I have started painting in pastel and oil only recently and had no formal training. I can see why the Impressionists loved pastel and I am now a complete convert.
Pastels are a unique painting media in that the colours are mixed on the paper by overlaying and blending rather than on a palette like oils. The colours are rich and pure and when framed, will last as long as oils and acrylics.
Elsa du Plooy