Pastel is soft chalk with added properties to help this medium adhere to the surface of paper.  Archival paper of museum quality is best and can be had in varied weights and thickness. The finished pastel painting should be sprayed with a light coating to “fix” the design, as the color is only layered on the surface and does not “dry” as paint, so it will easily smudge. In my still life “Leaf Bowl with Apples” the pastels are vibrant and effective with sharp color contrasts and strong shadow. In my portrait of “Carlos, the Shoeshine Boy, Mexico City” one can see pastel can be used in a delicate and sensitive way.  The impressionistic “Two in a Doorway, Study for the Bronze” is another pastel technique to strengthen curves and sharpen lines to accentuate movement. I used this pastel study as a guide for the bronze sculpture of the same name.