Pastel is a coloured drawing medium made from pure coloured pigment mixed with a binder to form a stick. Pastels are produced in soft, hard and pencil form.
Soft pastel is the most commonly used and is easily blended on the paper by smudging with a finger, soft cloth or a drawing tool such as a tortillon (a small cylinder of tightly rolled paper manufactured specially for this purpose). Chalk can be added to the pigments in soft pastels to soften intense colours and create a range of hues. Oil pastels are made using an oil and wax binder and have a creamy consistency very different to the chalkier consistency of soft pastels. Solvents such as turpentine can be used to smudge and blend oil pastels.