In the 1970's, chalk pastel was considered a sketch medium, used to quickly render the human figure in a life drawing class. The medium was not covered in any painting or drawing classes at the California College of Arts and Crafts or any other university I attended. To explore the medium further it was totally up to my own volition.
The unique aspect of chalk pastel is that it is pure pigment, the same raw pigment that is in oil paints, acrylics, watercolors and gouache. However, there is better archival quality since there is no suspending medium. Although my pastel pallet has many different color values and intensities it is never enough. I discovered that I could get really exciting colors by using layers and layers of pigment, adding even more diversity and color depth with layers of light sprays of workable fixative and different densities of pastel sticks.
I am enjoying the increasing popularity of the pastel medium with the abundance of new high quality supplies and reference material, not to mention some really great artists and art!