Using pastels is great fun, a tactile messy medium. But that should not deter anybody from using this wonderful medium.

I always use Sennelier card, as I find the papers do not have enough grip for the pastels. I have tried them all over the years but once I started using the card as the coloured ground I stopped using the papers. I also use Sennelier pastels, as well as far cheaper ones, the Sennelier ones are soft pastels whereas usually the more economical brands are hard pastels. Pastels are based on a blending process, using white to lighten and black to darken. I do not always use the whites or blacks, depending on the palette for the painting. For the above painting I drew in the shape of the deer and then started working on the sky. I first used yellow, working through a palette of light yellow, medium yellow, light red and orange. I added white for the shafts of sunlight. I blended all the colours on the paper using my fingertip and occasionally a paper stump.

Using card I use more pastel but the effects are well worth using more of the medium. I then worked on the horizon line in the background using purples, browns and blues. I painted in the water using the same palette as the sky. I then painted in the deer shape using brown pastel and then blended on the card using my fingertip. In between each application of pastel, I used a damp cloth to clean my hands.

The foreground took the most amount of time. I first used purple, a blue and over painted that will some orange, and between each application of pastel I blended the colour on the card. I painted in the elongated shadow of the deer with a dark brown. Once the foreground was covered I took a light yellow, hard pastel, and drew in the grass shapes. I then cleaned up the edges of the deer, using the same light yellow to form a contour line around the animal.