Visceral Reactions

13 January, 2019. I’m finally getting around to scanning some of the past week’s sketches. This is from my kinda-sorta on-again-off-again sketch series of skies.

To be perfectly clear, these little sketches are not intended to be anything other than a quick impression. I’m making little attempt to be realistic and only barely representational. It’s just a fun way to play around with color – a little playfulness without getting too serious about doing so. Even with my more representational work I always look for the abstract in a scene and this is a fun way to do that.

My sketches are often a narrative response to a place or time or event. These sketches of skies are more visceral. The start and end of a day can be more of an aesthetic experience, and if I really explore my intentions here I’d probably find it’s aesthetics driving me. But frankly, I’m not thinking deeply or analyzing my motivations…I’m simply tossing paint on the page for the pure pleasure of doing so.

Watercolor on Arches rough, 7 x 7 inches.


  1. lepastelbleu · January 14, 2019


  2. lepastelbleu · January 14, 2019

    I have to ask you something: they just brought me an American pencil that I wanted to try and that is not found in Italy and in France, the Palomino Blackwing and that I find wonderful. I love 2B pencils, soft enough for my way of drawing. How to classify the hardness and softness in pencils made in the USA? is not the classification in H or B? thanks and good drawing

  3. azorch · January 14, 2019

    I love sketching with Blackwing pencils. I don’t know why, but the graphite seems to just glide across the paper surface. They are a little more expensive than some other pencils, although I think they are probably worth the price. And until recently I had to order Blackwing pencils – I only noticed them on the counter in one of the local artist supply shops for the first time a couple months ago.

    As for pencil classification, yes, we use the H and B categorization in the USA also. I’ve always presumed that is done worldwide, but don’t know that to be a fact. With the exception of the ubiquitous “No. 2” designation, every graphite pencil I’ve ever used follows the H/HB/B range.

  4. lepastelbleu · January 14, 2019

    thank you for your answer. I ask you why when we asked a Palomino 2B for the English shopkeeper, was amazed and in fact there is written on the pencil “pearl” and not 2b … strange, no? however it is really a wonderful pencil, I usually use Derwent but Palomino is better. see you next time!

  5. Shirley Buxton · February 6, 2019

    I’m new to your site. Find your images moving. I don’t draw or paint, but am a rather serious amateur photographer. The pencil bit caught at me though. I recall when I was in the 5th or 6th grade that a classmate–her name was Dorothy Lynch–used a particular kind of notebook paper, that when marked on with a pencil had a different feel to it. Interesting thing to remember . . .as I am now 80 years old. Have a blessed day.

  6. Elizabeth Varadan · February 6, 2019

    This is lovely!

    • azorch · February 6, 2019

      Thank you for the kind words.

  7. margielucas2017 · February 6, 2019

    I love it!

  8. Cate · February 6, 2019


  9. Lucia · February 6, 2019

    Just came across your site, the image is beautiful.

    • azorch · February 6, 2019

      I invite you to dig further into the blog. I sometimes post several times in a week and at other times days may pass before I’m able to ruin another page or two in a sketchbook.

      • Lucia · February 6, 2019

        I will be happy to. Thank you.

  10. kadeebentley · February 6, 2019

    Your sketches are beautiful do you sell any by any chance?

    • azorch · February 6, 2019

      I do have prints available for many of the sketches featured on my blog. I’m also working on a book project as well.

      • kadeebentley · February 6, 2019

        How can I see them all and buy some please?

      • azorch · February 6, 2019

        There is a Purchases link on the blog at

        Unmatted reproductions are reasonably priced at $25 plus shipping (CONUS only.) There is a link to my Etsy store on that page where some popular images are listed. If there is an image on the blog that isn’t on the Etsy site use the contact form and I’ll add it to the store for you.

  11. healingpilgrim · February 7, 2019

    Such a brilliant palette of colors!

  12. abs of all trades · February 7, 2019

    I love what you did with the colors.

  13. ruthgonzalez1412 · February 7, 2019

    This has a nice feel to it. I like the abstract approach.

    • azorch · February 7, 2019

      Thank you. I do tend to react more strongly to the overall design than I do to the actual place.

  14. Min · February 8, 2019

    it so amazing. I like the colors.

  15. Viv Meadows · February 8, 2019

    As someone else said lovely

  16. the OP · February 8, 2019

    Reblogged this on Wag 'n Bietjie.

  17. justanotheryoungmom · February 9, 2019

    Love it!

  18. Inner Peace · February 9, 2019

    This has got a serene calming effect

  19. Sneha · February 10, 2019

    Beautiful sketches.

  20. Pingback: Visceral Reactions — Just Sketching – Energy Management
  21. kantaverma · March 8, 2019

    Incredible work

  22. J.S - WEW · March 14, 2019

    Nice Painting and Good Color Combination, from World Eye Watch

  23. sandomina · March 15, 2019

    That’s so beautiful. Do visit my website to hear my story.

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