This was done using primarily Nupastels, with a few softer MV's and Senneliers for the sky and poppies. A combination of scumbling with the sides of the softer pastels, along with short strokes, is what I used for the sky. I admire the way some pastelists are able to accomplish their blending by using this technique, and the Strathmore seemed well-suited to practicing the technique. I also discovered that, with this paper anyway, it works best to put in the sky colors and then apply the sparse, branching foliage and stems over it; adding blue skyholes ran the risk of smearing the darker colors.
Spring in the Desert
9x12", Strathmore Artagain paper