I recently bought some Caran d'Ache Neocolor II artist crayons (or "wax pastels" if you insist on the terminology that appears on the case). I bought them because I saw a demonstration video that showed several different techniques, demonstrating their versatility. (Among them was using it as a watercolor paint; they're water-soluble.) Well, that's great, except the paper I have warps too easily and I don't want to spend all the time and effort it takes to prepare the paper so that it doesn't do that. It's still usable if I'm extra careful to use just a liiiittle bit of water, but that's both difficult and limiting. The only alternative is to get watercolor paper, and that's expensive. More on that in a sec.
The other technique that sold me on it is how easily the color spread and blended with a tortillon or blending stump. Or, at least, that's how it was in the demo video. When I tried it, it didn't spread much at all. So I asked what kind of paper was used and they told me. I looked it up -- a certain brand of sanded paper. And it was... $2.50 a sheet! A sheet that isn't even large enough (9x12"; I want 11x17"). Yeesh!
How in God's name are artists supposed to afford these things? Sure, you can make money by selling your work, but first you have to learn, and paying $2.50 per failed painting (on top of the up-front $1+ per crayon cost) does not sound very economical.
Perhaps there's still a way to get similar results with my (comparatively) cheap Bristol paper, like dipping the tortillon in something first, but ugh...