What really makes paintings so much fun to me is almost 70% from the tools I use. When in comes to painting the material, the paper and additional equipment makes all the difference. Some of the equipment and pastels that I use are listed below.
Paper and mounting
Drawing board: For mounting the paper for flatness and stability.
Stathmore charcoal paper: Easy to work on and blend with finger, not great for a watercolor under-painting.
Uart sander paper 500 grade: great for water color under-paint and very sturdy but its sand paper so watch your fingers while blending. I suggest using blenders and/or q-tips.
Drafting tape: For mounting the paper to the drawing board. Easily removable and has a paper like surface to paint along the edges easily.
Drawing and Under-painting
Charcoal pencils: Great depth and very easy to draw with. Watch for smudging.
Crayola color pencils: These are just used when I have more than one feature I watch to distinguish while sketching
Reeves watercolor: I use this for under-painting (under-painting is where you lay out the main colors in different ares of your sketch before you start getting into the actual painting process). By adding a wash or a flat under-painting under different areas, you can eliminate the white flecks from white paper, create richer color or use complements to build interest.
Sennelier 50 pastel box (Approx $2/pastel)
Mungyo Artist's Extra Soft 72 pastel box (Approx $1/pastel)
Blenders and Q-tips
Color shapers: Its like a paint brush but with a silicone tip to help with blending.
Kitchen towels: To wipe my fingers to remove previous pastel color of colors from blending
Easel: For plein air work primarily.