The inexpensive way to look like you painted something is with oil pastels. The sweeter brother to the soft pastel (my opinion obviously). Which by the way I suck at using! Oil pastels though, seem to be a quicker and easier method than the soft pastel; which comes with lots of blending and shading. Boring. So much blending and shading and soft colors.... no fun no way!
While you can not layer the soft pastel you can layer your oil pastels. Then basically, scratch away at the surface to show the colors underneath! Really neat stuff. Given you have a nice set of colors, the down side to that is you can not really mix colors to make new colors because you just layer them on top of each other. Gets expensive... That though is why they rule. No blending!
I found this still life study I did last fall with the pear and the apple using oil pastels. I should really keep practicing using oil pastels. I will have to expand my color collection some time this fall. When all the produce for still lifes looks their best!
Another study of pears I had found that I really enjoy (have a stack of not so good ones..) is this one. I mixed the soft pastel (the one I was just talking crap on) with charcoal and it came out really great. I am thoroughly impressed with my pear drawing skills. Nice round shapes please! Give me a artichoke and I'll have a heart attack or a loaf of bread.. sheesh.. impossible! Ok, I guess it is not impossible I should just take more time to study those items. However, they have this odd feel for being so old! Throw a pitcher in there and some fabric and you have your self a old school still life!