A soft drawing stick composed of finely ground pigment mixed with a gum tragacanth binder. Pastel sticks are often applied to a textured paper support. The pastel particles sit loosely on the surface of the paper and can be blended using brushes, fingers, or other soft implements. Pastels can also be dipped into water to create a denser mark on the paper or ground into a powder and mixed with water to create a paint that can be applied by brush. Because pastel drawings are easily smudged they are sometimes sprayed with fixative, a thin layer of adhesive.