Crayons are sticks of colored wax, charcoal, chalk or other material used for writing, coloring, and drawing. The word crayon might remind you of children working to stay within the lines, but these colorful instruments come in more than the common wax. Wax crayons take significant pressure to leave their mark on a page, pastels and oil pastels take less effort. If a crayon is made with a dry binder it is called a pastel, when it is made with oiled chalk it is called an oil pastel.
The color effect of pastels and chalks is more similar to natural dry pigments than any other medium. Pastels are made from pure powdered pigment and a binder that has a neutral hue and low saturation. The two categories pastels can be divided into are dry (soft pastels, pan pastels, hard pastels, and pastel pencils), and oil or water-soluble. Pastels and chalks can be easily smeared and blended making them a popular choice among artists.
Background information and history of pastels.
Everything you need to know about pastels.