I use inexpensive foamboard as my painting board, then transfer my finished pastel paintings to acid-free foam board cases made by sandwiching two boards (with foamboard strips as spacers) together with repositioning Artists Tape.
ARTIST'S white TAPE (not masking tape) for hinge-mounting paper
EASEL that adjusts to any size canvas or board
PLEIN AIR EASEL I use a SOLTEK backpack easel packed with my plein air sets of pastels
FOAMBOARD to mount my paper and to store unframed pastels
Investing in a TERRY LUDWIG Very Intense Darks #I set will significantly broaden your painting repertoire. I consider LUDWIG darks darks essential to my palette.
With Ludwig Pastels, you can purchase Open Stock (single sticks as opposed to sets) only from the manufacturer.
Ludwigs and Schminckes are super soft and rich, but will fill the tooth of your paper fast.
Rembrandt pastels are medium soft, less intense color but they won't fill your paper too fast. I consider Rembrandts my workhorses.
things I recommend
About the ROZ BOX:
Each metal, foam-cushioned tray holds 64 pastel sticks.
I lift the trays from their metal cases and arrange them on a long table by my easel.
Two trays stack in each metal Roz Box case, protecting my fragile pastel sticks during travel. We have an RV, and I can easily carry my entire pastel collection with me.
Soft pastel sticks in foam-lined Roz Box Trays sorted by value and color sit on a long banquet table next to a large easel in my studio. Hard pastel sticks and pastel pencils are assigned the far end of the table, because I use them less frequently, usually only at the beginning and end of a painting. Handy wipes, pencil sharper, paper towels are within reach, too.
BIG BEND ARTIST TIP: TONING A CANVAS
When it comes to PASTELS, I'm a purist. All that touches my paper, other than pastel pigment, is either* water, rubbing alcohol, or TURPENOID (artists' turpentine substitute) which I wash over a dusting of pastel to TONE (UNDER PAINT) my canvas. I TONE most every canvas before I start painting.
A TONE is a vibrant wash of color tint. I like to use red or orange or golden yellow to give my painting an inner glow. I may use several thin transparent layers of UNDERPAINTING. If you have one of my originals, you may have noticed this glow. Now, you have met the sunny canvas beneath all that color.
My Soltek easel contains MY favorite pastel colors. You can also purchase pre-selected plein air sets, but I like my plein air palette to closely match my studio palette.
Tie boxes hold my pastel sticks; I cover each box with a layer of bubble wrap to prevent shifting when I pack up.
Pastel Premier Paper
Uart Pastel Paper
Roz Boxes (arranging, storing, transporting pastel sticks)
Terry Ludwig Soft Pastels
Rembrandt Soft Pastels
Schmincke Soft Pastels
Caran d Ache Hard Pastel Sticks
NuPastel Hard Pastel Sticks
Caran d Ache Pastel Pencils
Carb-Othello Pastel Pencils
Conte Pastel Pencils
Pencil Sharpener with replaceable blades