I had oil pastels as a child but never could really use them, so I sat down with Karen, who uses them a lot, and started this Orkney landscape. She showed me how to measure, measure and measure again to create an accurate drawing, how to blend using both fingers and other pastels, and how to match my colours more accurately, not depending on the eye but actually bringing the photo up to drawing to check colour, darkness and contrast. Finished this off on lazy Sunday and am happy with the effect. The pastels themselves were a bit of a trial, on a visit to my dad in Manchester I made a pilgrimage to the wonderful Fred Aldous on Lever Street and bought a lovely box of 36 oil pastels, but I must have left them behind because I can't find them. So it was a sharpish visit to WH Smiths running in the door 10 minutes before closing to get some more. Sweet daughter said she was delighted to try out her trainers, and incidentally we found that Lidl were selling fabulous pads of coloured paper at only £1.49 each, so that was good!