Kind of need sunglasses to look at it now! Rather bright isn't it? :-)
Ah, but it is intentional. I like to work rather bright at the beginning of a piece. When I add further layers of colour, I can tone things down. This prevents a work from becoming 'dull' and when you work in coloured pencil, it is difficult to brighten up an area that is dull. Having said that, it would be easier on coloured paper as you can add light over dark on these surfaces.
Another reason for going so bright at the beginning, is that I want to capture the glow that is happening due to the backlighting. Going bright also gives energy to the final colour as the lower layers of pigment affect what we see. Here is an example: (and I know this is difficult to see in this small picture) for the stem of the chard I first put down a layer of a yellowish orange colour. I followed this with a deep pink (think fuchsia) and then I added an orange-ish red. Of course this will be more effective once all of the surrounding green gets established.
At this stage I have been mostly concerned with getting my shapes in where they need to be and I wanted to get a layer of colour down over most of the piece. Next I will work to build up colour and I will start being more mindful of the value changes. I rather like the chard at this stage so who knows how much this will get toned down!
So, back to the studio and again, thanks in advance for not giving me helpful hints in the comments section on this piece.