I perfer Soft Pastels to Hard, Although I use both.
These are mainly the pastels I use : - Terry Ludwig - Schmincke - Unison & NuPastel.
When it comes to paper : I perfer to use Canson Mi Teintes; as for sanded papers
I like Wallis, UArt, Colour Fix, Pastel Board, as well as the new Canson Touch.
Normally I choice a White or Black Color, but do use a few other colors as well.
I use only a couple of tools, a color shaper - hog bristle and soft brush and my fingers or side of my hand for shaping and blending
I am a studio Artist but paint out doors as well, painting out doors help me to see nature as it is.
I take lots of photos as reference, but do not totally adhere to them,
adding or subtracting elements that work or don't work.
I try not to get caught up in to many details, as I want to the viewer to still be able to know what it is.