Materials for Pastels
We always reccomend purchasing art supplies at an art supply store, there are many good ones in Calgary. You will get better products and at a lower price than at craft stores such as Micheals. We reccomend Inglewood, Mona Lisa or Kensington Art supply.
Pastels can be purchased as boxed sets and as individual sticks. This is one case where having more colours is better. Look for a brand that is availbe in individual sticks as well as in a set, that way you can replace colours as you use them up.
Faber-Castell makes sets of half sticks, these are a good place to start.
You may also wish to buy pastel pencils for finer work, the CarbOthello Stabilo brand is a good one.
The choice of Pastel paper tends to be very personal, try a several different types first. Some people like a sanded paper, others like a smoother paper. A good art store should offer some choices.