Started in with a pastel group for this Fall. I don't really know much about pastels and am willing to get dusty to learn more about the medium.
Assignment One is a self-portrait. I read somewhere that it is a good idea to do one every year. Probably like eating your vegetables or exercising- - good for you, but not really that much fun sometimes.
PastelSelf 2010, 11x14, 140 lb. cold press Canson
Nupastel (need a bigger set of these), Rembrandt soft pastels, and some other kind of pastels I have, but don't remember how I got them. This was an interesting way to paint as, in order for my old, nearly blind self to see, I set up a mirror reflecting another mirror in front of me while I was painting. (And, yes, I do look kinda slack-jawed like that when painting. I see, now, that one of my eyebrows could use some blending, too.
This was an arduous experience for a relatively short, but very intense, drawing/painting session. It seems that after getting the basic colors in the right places, you sort of "sculpt" the pigment into place and push it around.