You can complete a piece of needlepoint using just the continental tent stitch, which works horizontally across the mesh canvas. However, you should also learn the half cross and basket weave stitches.
Simply thread a short piece of wool through a needle and tie a waste knot at the other end. Looking at the front of the pattern put the needle through the mesh from front to back (to the left of the colour you are working on) until the knot is touching the mesh. The knot will hold the wool in place and will be cut away once you have finished with the colour.
Moving to the right and parallel to the knot to the end of the colour you are working on, thread the needle from the back to the front, then up diagonally to the hole above. Thread the needle through the front of the mesh to the back. You now have you first coloured stitch on the mesh. It should look like the right hand stroke of a letter v.
The second stitch is then threat from the back of the mesh to the left of the first and then up and back diagonally through the mesh to the back. Looking at the back of the mesh you will see that the stitches are covering the tail of the knot. Continue stitching until you get to the end of the colour.
The second line of colour is stitch in exactly the same way. The only difference now is the you will be stitching the treat through a hole that already has some wool in it.
Once you have filled the colour with stitches, turn the mesh over and threat the wool through the back of the stitches to hold the wool in place. Then cut the knot from the front of the mesh.
Continue the same process with the other colours until you have completed the picture.
If you are using a needlepoint pattern on a mesh canvas, start with the smallest areas first.
When stitching alternate lines you can just turn the mesh upside down to continue stitching up and right.
Continental tent stitch uses more treat than half cross but will last longer.
If you are covering a large area with stitches, the basket weave stitch will distort the mesh less than the other stitches would.