How to hold the pastel stick
One problem when working in pastels is that you can smudge the work by lying the heal of your hand on your paper. To help avoid messing up your work, use your pinky as an anchor to hold your hand above the painting (see photo). Then hold the pastel stick between your middle and index fingers.
Your pinky also acts as a pivoting point to help you move more freely when applying the pastel
This blog will offer regular (I hope) tips about pastels and pastel painting that I have found useful over the years. Just random thoughts and comments.