Many budding artists choose to work in pastels because they are easy to use and the colors produced are rich and sensual. To create a work in pastels you only need paper, fixative and the pastels themselves. There's no premixing on a palette, no need to add mediums, and pastels can be applied to almost any surface. Though pastels are similar to chalk, they are actually a powdered pigment bound together with a gum or resin and shaped into sticks or pencils. Several types of pastels are available including soft pastels, hard pastels and oil pastels.