Material & techniques
Royal Talens Rembrandt soft Pastels combined with Kooh i Noor soft Pastels, Faber Castell Polychromos pastels and their Soft studio Pastels really was a good choice for me as a beginner.
I am though experimenting with Pastel papers. I started with 22% opacity pictures printed as underpainting, to focus on the Pastels and the paper rather than the motive and the details which i have somewhat in control with my practicing with Proportional dividers.
Panpastels is the new artistic media.
Pans with dry supersoft pigments you can blend and paint on a number of materials and it's erasable. Use it on Matte fotopaper to color your special artistic Photographs, and finish watercolor painting with a touch of Panpastels. -Panpastel.com if you are curious.
paintdrawblend.com is another site made by Panpastel informative place to go. I mostly use Panpastels for my underpaintings and then ad details with soft Pastel sticks and pastel Pencils.