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Pastels come in a variety of forms including soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, and pastel pencil. They can be used on a variety of surfaces including paper, canvas, masonite, and illustration board. Pastel drawings can resemble paintings when complete and sometimes are refereed to as "paintings", although the process is decidedly a drawing process. The medium is considered a traditional medium for creating art.
Pastels are applied to surfaces using many different techniques that can produce a wide variety of effects and results. Quality can vary greatly from brand to brand, and is usually reflected in the price.