Terrifying Roads.

23 September, 2021.

No. Seriously. Those damn 10% and 12% grades freaked me out. I can only barely cope with heights in the first place, and climbing higher and higher, then having to come down those terrifying roads… you can keep them.

I like to use a red watercolor pencil to sketch out the basic composition. Some of the lines dissolve away with the subsequent washes of color, while some lines remain visible in places. That unfinished look appeals to me.

Observations from a small airport.

21 September, 2021.

Well, posting this to my Instagram account seems to have lost me a bunch of followers. Honestly, I was just drawing what I saw at the airport, although I guess my version seems to have come off a little on the judgmental side. The law is pretty clear, and it was indisputable that people were in the airport completely ignoring the law. I simply drew what I saw. I didn’t intend for the sketch to be controversial, but it turns out everything is politics these days.

Which reminds me how nice it was to be mostly out of internet, social media, and cell phone coverage for four days!

Tiny sketches of huge landscapes

19 September, 2021.

Four days we drove all over Yellowstone, in and out of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. The park is otherworldly beautiful, and the spaces are truly monumental. I brought along a small kit of paints, a waterbrush, and a tiny Stillman and Birn sketchbook that was easy to carry around in my pocket while hiking.

Media variations

18 September, 2021.

This is a cool old Skelly station, but I wasn’t sure – in fact, still not sure – I like the composition. The original sketch is really just a perspective exercise, but I turned it into a watercolor painting just to see what would happen.

OK, I guess, but it comes off a little sappy, a little too much sugar over the nostalgia maybe. For some reason it feels like it was painted by a 1950’s children’s picture book illustrator. So I took a scan I made of the drawing and worked it over in Procreate while I was squeezed into a jet, flying toward Wyoming last weekend.

Better? Worse? I’m on the fence, honestly. But definitely different.

How about a little color?

17 September, 2021.

I posted the black and white version of these a few days before I headed out of town. An experiment I tried several months ago was to make a black and white print on heavy paper and use water-soluble Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons to paint in color on top. I like the effect and the process, and it seemed like these old cars and trucks presented an opportunity to revisit that experiment. The crayons seem to suit this subject matter well, I think.

Score!

10 September, 2021.

Score! I came across a guy who appears to have his own private salvage yard right in front of his barns and house. Lots and lots of cool old rusting hulks, missing trunks, missing wheels, missing doors, trunks and hoods askew in overgrown weeds and tall grass.

This car in particular interests me. It’s actually a lot longer and sleeker looking than I sketched it (I tend to intentionally exaggerate proportions.) In a different time, it might have been right at home carrying a group of bluesmen from one gig to the next.

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Hey! If you are a sketcher, and you are interested in winning some FREE sketching gear, check out  my Instagram account.

In partnership with @derwentartofficial I’d like to share this brand new #sketchyourstreet competition with you all!

Put your urban sketching skills to the test and be in with a chance of winning the brand new Derwent Line and Wash Paint Pan Set along with $100 worth of Derwent products of your choice.

To enter, here’s all you need to do:

1. Sketch your street in your unique style

2. Post your street sketch on your main feed

3. Tag me @azorch and @derwentart_us in the photo and use the hashtags #sketchyourstreet and #Derwent

This competition is only open to entrants based in the UK or US.

Deadline is 30th September, 2021.

Ts&Cs can be found here

Good luck to you all! I can’t wait to see what you create. #paidpartnership

Another dispatch from Missouri City

9 September, 2021.

I had to look this up on Wikipedia. Missouri City has a population of 267, which makes sense to me as I drive through the small town hidden from the main highway by a barricade of hills and bluffs. In fact, the hills sort of wrap around the community on three sides. the fourth side being the railroad tracks and river.

It’s cut off almost entirely from everything and everyone else. Locally, mention of Missouri City conjures up images of a place much further away than the map would indicate. In a way, it’s a little bit disconcerting, a tiny bit creepy. It’s a backwater, and one would be forgiven for imagining quiet strains of Dueling Banjos echoing across the water from somewhere off in the distance.

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Hey! If you are a sketcher, and you are interested in winning some FREE sketching gear, stay tuned for a September contest announcement here on the Just Sketching blog, and on my Instagram account.

In partnership with @derwentartofficial I’d like to share this brand new #sketchyourstreet competition with you all!

Put your urban sketching skills to the test and be in with a chance of winning the brand new Derwent Line and Wash Paint Pan Set along with $100 worth of Derwent products of your choice.

To enter, here’s all you need to do:

1. Sketch your street in your unique style

2. Post your street sketch on your main feed

3. Tag me @azorch and @derwentart_us in the photo and use the hashtags #sketchyourstreet and #Derwent

This competition is only open to entrants based in the UK or US.

Deadline is 30th September, 2021.

Ts&Cs can be found here

Good luck to you all! I can’t wait to see what you create. #paidpartnership

MO CITY OIL CO

8 September, 2021.

Parked beside one of the dozen or fewer commercial buildings in Missouri City is this old truck. Like all of the structures, this one appears to have last done business in the 1950’s.

I will generally work directly with a pen, my favorite being a Uni-Ball Vision. Forgoing a light pencil underdrawing keeps my observation skills tight and my drawings tend to get simplified. For me, the “magic” happens as I add the relatively solid fills of black ink with a Pitt Big Brush pen. I get a lot of satisfaction from the dance of positive and negative shapes.

____________

Hey! If you are a sketcher, and you are interested in winning some FREE sketching gear, stay tuned for a September contest announcement here on the Just Sketching blog, and on my Instagram account.

In partnership with @derwentartofficial I’d like to share this brand new #sketchyourstreet competition with you all!

Put your urban sketching skills to the test and be in with a chance of winning the brand new Derwent Line and Wash Paint Pan Set along with $100 worth of Derwent products of your choice.

To enter, here’s all you need to do:

1. Sketch your street in your unique style

2. Post your street sketch on your main feed

3. Tag me @azorch and @derwentart_us in the photo and use the hashtags #sketchyourstreet and #Derwent

This competition is only open to entrants based in the UK or US.

Deadline is 30th September, 2021.

Ts&Cs can be found here

Good luck to you all! I can’t wait to see what you create. #paidpartnership