediums in my next painting. I stumbled on the blog of Abbey Ryan this weekend (http://ryanstudio.blogspot.com/). I really like the way her paint seems so smooth and crisp. She has a few videos on her website that show her using quite a bit of medium when she paints. I think I will try that as well. I will post the result (good or bad).