Thank you jeremy. Your comments are much appreciated. And I know exactly what you mean as soon as you say. The idea for the challenge image was actually to go for realistic clay but probably my skills still need a bit of refinement. I think there are a couple of reasons for the blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy. One, the grape material probably has just a little too much finesse and two, the orange is textured with geometry and so it just tends toward realistic more or less no matter what the material applied is.
The fruit plate seems to lend itself well to the flatening process although my attempt could still use some work. Our toon shader could use some updating too. Kind of fun though.