Here is my pastel process post. As I started putting this together, I realized there was not that much to tell ,but here it is.
My set up consists of a giant umbrella, an umbrella stand that I made out of and old light stand, a small seat ( just like the one my talented wife is sitting in while she paints), my box of pastels and Canson pastel paper sandwiched between a piece of pexyglass and a piece of masonite with alligator clips ( so I don't smudge completed pieces).
Here is a close up.
I usually start by figuring out weather the view is better for a vertical or horizontal composition. After that, most of the time I do a few really quick thumbnails.
For the next step I do a quick layout in line (using a pastel to keep it rough).
Then I just start laying in color. I don't mix with my finger although a lot of people do. I'm more interested in how two colors put right next to each other combine in the views eye, then I am in mixing the colors for them. Most of the time I start with the sky, it tends to be the lightest part of the picture as a whole and starting with it helps me develop my value scale.
After the sky I generaly work out the rest of the lights and darks.
After I feel I have the whole value structure working, the best part of the painting begins for me. From here on out, I just push color around playing with warms and cools and trying to capture the feeling I get form the light and the environment.
The whole process form setup through clean-up rarely takes more than an hour. One of the reasons I use pastels is that the setup and break-down is so easy.
I hope this helps people. The most important this is to try and enjoy it even when it's not working out. On almost every piece, I feel like it's not going to work out at least three time.