Soft pastels are the most common pastels available on the market. This variety of pastel is made almost entirely from pure pigment. Soft pastels or pastel chalks have the least amount of binder in them. Just enough in order to hold the stick together but still transfer the color onto the work surface. The color is rich and can easily be blended or smudged with a finger or soft tool. The down side is that they are more delicate and can break easily. The consistency and feel of soft pastels vary greatly from very dry and hard, to soft and creamy. Many pastel artists have a variety of pastel in their pastel collection. The reason for this is, that harder pastels are best suited for drawing or sketching the underpainting or initial layers of a pastel painting. The pastels with a softer consistency are best for layering on the top because they adhere to almost any surface. Soft Pastels are available in two major shapes, full sticks and half sticks. Half sticks are shorter and fatter and full sticks are generally longer and thinner. Some pastels even come in square sticks for artists who like having the edges to create fine detail. Pastelist usually use a spray fixative once the painting is complete.